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    South Korean Silver Coins

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    2017 1 oz South Korean Zi:Sin Gallus Silver Medal
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    2020 1 oz South Korean Silver Taekwondo
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    2020 1 oz South Korean Silver Phoenix
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    2020 1 oz South Korean Silver Chiwoo Cheonwang (BU)
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    2020 1 oz South Korean Tiger Silver Medal
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    2019 1 oz South Korean Tiger Silver Medal (BU)
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    Silver Bullion Medallions from KOMSCO

    Until 2016, many investors and collectors in North America were unfamiliar with the official sovereign mint of the Republic of Korea, better known as South Korea. KOMSCO, or the Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation, was founded in October 1951 to provide secure and stable currency production and control for the nation of South Korea. Following the 2016 release of the Chiwoo Cheonwang Series, KOMSCO leaped onto the map globally as a new powerhouse in precious metals product. Learn about these exciting range of South Korean silver bullion medallions below!

    Chiwoo Cheonwang Series

    The South Korean Chiwoo Cheonwang Series of gold and silver medallions from KOMSCO put the South Korean minting facility at the forefront of investor minds during one of the hottest sales years for many bullion programs around the world. 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 2018 went as follows:

    • 2016 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – For the fifth design of the series, we find that Chiwoo has earned little rest after his victory captured through the first four designs. A new threat emerges from beneath his empire as the Hell Gate appears. With the gate bulging open and held shut only by chains, Chiwoo has once again donned his full armor to lead his forces against whatever evil awaits.

    The 2020 release of the Chiwoo Cheonwang Series brought with it a new design element present on the obverse. All South Korean silver coins using the Chiwoo shield with the face of Do ggae bi received a new depiction of the hobgoblin-like figure for the 2020 date mark. This new visual element offers enhanced prominence for the eyebrows and nostrils of Do ggae bi on that shield, as well as the addition of horns and a new “smile” on the face of Do ggae bi. This image is based on artwork depicting Do ggae bi held in the Gyeongju National Museum of the Republic of Korea.

    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 silver in 2016 and 2017, but as of 2018, a 10 oz silver bullion option has been introduced as well.

    Zi:Sin Series

    The second major silver bullion series from KOMSCO is the Zi:Sin Series. Similar to the many Chinese lunar-themed collections available in the market, the Zi:Sin Series is a 12-medallion release that focuses on a new figure each year. However, this collection focuses on the mythical warriors that lead god’s armies into battle when the forces of evil threaten the peace and harmony of mankind. The collection debuted in 2017 with the Gallus design, with details of the first three releases through 2018 including:

    • 2017 Gallus: The warrior Gallus is one of god’s 12 Guardians and he has the power of foresight, granted by the large helmet he wears on his head. Most importantly though, he has the ability to unleash a blinding light to distract enemy forces and deter evil from appearing.
    • 2018 Canis: The leader and spearhead of god’s armies, Canis can always be found at the head of the army as it marches into battle against evil forces. Like a dog, Canis is loyal to god and never fails to remain by his master’s side.
    • 2019 Scrofa. The Scrofa warrior is a female fighter who appears third in the series. Highly intelligent and sociable, she has all the perfect abilities to lead the forces of god into battle against evil.
    • 2020 Rattus: In the fourth release of KOMSCO’s answer to lunar-themed collections, the Zi:Sin Series features Rattus. A playful twist on the Year of the Mouse, Rattus is the guardian responsible for the underworld. She is depicted with hair braided up like mouse ears above her head. Wearing a celestial robe, she reaches out her right hand and appears to hold the Moon in her hand.

    Additional Zi:Sin Series Options

    KOMSCO has responded to the growing popularity of the Zi:Sin Series of silver coins for sale by producing variations in the collection. This movement began with the 2019 introduction of the Scrofa designs in the series. Examples of additional Zi:Sin Series bullion medals include the following:

