South Korean Gold Medallions from JM Bullion
When buying gold online, there’s always something new you’ll find to purchase as an investment or collectible item. Coins such as those from the United States Mint, Royal Canadian Mint, or Perth Mint are immensely popular, and precious metal bars are refined by brands around the world such as PAMP Suisse. KOMSCO is the official minting operation of South Korea, and is responsible for striking coins and producing paper currency.
KOMSCO now has a selection of new silver and gold bullion coins available for sale. Among them are the Chiwoo Cheonwang Series and a new 12-design release honor the Twelve Guardians. Below you’ll find all the information you need to make a decision on buying South Korean gold coins from JM Bullion.
The Chiwoo Cheonwang Gold Coins
The design features of that original release depict the fearsome God of War standing on the ground bearing his traditional shield, wearing his feared mask, and brandishing a long spear in his right arm. On the face of his shield you’ll notice a depiction of the mask that traditionally covers his face.
Chiwoo Cheonwang’s myth stems from a period of Asian culture that is known as the period of 3 Sovereigns and Five Emperors. Stemming originally from Chinese culture, Chiwoo is said to have led tribes outside the sovereignty of the Yellow Emperor into battle against the Emperor and his people.
Flip the gold medal over and you’ll find a close-up, detailed depiction of Chiwoo Cheonwang’s shield. The image is surrounded by identifying engravings that include the year of issue, metal type, purity, nation of issue (Republic of Korea).
Meet Chiwoo Cheonwang
Korean lore talks of Chiwoo Cheonwang as the God of War. He is a fearsome deity who wears a demon-like mask, possess the ability to cast magical spells, and carries a large shield around with him and wears a mask engraved on the front. It is also said that Chiwoo Cheonwang has the power to control the weather. In the modern era, South Koreans know him as the Red Devil, or mascot of the national soccer team for South Korea. Fans of the team will wear a mock of his mask as a sign of support for the squad.
Designs in the Chiwoo Cheonwang Gold Series
KOMSCO has adopted a design approach for the Chiwoo Cheonwang Series that is common in collections such as the Somalia Elephant Series from the Bavarian State Mint and the Chinese Panda collection from the Chinese Mint. Each year, KOMSCO releases its silver and gold Chiwoo Cheonwang medals with a new design on the reverse side. The designs are progressive in nature, following the God of War through an entire battle from preparation to conclusion. To date, the series has featured the following designs:
- 2016: In the debut release, we meet Chiwoo Cheonwang for the first time. The leader of one of the most powerful armies in Ancient China, Chiwoo is depicted as he stands in a field with his full battle armor on. Wielding a long spear in one hand and his shield in the other, Chiwoo needs only his horse and he is ready to ride into battle.
- 2017: His full armor on, Chiwoo is now ready to ride into battle at the head of his armies in the 2017 design. This year’s release depicts Chiwoo up on horseback as his mount rears back on its hind legs. He clutches the same long spear in one hand and his battle shield in the other.
- 2018: The heat of battle is on and Chiwoo is ready for yet another victory. The 2018 design shows Chiwoo riding fearlessly into battle. Gone is his long spear, no doubt left in a poor soul who’s already met their end on the field of battle. Chiwoo rides with a fearsome look on his face as he levels his sword and searches for a new victim in the quest for victory.
- 2019: In the fourth design in the series, Chiwoo’s latest battle is over and the time has come to survey the field. Chiwoo is depicted in this design on a rocky plateau. He has removed his helmet, offering the best glimpse to date of the mortal man behind the legendary successes on the battlefield. His right hand rests atop the shield at his side while his left hand clutches onto the handle of his battle sword, a weapon which stands nearly as Chiwoo himself.
- 2020: For the landmark fifth release of the series, Chiwoo has emerged victorious in his first battle depicted in the series, but a whole new challenge lies ahead. Fresh off that victory, Chiwoo is back within his empire and wearing his full armor once again as he faces off with the emerging Hell’s Gate. The large gate in the background has emerged from beneath his empire and represents the crossing point between the immortal world and the mortal. With a warning from Rattus that evil is on the rise, Chiwoo must gather his forces and summon the assistance of the 12 Guardians to defend the mortal world.
