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South Korea Chiwoo
Government issued silver bullion coins from South Korea

South Korea Chiwoo

Introduced in 2016, the Chiwoo Cheonwang Series features the image of Chiwoo Cheonwang, a real-life figure whose exploits on the field of battle earned him mythological status among ancient Chinese and Korean people. KOMSCO uses what it considers a progressive design approach for the Chiwoo Cheonwang medals. By this, it means the designs of Chiwoo Cheonwang on the reverse side change each year, but not just at random. The design elements are meant to follow Chiwoo as he prepares for war and leads his troops into battle. Each design remains focused on his military exploits with a different pose each year. For example, the progression of the designs from 2016 to 2020 went as follows:

  • 2016 Chiwoo – Chiwoo Cheonwang was depicted standing alone on the field. He has donned his full military regalia and armor in this pose and is awaiting his warhorse to be brought to him so he can lead the army into battle.
  • 2017 Chiwoo – This Chiwoo Cheonwang depiction shows the accomplished military leader after mounting his warhorse. The horse bucks upward as he no doubt delivers an inspirational speech to his troops before the battle begins.
  • 2018 Chiwoo – In the 2018 design, Chiwoo Cheonwang is featured taking the fight to his enemies. This is the closest the design elements have come to his figure, capturing mostly his torso in the design as he is riding his horse into the battle. He lowers his sword preparing to strike down any enemies he encounters. This is most likely the view his enemies had of him just before their death at his hands.
  • 2019 Chiwoo – The fourth design in the Chiwoo Cheonwang Series is, by far, the most docile image to date. The progressive series has, to this point, followed Chiwoo’s preparation for battle and his exploits in the midst of the fight. On the reverse of the 2019 Silver Chiwoo Cheonwang, the God of War is depicted in the calm following battle. He stands on a rocky plateau as he surveys the field of battle. His helmet is removed, offering a glimpse of a calmer Chiwoo. His shield rests at his right side while his left hand clutches the handle of his massive sword.
  • 2020 Chiwoo

When the Chiwoo Cheonwang Silver Medallions were introduced in 2016, the mintage was set at just 30,000. That figure was increased to 50,000 for the 2017 release in response to the initial popularity and then lowered modestly to 45,000 in 2018 as demand for silver began to cool. KOMSCO responded to the lower demand for silver that continued into 2019 by setting the mintage cap for the 2019 release at just 33,000 medals. The Silver Chiwoo was available only in 1 oz .999 silver in 2016 and 2017, but as of 2018, a 10 oz silver bullion option has been introduced as well. KOMSCO has also begun to produce a small run of 1/10 oz Gold Chiwoo Cheonwang gold medals with a limited mintage of 25,000 medals.

 

Silver Bullion Mintage

Year1 Oz
2016 30,000
2017 50,000
2018 45,000
2019 33,000
2019

 

Design

Obverse: The obverse side of the Chiwoo Cheonwang coins feature the depiction of Do ggae bi. He is a supernatural creature believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits and is featured on the shield which Chiwoo Cheonwang carries into battle. The central image changed slightly in the 2020 release. It now features a grinning version of the hideous beast. The new depiction also includes enhanced visuals on his eyebrows, nostrils, and teeth as well as bull’s horns on the top of Do ggae bi’s head. Directly below the shield is a latent security image used by KOMSCO, a small circle which includes within it the purity of the medal “999” is inscribed. The purity can be seen when holding the coin at an angle. The inscription below the security image is "KOMSCO" Inscribed around the central image from lower left to lower right in a clockwise direction are the year, purity and content ("XXXX FINE SILVER 999"); the country "REPUBLIC OF KOREA"; and the denomination of "1 CLAY".

Reverse: The designs of Chiwoo Cheonwang on the reverse side change each year, but not just at random. The design elements are meant to follow Chiwoo as he prepares for war and leads his troops into battle. Each design remains focused on his military exploits with a different pose each year. The only inscription on the reverse is "CHIWOO CHEONWANG" which is located near the edge beginning to the left of the image and ending directly above the image.

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