The eyes of the world are on South Korea in 2018 as the country hosts the Olympic Winter Games for the first time. As the world takes another look at the fascinating history and culture of this country the country's bullion medallion, the Chiwoo Cheonwang, makes its latest contribution to Korea's reintroduction of itself to the world. While many countries' bullion coins feature allegorical figures and animals, this semi-numismatic series takes collectors through a history of one of the issuing country's legendary creatures. Chiwoo Cheonwang was the mythical god of war, and he today serves as the mascot of the national soccer team. Today, the medallion series that tells his story offers collectors a unique option that is particularly appealing in an important year for South Korea.
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The Silver Chiwoo Cheonwang series was first issued in 2016 and was South Korea's first silver bullion issue. The medallion was an instant hit among collectors. The appeal is not only in the fact that the series tells a story from an ancient civilization's lore, but also because it features a unique measurement, 1 Clay, which is measured as 1 piece of 1 Troy oz. While the series has grown in popularity, this issue may be the most sought-after yet due to the fact that it coincides with the Winter Olympics in Korea.
The obverse of the Silver Chiwoo Choenwang has remained consistent throughout the series. It features a roof tile from the Silla Dynasty on which is the face of Do ggae bi. Do ggae bi is another figure from Korean mythology, one who is known for providing protection from evil spirits. The intricate design is a classic example of Korean art. The purity of the coin is inscribed at the bottom using latent image technology. Other inscriptions on this face include "1 CLAY" and "REPUBLIC OF KOREA."
On the reverse is an enemy's eye view of Chiwoo. The fierce figure is in full battle armor as he rides on horseback preparing to run his sword through his adversary. The armor covering his thighs and shoulders feature intricate designs, while horns extend from his helmet. His flailing cape illustrates that his horse is running at full stride. The name of the coin – and the figure depicted - "CHIWOO CHEONWANG" - is inscribed along the rim.