For thousands of years, Unicorns have captured the hearts and imaginations of people the world over. For Black Unicorns, there is a sharp contrast in their symbolism and depiction between Eastern and Western cultures. The China Mint’s famous Unicorn series was minted from 1994 to 1997 – which makes 2022 the 25th anniversary since a Unicorn-themed numismatic collectible has been struck by a national mint in China.
For thousands of years, Unicorns have captured the hearts and imaginations of people Black Unicorns have very different symbolism within Eastern and Western cultures.
And this collectible, the East/West Black Unicorn, is spectacular—bringing together the yin vs. the yang, the dark and foreboding vs. the divine and all-powerful—all aspects of Unicorn tradition.
The earliest mention of the unicorn can be traced to the Greek historian and physician Ctesias, in 400 BCE. He described an animal with a furry, horse-like body and a single horn on its deer-like head. This legendary creature of European lore is known as a wild, impossible to tame woodland creature revered for its purity and grace. The Western Unicorn’s horn is said to have miraculous healing abilities, including the ability to neutralize poisons and other toxins.
In some stories, the Black Unicorn is a dark, foreboding creature that is a skillful hunter and predator that easily devours its prey. In these stories, the animal brings bad luck or bad intentions to those who come into contact with it.
Strong and powerful, Unicorns are featured on the Royal Arms of both Scotland and the United Kingdom.
Eastern Black Unicorns
The Qilin or Black Unicorn is said to have first appeared in the garden of Huangdi, the third of ancient China’s mythological emperors, in 2697 BCE. It was black in color, had a deer-like body and the tail of an ox, with scales instead of fur, and the horns of a dragon on its lion-like head. Divine and peaceful despite a fearsome, intimidating look, Qilins are known to punish the wicked. They’re thought to be a good omen, bringing serenity, success, protection, longevity, or fertility to those to whom they reveal themselves. Reportedly, a Qilin appeared to Confucius’ mother before he was born.
Exquisite Top Quality Proof Finish
Proofs are struck to a much higher standard of beauty, quality, and craftsmanship than non-proofs. Proof planchets (blanks) are specially treated, hand-polished, and cleaned to ensure high-quality strikes, then fed into presses fitted with specially polished dies and struck at least twice, unlike non-proofs which are struck only once. The extra strikes give proofs a glamorous shine and make intricate, razor-sharp details of the design pop against polished, mirror-like fields. While non-proofs are struck on high-speed presses by the thousands, these Black Unicorn Proofs are individually struck by highly-skilled artisans who are creating numismatic masterpieces.
Gorgeous High Relief Design and Concave Surfaces
Each piece features stunning high-relief imagery on the reverse that seemingly leaps off the frosty-proof surfaces! This image was made possible due to the painstaking process of carving the dramatic, intricate image on a plaster cast! That reverse design was created by esteemed China art designer Zhu Xihua, an artist renowned for his animal artwork. Mr. Zhu currently works for China’s Shanghai Mint.
The obverse for the silver Proofs depicts China’s famous Great Wall of China. The obverse for the gold Proof showcases China’s beautiful Hall of Prayer for Abundant Harvests in the Temple of Heaven (in Beijing).
Uncommon Mint Marks
Each silver Proof has been struck at China’s Guobao Mint in Shenzhen—THE China Mint—and includes a small “Z” mint mark at the bottom left side of the obverse. This is the same mint that strikes most of China’s uncirculated gold and silver Panda coins, along with popular series such as the Moon Festival Panda Proofs.
Each gold Proof has been struck at the Shanghai Mint. This is the mint that produces a portion of China’s annual gold and silver Panda coin series and has also been responsible for popular series such as the New Year Celebration Panda Proofs.
Struck in 99.9% Gold and Silver
These Black Unicorn Proofs are available struck in two ounces or one kilo of 99.9% fine silver, and in one ounce of 99.9% pure gold.
Perfect, with First Day of Issue Pedigrees
Collectors only want the best of the best for their collections, and so we’re offering these Black Unicorn Proofs certified by NGC as flawless Proof-70 Ultra Cameo (PF70 UC) condition. Coins and medals are graded on a 70-point scale, with a top 70 grade representing perfection, even under magnification. The Ultra Cameo (UC) designation means these proofs possess an intense frosted finish on both sides of the coin, with highly polished fields accenting the raised elements.
In addition to being flawless and Ultra Cameo, your proofs will arrive NGC-certified with a First Day of Issue (FDI) designation, which means these coins have been received for grading within the first 24 hours of release from the mint.
Lucky Low Mintages. Very Low.
Mintages for these Black Unicorn Proofs are severely limited. Just 188 One-Ounce Gold, 388 Kilo Silver, and 1,888 Two-Ounce Silver Black Unicorn Proofs were approved for production. According to Chinese folklore, the number “8” is the luckiest number and is associated with wealth, so these are “lucky” mintages. With so few proofs available, the collectors that secure one will indeed be “lucky”.
2022 Gold & Silver East/West Black Unicorn Proof 3-Pc. Set PF70 UC FDI
2022 One-Ounce Gold East/West Black Unicorn Proof PF70 UC FDI
2022 One-Kilo Silver East/West Black Unicorn Proof PF70 UC FDI
2022 Two-Ounce Silver East/West Black Unicorn Proof PF70 UC FDI
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