An essential character who served under the warlord Liu Bei, Guan Yu played the most significant role in the establishment of Liu Bei’s rule. Many tales are told of his bravery and valor in war, one of them is the slaying of Hua Xiong (關羽温酒斬華雄) which is detailed in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. This novel tells the story of how Guan Yu volunteered to fight Hua Xiong, a famous warrior. In the story, Guan Yu is given a cup of warm wine to drink, which is supposed to help boost his morale to face this deadly foe. He declines the wine and rides out to battle, returning home victorious in time to drink the wine, which is still warm. This tale is central to the concept of bravery that is meant to be conveyed by this ancient tale. Being able to rush out to the battle without any need to boost his morale or to make himself ready for battle just demonstrates Guan Yu’s incredible confidence in his own skill. Riding atop the Red Hare (赤兔馬) as it rises on its hind legs, Guan Yu wields his Green Dragon Crescent Blade (青龙偃月刀) decapitating Hua Xiong’s head. His long and dense beard flows behind him while a fierce and commanding expression sets in his face – an instantly recognizable and distinctive stance that is often depicted in art statues and figurines of him. Collectors would appreciate the attention given to the details of the armor worn and the weapons used by both characters. It is these fine details applied with skill and precision, that make this palm-sized artifact such an invaluable and authentic piece that reflects the grandiose of Guan Yu’s story of gallantry.
On the obverse sits the stamp of the legendary Heirloom Seal of the Realm – an unparalleled sign of ultimate authority and power. The words ‘受命於天, 既壽永昌’, translating to “With the Mandate from Heaven, may the Emperor lead a long and prosperous life”, are inscribed in a magnificent shade of crimson red demanding authority and respect. First commissioned by Qin Shi Huang when he unified China and became her first emperor, the seal was carved from precious jade and used exclusively by the Emperor – although no prints of the Heirloom Seal have been found to exist yet. This fuelled its mystery as the most priceless artifact in ancient China, yet it has since disappeared as it was passed down the ruling lineage. Because it symbolized a god-given power to rule, the seal was thus an object of rivalry and contention during the period of the Three Kingdoms, as feudal lords and warlords alike fought to possess it to demonstrate their positions as deserving leaders.
A new minting technique called “Bi-Metal Plus” was applied to give this piece an impressive size and weight. At 80 mm in diameter, it is double the size of a regular 2 oz collectible, made possible by combining 11.5 oz of copper embodied within two layers of 999 fine Silver totaling 2 oz, to deliver a super ultra-high relief topped with silver antiqued finishing and a splash of blood red coloring emphasizing on the decapitation. This is a limited edition of 333 pieces only. Each piece is packaged and delivered with a Certificate verifying its edition number and authenticity.