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.