UNESCO World Heritage Site and
G20 Seoul Summit Commemorated on Korean Coins
The first coin in a new series commemorating Korean UNESCO World Heritage Sites, features the Jongmyo Shrine. Upon founding ancient Korea’s Joseon Dynasty in 1392, one of King Taejo’s first matters of business was designating Seoul (then known as Hanyang) as his new capital. But even before his main palace was built, Taejo began construction on the royal ancestral shrine of the Joseon Dynasty (Jongmyo).
In keeping with the tenets of Confucianism, the spirit tablets of ancient Korea’s kings and queens are enshrined and memorial rites are performed there. Jongmyo is the world’s oldest and best-preserved royal Confucian sanctuary, and Korea is the only country to have preserved its shrine and ancestral rites. It is primarily these reasons why Jongmyo Shrine was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995.
Fifty thousand proof 30,000 Won coins were issued in 2010, each containing 19 gm. of .999 fine silver. Jeongjeon, the main hall of the Jongmyo Shrine, is shown on the obverse, while the reverse features a scene of Royal Ancestral Ritual in the shrine.
The G20 was established in 1999, in the wake of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, to bring together major advanced and emerging economies in order to stabilize the global financial market. Since its inception, the G20 has held annual Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors' Meetings. The 2010 G20 Summit was held in Seoul, Korea from November 11 – 12, and is commemorated on an issue of 50,000 proof 30,000 Won coins, each containing 19 gm. of .999 fine silver.
The obverse shows Gwanghwamun (the main gate of Seoul's Gyeongbokgung Palace), which was restored shortly before the Summit was held, and the names of all G20 member countries. The reverse depicts a chung-sa-cho-rong (a traditional Korean lantern with a red and blue silk shade), the symbol of the G20 Seoul Summit, using a multi-color technique at the center, and "Shared Growth Beyond Crisis," the official slogan of the Summit, is inscribed at the top.