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600 years ago, the Forbidden City in Beijing, China was finally completed. The largest imperial palace in the world, the city spans more than 170 acres of land and consists of 980 buildings. Construction took 14 years (1406 – 1420) and an estimated one million laborers, but what they built had stood the test of time. For nearly 500 years, from the days of the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty, the Forbidden City served as the state residence of the Emperor of China, as well as the ceremonial and political center for all of China.
Located within the Forbidden City is a massive screen wall, measuring 96.5 feet in length and 11.5 feet in height. Constructed in 1773, this wall was made during a massive renovation that created the retirement villa for Emperor Qianlong (1735 – 1796), and served as a privacy barrier blocking the view from the Gate of Imperial Supremacy into the Palace of Tranquil Longevity. It also served as a spiritual barrier; it is said in Chinese mythology that evil spirits can only travel in straight lines, and so many traditional homes include a decorative wall that stands between an entrance and the rest of the home.
Decorating this wall are several fierce dragons. Symbols of power as well as luck and longevity, the dragons added additional protection for the retired emperor. That symbolism extended to the number of dragons as well. The number nine was traditionally associated with the emperor, as the word for “nine” sounds like the word Jiu, which means “long-lasting” and “eternity.”
Using nine dragons also means that one dragon would be in the center, representing the emperor himself. This dragon is the fifth from either direction, an example of the symmetry used in Chinese design to represent the order and peace sought out in Chinese culture.
It is from this Nine Dragon Wall that the first-ever High Relief Silver Kilo Cube takes its inspiration.
Minted in a full kilogram of 99.9% fine silver, this cube from China’s New Century Mint displays all nine dragons as they appear on the famous Nine Dragon Wall in the Forbidden City. On four sides of the cube we find a pair of dragons as presented on the wall. The great Emperor’s Dragon, which takes the center of the wall and is the only dragon to face forward, is given its own side of the cube, and is the only dragon to be presented in full color.
The final design is a special 600th anniversary commemorative design honoring the Forbidden City. This design comes courtesy of famed China coin designer Mr. Song Fei, who has created a number of celebrated designs including the 2017 Bi-Metal Panda and the 2019 Unicorn Vault Protector Proof. His talent for creating designs of cultural significance and beauty made him the perfect choice for creating this design celebrating the 600th anniversary of the Forbidden City.
A release of this magnitude deserves only the best packaging. That’s why each cube will arrive with a specially-designed presentation case that will allow for optimal viewing, a white-glove for handling the commemorative outside of its case, as well as a storybook that will help you share the story of the Forbidden City, the Nine Dragon Wall, and the creation of this numismatic marvel.
In addition, each cube will arrive with a mint certificate and a letter hand-signed by Mr. Song Fei, designer of the new Forbidden City 600th anniversary reverse.
Only 600 of these 2020 Kilo Silver Forbidden City 600th Anniversary Commemorative High Relief Cubes have been authorized for production. Given the overwhelming success of the 2019 Kilo Silver Panda 150th Anniversary Commemorative Cube, this latest cube-shaped commemorative is expected to be an instant success.
This is the first time a numismatic cube collectible struck in China was produced with High Relief imagery. It is also the first of its kind to pay homage to the Forbidden City. There’s no telling how quickly these limited-edition cubes will sell out. Secure yours now before it’s too late!
2020 China Kilo Silver 600th Anniversary of the Forbidden City Commemorative High Relief Cube
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