The Vairochana Buddha coin is the latest issue in Numiscollect’s journey though history’s cultural artifacts
‘The Vairochana Buddha coin is the latest issue in Numiscollect’s journey though history’s cultural artifacts
One of the best coin series depicting mankind’s cultural heritage, Numiscollect’s ‘Archaeology and Symbolism’ showcases some of the fine artifacts and concepts from past centuries. To date, there have been eight releases, covering civilisations from multiple continents, and millennia. What we have here is the ninth, and the second design in the series to feature the mandala.
The mandala is a geometric pattern of art, common in the Indian subcontinent, and the surrounding Asian nations. The Vairochana is a cosmic buddha, and his depiction on the central area of the coin seems to be taken from a ninth-century Japanese artifact called the Womb Realm. A popular subject for a mandala, it’s often paired with the Diamond Realm, to form the Mandala of the Two Realms. There’s an image of the original artifact lower down, and you can see where its centre has inspired the same location on the coin.
As with previous issues, this is a three-ounce coin, and it continues the practice established over the last few issues of having three variants with differing finishes. The standard coin has an antique finish, but there’s a fully gilded variant, and one that keeps the antique-finish, but has the central area coloured. Which you prefer is a matter of personal taste, of course, but we’ve always preferred the antiqued coins. That’s the case again here. High-relief is plentiful, and aided by Smartminting, is jam-packed with fine detail. Very impressive.
Mintages have varied slightly over the lifespan of the series, and it’s changed again. The base design is capped at 333 coins, while the other two have a maximum mintage of 111 pieces each. All are boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity and available to order now. An excellent addition to an outstanding series, of which you can read more in our Coin Series Profile.
Vairochana (also Vairocana) is called the Sun Buddha (in Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism teachings) and is the Primoridial Buddha and sits in the central place of the Five Wisdom Buddhas mandala surrounded by the four other Wisdom Buddhas who sit at the cardinal points. The Five Wisdom Buddhas arose during the Mahayana development in India and were taken up by Tantric Buddhism.
Vairocana Buddha is first introduced in the Brahmajala Sutra: Now, I, Vairocana Buddha am sitting atop a lotus pedestal; On a thousand flowers surrounding me are a thousand Sakyamuni Buddhas. Each flower supports a hundred million worlds; in each world a Sakyamuni Buddha appears. All are seated beneath a Bodhi-tree, all simultaneously attain Buddhahood. All these innumerable Buddhas have Vairocana as their original body.
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