The Koi Fish Jumps the Dragon Gate on the Perth Mints latest coin

Every now and then the Perth Mint likes to release a mid-month special, usually a commission for a third party, but almost always of interest. There have been some fine ones over the last year or two, especially the Chinese-inspired five ounce silver coins in various finishes that have proven pretty popular. This new release is another in the same vein.

Struck in five ounces of fine silver and with selective colouring on the reverse side, it depicts another in the wealth of stories that permeate through ancient Chinese culture, The Koi Fish jumps the Dragons Gate. The story is laid out in the Perth Mints own words lower down so we won’t repeat here, but suffice to say, it’s a story with a meaning. It’s believed the story was originally used as a metaphor for those trying to gain entry into imperial administrative service via the extremely difficult examinations required beforehand. In China, the phrase Liyu Tiao Long Men  (The carp has leaped through the dragon’s gate) is used to express the view that if a person works hard they will eventually achieve success.

The coin looks a pretty one, we’d imagine even better than the renders put out at the moment. Just the expression is inscribed on the reverse face, sitting around the edge of a good piece of art. It’s an authentic looking piece, very dynamic and filling the coin face. It isn’t one of the Perth Mints excellent high relief designs, but the plus side to that is the full diameter of a five-ouncer has been maintained, 65.6mm, a full 15mm larger than a HR coin.

A standard snapper box in a coloured shipper is expected, and the mintage is a tight 500. Aussie dealer Coins Australia is also selling a run of 50 coins with the certificate signed by the coin designer Ing Ing Jong. That sells for $535.00, around $35 more than the unsigned coin. Available to buy now.




The Koi Fish Jumps the Dragon Gate coin is struck by The Perth Mint from 5oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality. The coin is issued as legal tender under the authority of the Government of Tuvalu.

The legend of the koi fish jumping the dragon gate is a popular and inspiring myth in Chinese culture.

The story tells of an enormous school of golden koi which swam upstream in the Yellow River in China. Gaining strength by fighting against the current, the fish glimmered as they navigated through the water. When they reached a waterfall at the end of the river, many of the koi turned back, letting the flow of the river carry them away. The remaining koi refused to give up. Leaping from the depths of the river, they attempted to reach the top of the waterfall, but to no avail. Their efforts caught the attention of local demons, which mocked their attempts and raised the height of the waterfall out of malice.

After a hundred years of jumping, one koi finally reached the top of the waterfall. The gods recognised the koi for its perseverance and determination and turned it into a golden dragon, the image of power and strength.

The reverse of the coin features a koi fish and a dragon in colour. The koi fish is jumping through the waves of the river over the dragon gate, and a dragon is wrapped around the roof of the gate. The design includes the inscription THE KOI FISH JUMPS THE DRAGON GATE.

The coin’s obverse depicts the Ian Rank- Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2016 year-date, and the monetary denomination.




$5 TUVALU 0.999 SILVER 155.673 g 65.6 mm PROOF 500 YES / YES