    • 2019 Scrofa Ghost: Each of the members of the 12 Guardians group of warriors in God’s armies has their own special talents and abilities. Among the most powerful talents of Scrofa was her ability to duplicate her figure in battle to confuse enemies. This resulted in KOMSCO’s release of the low-mintage 2019 Scrofa Ghost Silver Medal. With just 10,000 medals issued, the Scrofa Ghost featured Scrofa by the Salt Lake with her “ghost” apparition behind her.
    • 2019 Scrofa Eclipse: The Scrofa Eclipse Silver Medal delivered a distinctive design that includes KOMSCO’s exclusive latent imaging technology on the entire design field where Scrofa features. This visible image-changing technology reveals different visuals as you change the angle of viewing. Scrofa features prominently, but as you change the angle of viewing you’ll find that Scrofa’s primary figure is eclipsed in darkness as the Ghost figure appears behind her. The mintage of this release is limited to 1,000 medals only.
    • Scrofa Gold and Rhodium Plated: In yet another stunning release from KOMSCO, the Zi:Sin Scrofa collection grew further with a silver medal plated with gold and rhodium. The obverse image of Do ggae bi on Chiwoo Cheonwang’s battle shield features a rhodium plating in this release, with Scrofa’s figure depicted with a plating of beautiful gold on the reverse side. Only 500 silver medals are available.
    • Scrofa 3 Medal Set: Perhaps the most beautiful collective release of the series, the 3-medal set offers .999 pure silver medals with different metal plating. One silver medal has a gold plating on the image of Scrofa on the reverse, while another has a rhodium plating on her figure. The third silver medal has a full gold plating on the background field with a rhodium plating on Scrofa’s figure. Just 333 sets are available.

    Proof Zi:Sin Silver Medals are also available in the series. Each one is limited in mintage to 1,000 medals and comes with truly beautiful presentation packaging. The individual medal designs are all the same and come with frosted design elements overlaying mirrored background fields. The medals all come with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity from KOMSCO and arrive with presentation packaging.

    The boxes in this series that house the coins reflect the appearance from the obverse of the coin. This design includes Do ggae bi’s image on the battle shield of Chiwoo Cheonwang. The coin is encapsulated inside and is revealed when you open the case down the center to reveal the silver medal within.

    South Korean Silver Tiger Medallions

    The South Korean Tiger Medals debuted from KOMSCO in 2016 alongside the coveted Chiwoo Cheonwang collection, however, the Tiger Medals were initially only available as gold bullion products. It wasn’t until 2018 that KOMSCO introduced a South Korean Silver Tiger Medal option for investors.

    The common reverse design in the series features a unique, stylized reverse that depicts the Korean peninsula using traditional Korean language characters to form the shape of the peninsula. As a unifying symbol, there is no demarcation between North and South Korea in the map’s design, only the image of the entire peninsula.

    As with other programs, KOMSCO offers differing designs on its Silver Tiger Medals. The 2018 debut of the silver bullion Tiger Medals included a 1 oz silver medal and a 10 oz silver medal, each with its own unique design, and the second release in 2019 also delivered a new design for the 1 oz option. Available designs include:

    • 2018 1 oz Silver Tiger Medal: The debut issue used the same design found on the Gold Tiger Medals from KOMSCO. A solitary tiger silently stocks its prey through the bamboo foliage.
    • 2018 10 oz Silver Tiger Medal: In a twist, the 10 oz version of the Silver Tiger Medal features the world’s largest predatory cat as it kneels down next to a body of water to drink.
    • 2019 1 oz Silver Tiger Medal: The second release in the Silver Tiger Medal series offers a more aggressive depiction of the beast. Here, the cat’s claws scratch through the visual field leaving slashes behind the expose the fierce beast’s face as it growls and exposes its deadly teeth.
    • 2020 1 oz Silver Tiger Medal: In a first for the series, the third design in the South Korean Tiger Series captures a more docile, non-threatening image of the world’s largest predatory cat. Here, the tiger is featured as a cub. The large depiction of the tiger cub captures the cuddly creature lounging across the top of one of Seoul’s top tourist attractions: the gate of the Gyeongbokgung Palace. Also included in the design element is the Namsan Tower, a radio and telecommunications tower atop the highest peak in Seoul.

    The 2018 Silver Tiger Medals debuted with a total mintage of 30,000 medals available in individual protective capsules, rolls of 18, or boxes of 90 medals. The 2019 Silver Tiger Medal features a lower mintage of 20,000 medals total with products shipping inside of protective plastic flips, tubes of 25 medals, or a Monster Box of 250 medals (10 tubes in all). The 2018 10 oz Silver Tiger had a mintage of just 2,000 medals and featured a presentation box with Certificate of Authenticity included.

    Packaging of South Korean Silver Medallions

    KOMSCO issues its silver bullion medallions with individual and bulk purchase options. For both the Chiwoo Cheonwang Series and the Zi:Sin Series of silver for sale, KOMSCO offers the medallions with either individual protective plastic, mint tubes of 25, or sealed boxes of 250 medallions that includes a total of 10 tubes per box. The Tiger Medallions have a different packaging setup. Individual 2018 Tiger Medallions ship in protective capsules, while multiples of 18 are housed in rolls and boxes are available with a total of 90 medallions.