Introduction of Fractional Gold Chiwoo Cheonwang Medals
Along with a new design from KOMSCO on the Chiwoo Cheonwang medals in 2017, the series expanded to include the introduction of fractional-weight Chiwoo Cheonwang Gold Medals. Available only in a 1/10 oz weight, the medals were shipped packaged inside of an Assay Certificate from KOMSCO that featured the weight, purity, and diameter of each individual coin on the back.
KOMSCO took a unique approach to the packaging of the 1/10 oz medals. There was a total mintage of just 25,000 1/10 oz Chiwoo Cheonwang Gold Medals. The medals were offered inside of four different, colorized Assay Card packages. The mint broke down the mintage across these colors in different ways. Of the 25,000 gold medals struck:
- 70% of the 1/10 oz Chiwoo Cheonwang Gold Medals were packaged in White Label Assay Cards
- 10% were packaged in Blue Label Assay Cards
- 10% were packaged in Red Label Assay Cards
- 10% were packaged in Black Label Assay Cards
The New Zi:Sin Series
The latest series of gold products released from KOMSCO comes in the Zi:Sin Series. These gold coins are part of a planned 12-design release that features new designs on the reverse with each of the coins issued. Known as the Twelve Guardians, the figures depicted on the reverse side of each new Zi:Sin gold coins represent the commanders of god’s army when it takes to the battlefield against the forces of evil.
Although each of the individuals featured is shown in the human form, they wear battle arm and regalia depicting mythical creatures. The images cover the figures from head to toe, and each one carries their own weapons on the sacred battlefield.
For the first release of the Zi:Sin Series you’ll find Gallus on the reverse. The 2017 1 oz South Korean Zi:Sin Gallus Gold Medal depicts the figure of Gallus. He is known as a messenger of light who can blind and frighten the enemies of god in a war, while also unleashing a powerful roar that deafens and further chases enemies from the battlefields. Gallus is also shown wearing a pointed helmet that gives him the power to gaze into the future and predict outcomes. Subsequent releases already available in the Zi:Sin Series of gold coins from KOMSCO include:
- Canis Gold Medal: Canis is the second design in the Zi:Sin Series and yet another of the leaders in God’s armies. Canis was released during the lunar Year of the Dog and has unique skills and characteristics reflective of a canine in many respects. Alert at all times, Canis never leaves God’s side as he waits to offer his protection against any enemy 24/7. He is one of God’s most reliable and loyal leaders, and he is often found at the frontline of any battle leading his warriors in attack. The reverse design of Canis depicts a man in battle armor that features fur, the head of a dog over his helmet, and long claws.
- Scrofa Gold Medal: Coinciding with the lunar Year of the Pig, the Scrofa release in the Zi:Sin Series features the first female figure among the 12 Guardians. Scrofa possesses very specific powers and has a very defined role within God’s armies. Known as Justice Haechi, she is the sworn protector of the sacred Salt Lake. It is here that the mortal world is connected to the immortal world. Here she stands guard watching for evil to arise. Scrofa can use her five senses to detect evil forces from far away and even has the ability to duplicate herself during battle to confuse and defeat her enemies.
- Rattus Gold Medal: Reflective of the Year of the Mouse, the Rattus release in the Zi:Sin Series offers a good pairing with the 2020 Chiwoo. Rattus is Queen of the Underworld and possesses an ability to see danger on the horizon. Her place of residence is a cave beneath the empire of Chiwoo. In the design of the 2020 Rattus Medal, she is shown in a seated position wearing a celestial robe with a dagger in her left hand and her right hand seeming to support the moon as it rises into the night sky in the background.
The Zi:Sin Series shares a common obverse design of Chiwoo Cheonwang’s battle shield. The image on the shield is that of Do ggae bi, a unique mythical figure known as a ghost, monster, or god to Korean people. His grotesque appearance is similar to that of the hob-goblin in Western cultures and was once hung at the ends of roof tiles to ward off evil spirts from entering the home. Other commonalities of the series include:
- Shipment in protective capsules or sealed rolls of 20!
