Posted on February 09, 2018
The Korean Minting and Security Printing Corporation, or KOMSCO, has made a big splash in the precious metals market over the last year. In late 2016, KOMSCO unveiled a brand-new bullion medal representative of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) featuring the image of Chiwoo Cheonwang. That medal series has not only grown in popularity in its own right, but also raised the profile of KOMSCO among global investors and collectors. The Chiwoo Series is on just its second issue, but it already has collectors flocking to it for its rotating design elements with each new release and low mintage figures.
On the back of that achievement, KOMSCO is releasing a bold new series of silver and gold medals in the same vein as lunar-themed collections. The new Zi:Sin Series, or Twelve Guardians, is a 12-medal release from KOMSCO that borrows design and security elements from the Chiwoo collection, while offering exciting new releases with each year. The first of these medals arrived in late 2017 with the release of the Zi:Sin Gallus medal. Take a few minutes to read more about this exciting new collection and its first design.
Similar to other lunar-themed collections, the Zi:Sin Series has a total of 12 planned designs and will follow a release pattern that lunar programs use. Each year brings one new design release to the collection. The individual design releases will each feature a 1 oz silver and 1 oz gold medal in the issue, with all medalage bearing the “1 Clay” denomination that KOMSCO introduced with the Chiwoo Cheonwang Collection in 2016.
Zi:Sin stands for the Twelve Guardians, the individual commanders of god’s army instructed to protect mankind from all twelve directions stretching around north, south, east, and west. The individual commanders of god’s army rise up to defend mankind when threats emerge, and each one possess a set of mythical powers that enables them to overcome the worst evils of the world. They roam the battlefield using their own, unique powers to help guide the forces of good to victory. While the commands are often depicted in human form, each one wears a helmet and battle regalia reflective of a creature.
The status of the Twelve Guardians and positioning in the directions aligns with the 12-year cycle of the lunar calendar. As 2017 was the Year of the Rooster, Gallus is the first release. The figure of Gallus wears a tall, feathered cap and is often depicted on the directional wheel with the symbol of a rooster.
First up in the Zi:Sin Series is the 2017 1 oz South Korean Zi:Sin Gallus Silver Medal and 2017 1 oz South Korean Zi:Sin Gallus Gold Medal. The commanders of god’s army were said to possess the ability to bring up and disperse wind and rain, and even transform into different characters to ward off the demons trying to enter this world. While the Twelve Guardians possessed some similar capabilities, each one individual also had their own unique talents. Gallus was known as the messenger of light. He could summon a source of light as bright as the sun which was powerful enough to scare off the forces of darkness. He also had the ability to unleash a deafening roar, and his tall, pointed helmet gave him the power to foresee upcoming events.
On the reverse of the 2017 1 oz South Korean Zi:Sin Gallus Medals is the image of Gallus from the field of battle. He wears a robust suit of armor and his traditional feathered, pointed helmet. His battle spear is longer than the length of his body and surely capable of splicing any evildoer in half should they cross him. Engravings on this face include only “Zi:Sin Gallus” along the upper-right portion of the design field.
The obverse of all South Korean Zi:Sin Gallus Medals share a common design that will be featured throughout the 12-medal collection. Featured here is the image of Do ggae bi. Also found on the battle shield Chiwoo Cheonwang took into battle, the depiction of Do ggae bi was traditionally used in Korean folk lore to ward off evil spirits. With a grotesque appearance and humorous characteristics, Korean people would hang Do ggae bi’s image on the end of roof tiles to ward off evil spirits from their homes. A mythical being in Korean lore, Do ggae bi was referred to as either a ghost, monster, or god similar to the hobgoblin of Western cultures.
Engravings on this face of the medals include the year of issue, metal content, and purity of the medal, the nation of issue as “Republic of Korea,” and the denomination of “1 Clay.” The medals are available in silver and gold with .999 purity in both medals. The medals in the Zi:Sin Series are available in BU condition, which means the coins exhibit no indications of wear and tear from handling. However, BU products can display minor flaws ranging from breaks in the luster and spotted surfaces to contact marks.
Additionally, the medals in this series are available with the KOMSCO latent security feature on the obverse side. The security feature is found on the bottom of the obverse design field in the center. It includes a small circle with the purity of the medal as “999” and the name KOMSCO.
Highlights of the 2017 1 oz South Korean Zi:Sin Gallus Silver Medal include:
Highlights of the 2017 1 oz South Korean Zi:Sin Gallus Gold Medal include:
As alluded to earlier, the Zi:Sin Series will feature a total of 12 designs when the program is complete. In 2018, you can expect to see the release of the Zi:Sin Canis design in the series. The 2nd release features the image of Canis, a leader of the armies who would often fight from the frontlines with the troops. Canis was a spearhead for god’s army and often had the appearance of a canine, and is hence associated with the Year of the Dog on the traditional lunar calendar. Like the Gallus release, you can expect the Zi:Sin Canis medal in both silver and gold.
The Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation is a government-owned company serving as the official sovereign mint of the Republic of Korea. KOMSCO was established on October 1, 1951 during the Korean War as the official mint of South Korea. Headquartered in Daejeon, South Korea, the mint is the sole facility responsible for the striking of Korean coinage and production of paper currency. KOMSCO also handles the production of government documents, passports, civil service IDs, and other official paperwork for South Korea.
If you want to know more about products coming to the JM Bullion catalog or get a sneak peek of upcoming coin series, stay tuned to our blog each week. You can also follow us on Facebook and share your thoughts or pictures on JM Bullion products you’ve purchase. We also send out regular updates on blog posts through our Facebook feed!