    Certified South Korean Silver Bullion

    Both the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and the Professional Coin Grading Service have certified a variety of South Korean silver bullion products from these lineups. The South Korean Chiwoo Cheonwang and Zi:Sin collections both feature low-mintage proof options which have been certified as well. Examples of certifications include:

    • Mint State 70: Identifies a bullion coin as perfect, with full, original mint luster and no detracting flaws.
    • Mint State 69: Denotes a near-perfect bullion coin with full, original mint luster and a maximum of two minor detracting flaws.
    • PF/PR70: This certification is reserved for proof coins and symbolizes the same condition as an MS70 coin.
    • PF/PR69: Also reserved for proof coins, this symbolizes the same condition as an MS69 coin.

    About KOMSCO

    Known officially as the Korea Printing and Security Printing Corporation, KOMSCO is the government-owned corporation responsible for the production of paper banknotes, circulation and bullion coins, stamps, passports, and other government documents for the Republic of Korea. The mint was founded on October 1, 1951, during the Korean War as a means of providing the South Korean government with secure, stable printing and coining services. Now headquartered in Daejeon, the mint opened a technologically advanced facility in Gyeongsan in 1975 and it produces currency and other products for some 40 other nations.

    2020 South Korean Phoenix

    Introduced in 2020, the new South Korean Silver Phoenix bullion medal captures two different depictions of an animal with a rich history in Korean culture. Referred to in Korean as the “bonghwang,” the Phoenix was first referenced in Korean written texts I the 14th century. It has long been used by various Asian cultures, including those of China and Japan, as a symbol for the monarchy or emperor. Considered a noble creature, the Phoenix is said to have the ability to regenerate itself after living a long life. The bird is famously said to burst into flames and burn to complete ashes, before a young Phoenix rises from the ashes of its ancestor.

    Featuring 1 Troy oz of .999 pure silver in Brilliant Uncirculated condition, the new South Korean Phoenix series features two designs of the bird that are distinctly different. These include:

    • Obverse: The obverse features a beautiful, artistic rendition of the bird in flight. Its long plumage drapes all around the bird as it flaps its wings and reaches out with its talons as if preparing to land on a perch. This side of the coin has a latent security image that is, for the first time in KOMSCO’s history, engraved onto the coin. As you adjust the viewing angle of the coin, you will see either the Korean language symbol for “bong” or “hwang” inside of this security image.
    • Reverse: On the reverse of the medal is an image of the Phoenix that is based on the Seal of the President of South Korea. There are two Phoenix heads in side-profile relief flanking the Taeguk at the center. Above, there is another Phoenix head in left-profile relief. The Phoenix has been a part of the Seal of the President of South Korea since 1967.

    South Korean Taekwondo Series

    Debuting in 2019, the South Korean Taekwondo Series offers new designs on the reverse field each year depicting the national sport: taekwondo. The history of taekwondo in Korea is relatively new when compared to other forms of martial arts practiced throughout the Asian continent and Southeast Asia. Taekwondo was formulated by martial artists of other backgrounds that came back to Korea following the defeat of the Japanese during World War II.

    Indigenous forms of martial arts practiced on the peninsula, including Taekkyon, Subak, and Gwonbeop, were banned during the Japanese Occupation from 1910 to 1945. Returning Korean martial artists with backgrounds in Japanese and Chinese forms of martial arts, predominantly karate, established kwans. These kwans, or schools, were the birthplace of taekwondo. Karate and the aforementioned indigenous Korean forms of martial arts were combined to create a new form of martial arts emphasizing fast movement in kicking and punching techniques, with head-height kicks and jumping, spinning kicks included.

    The reverse of the South Korean Taekwondo Series bullion medals have featured the following designs through 2020:

    • 2019: In the debut design, a stylized figure delivers a spinning, head-height kick with swooshing design elements captured trailing his foot through the air. The field includes a footprint in the lower-right field with inscriptions of “Taekwondo” and the weight, metal content, and purity.
    • 2020: The second release of the series focuses on the importance of powerful punches in taekwondo. While much of the martial art focuses on the use of various kicks in rapid succession, powerful punches interspersed into an attack are important in keeping an opponent off guard. The dramatic design of the 2020 silver medal gives the impression of the fist in this punching motion coming right toward the viewer’s face.

    Buying South Korean Silver from JM Bullion

    We encourage those silver buyers interested in silver bullion from KOMSCO and the Republic of Korea to reach out to JM Bullion at 800-276-6508. You can connect with us on the web as well using our live chat feature or email address.