- Limited mintages of 1,200 medals!
- Contains 1 Troy oz of .999 pure gold in BU condition.
With 12 designs planned to represent each of the Twelve Guardians, KOMSCO has big plans for this series. The next planned release is that of Canis, a guider with intense loyalty and responsibility. Canis stands at the front of the army in battle leading the line in for god’s army.
New Obverse Design in 2020
For the gold medals from the Chiwoo Cheonwang and Zi:Sin Series, in particular, KOMSCO has a new obverse design element for the collection. The shield of Chiwoo Cheonwang remains the primary design element on the obverse of these and other KOMSCO gold medals, but the image of Do ggae bi that features here has changed. This new visual of Do ggae bi shows the beast with a smile on his face and enhanced visuals on other facial features. These include more prominent teeth, larger eyebrows, and flared nostrils. Horns have also been added to the head of Do ggae bi.
Other South Korean Gold
KOMSCO is one of many mints around the globe beginning to expand its offerings of low-mintage bullion for investors as the demand for precious metals rises. Two new collections made a debut in 2020 in the form of the South Korean Gold Phoenix and the South Korean Gold Crown. These collections have distinctive obverse and reverse designs, and do not share the Do ggae bi image used on other collections from the mint. Neither coin has a mintage cap on the release, with each one offering .999 pure gold in Brilliant Uncirculated condition. The details of these exciting new releases include:
- South Korean Gold Phoenix: The new Gold Phoenix medal represents not just one of the most important mythical creatures in Korean cultural history, but also one that is still prominent in national symbolism. The obverse of the coins shows a beautiful, ornately feathered phoenix in flight with its wings wide and long tail feathers swooping beneath its figure. The obverse features a new security element in the lower left that is physically engraved onto the coin and changes visuals based on the angle of viewing to show the Korean-alphabet words for “phoenix.” The reverse shows two phoenixes in side-profile relief in a nod to the current Presidential Seal for the Republic of Korea.
- South Korean Gold Crown: With the release of the South Korean Gold Crown, the leaders of ancient Korea come into view with an image of the Cheonmachong gold crown on the obverse side of the medal. This crown was one of many worn by the leaders of the Silla kingdom, a Korean empire that dates to between the 5th and 7th centuries CE. Labeled National Treasure 188, the Cheonmachong gold crown was discovered in the Heavenly Horse Tomb in 1973. The reverse face of the Gold Crown medals includes a depiction of a mythical bird known as Sam-jok-o. The golden crow of that name is three-legged and said to be the sun god in Korean mythology.
What Does “Clay” Mean?
KOMSCO introduced the use of Clay for the first time with the Chiwoo Cheonwang Series. The use of 1 Clay refers to a concept of measurement meant to relate a certain amount of land. The mint describes it as “soil, earth, dirt, ground, or land.” The Chiwoo Cheonwang medals and Zi:Sin Series have no legal tender denomination attached, but the 1 Clay relates a value of 1 Troy oz of silver to a certain amount of land instead.
Background on KOMSCO
KOMSCO was founded through full investment from the National Treasure of South Korea under a special law enacted in 1951. Today, the mint is the sole currency manufacturer for the Republic of Korea, and it operates under the direct control of the government in Seoul. The primary function of KOMSCO is to manufacture banknotes, coins, national bonds, and various other securities issued by the government of South Korea. Additional services included the manufacture of currency safety bonds issued by the Bank of Korea, postage stamps, special government certificates, and any other special printed items for the government.
The mint operates a highly sophisticated facility in Daejeon, South Korea, where it places high priority on research and development, as well as innovation and evolution in security technology. The Gold Chiwoo Cheonwang medal is just one of the many brilliant products manufactured by KOMSCO on an annual basis.
Purchasing South Korean Gold Coins from JM Bullion
JM Bullion customer service is available to assist you with any questions on the phone at 800-276-6508. You can also reach out to us live online through our chat service or simply send us an email with your inquiries. If you have questions about Payment Methods, we encourage you to read our relevant FAQ and then contact us with any remaining questions.