The Scottsdale bullion tsunami continues with the first in their new Samurai Archives silver series

Every time we think Scottsdale are winding down for the holidays they surprise us with another bullion coin release. To say they’ve issued an impressive selection of offerings throughout 2018 would be an understatement. From low mintage run coins, to some bigger volume items, there seems to be something that appeals to just about every stacker or collector in Scottsdale’s range.

Adding to the choice is the mints latest series and it’s one destined to benefit from the popularity of the Korean Cheowoo series. Called Samurai Archives, it will be a series of one-ounce 0.999 silver coins, and with a mintage of just 15,000 pieces, it’s one of the rarer ones. The subject matter is an inspired one. The Samurai have huge appeal, not just in their native Japan, but around the world. Long a staple of popular culture and academic interest, it is to the mints credit that they have eschewed the former for inspiration and gone with the actual history of this warrior caste.

First to get the treatment is a selective reproduction of a 19th century Japanese artwork depicting the 12th century Samurai, Taira no Kiyomori (1118–1181). An important figure, he was a brutal warrior that helped end direct Imperial domination of local rule in Japan. Dying from an apparently nasty fever in 1181, his dynasty fell shortly after. The original artwork is owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is a 74 cm by 38 cm triptych of polychrome woodblock prints applied with ink and color on paper. It was done around 1845 by the artist Utagawa Hiroshige and you can see it further down.

The selection chosen for the coin is just about perfect and manages to get over the soul of the original artwork while simultaneously discarding half of it – no mean feat. The obverse carries the Fijiian coat of arms in its centre, surrounded by some cool patterns and textures that make it unique to this series. We wish more mints made the effort in this regard. Available to pre-order now, it should be priced competitively on release, although only the market will decide where prices go from there. Excellent stuff.


In partnership with Fiji, Scottsdale Mint is pleased to announce the release of a new anticipated annual program – The Samurai Archives. In its inaugural year, the 2018 Samurai Archives .999 Fine Silver Coin features the 12th-century samurai Taira no Kiyomori.

Taira no Kiyomori was a powerful and influential Japanese military leader during the late Heian period in Japan. As the head of the fearsome Taira clan, Kiyomori gained prominence through his military triumphs during the Hōgen and Heiji Rebellions. Tiara no Kiyomori came to dominate court politics as well, bringing an end to direct Imperial rule and establishing the first samurai-dominated administrative government in the history of Japan.

The 2018 Fiji Samurai Archives Silver coin has a design rooted in Japanese history. The image on the reverse side of the coin is based on the artwork of the the 19th-century Japanese ukiyo-e artist, Utagawa Hiroshige. Hiroshige’s woodblock print titled Taira no Kiyomori’s Spectral Vision depicts the samurai Kiyomori as a veteran of battle in the later stages of his life. As he looks out over the snow-covered garden from the veranda of his palace home, he is haunted by visions of the skeletons of his many slain enemies. The obverse side of the coin features the Fijian coat of arms accompanied by traditional Japanese patterns.

As well as the bullion coin, Scottsdale often issue a partly colourised proof version, and that is indeed the case here. No fundamental changes to the design – just a higher quality strike and colouring of the Samurai. Presented in one of the very neat white boxes with a serialised certificate of authenticity, it all comes wrapped up in a great looking outer shipper.

Just 1,500 of these will be produced, and they will obviously carry a considerably higher premium, although competitive with the competition, of course. Also available to order now.

DENOMINATION $1 Fiji $1 Fiji
COMPOSITION 0.9999 silver 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.6 mm 38.6 mm
FINISH Bullion Proof
MODIFICATIONS None Selective colour
MINTAGE 15,000 1,500
BOX / COA No / No Yes / Yes