Zhong Kui, vanquisher of evil, is the subject of the first Asian Mythology coin, now also in gilded form

With its first debut back at the ANA show in August, Numiscollect’s first issue in their new Asian Mythology series was a beautiful part-coloured, antique-finished piece of work that was packed from edge to edge with some classic looking ancient Chinese inspired design. Depicting a deity long revered for his ability to fight or ward off evil spirits, Zhong Kui is still in use today as a house guardian painted on walls. It’s a fine choice of subject instead of the usual options.

This is a 3oz fine silver coin, issued for the Cook Islands, that takes full advantage of CIT’s Smartminting techniques to endow the coin with plenty of well-defined and finely detailed ultra high relief. Antique-finished, but highlighted with some rich red colour, this remains an excellent debut for this new series.

Adding to the range, much like this producers Archaeology & Symbolism series, Numiscollect have now issued a considerably more limited version of the coin with some selective gilding to enhance the colour. While the mintage of the original was a tight 333 pieces, this new gilded variant is capped at just 99 units. Other than the gilding, this is essentially the same coin as the ANA version,

A nice box, with a Certificate of Authenticity will make this a great premium package, but more to the point, this is a release that bodes well for this series moving forward. Expect to see a new issue next year as this one seems to be selling well.


First coin in a new series: Asian Mythology. Smartminted on a 50mm 3oz silver blank in high relief. Antique finished with partial colour (red) and partial proof finish (the sword). First coin in a new series: Asian Mythology. Smartminted on a 50mm 3oz silver blank in high relief. Antique finished with partial colour (red) and partial gilded proof finish (the sword and fan). Make sure to get the first coin in the series as just 333 pcs are released. Special gilded release just 99 pieces!

Zhong Kui is a deity in Chinese mythology. Traditionally regarded as a vanquisher of ghosts and evil beings, and reputedly able to command 80,000 demons, his image is often painted on household gates as a guardian spirit, as well as in places of business where high-value goods are involved.

Zhong Kui’s popularity in folklore can be traced to the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang China (712 to 756). According to Song Dynasty sources, once the Emperor Xuanzong was gravely ill. He had a dream in which he saw two ghosts. The smaller of the ghosts stole a purse from imperial consort Yang Guifei and a flute belonging to the emperor. The larger ghost, wearing the hat of an official, captured the smaller ghost, tore out his eye and ate it. He then introduced himself as Zhong Kui. He said that he had sworn to rid the empire of evil. When the emperor awoke, he had recovered from his illness. So he commissioned the court painter Wu Daozi to produce an image of Zhong Kui to show to the officials. This was highly influential to later representations of Zhong Kui.

DENOMINATION $20 Cook Islands $20 Cook Islands
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 93.3 grams 93.3 grams
DIMENSIONS 50.0 mm 50.0 mm
FINISH Antique Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, colour High-relief, colour, gilding
MINTAGE 333 99
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes