LPM’s delve into Asia’s numismatc past with its ‘Dragon Dollar’ series of eight rounds, began last year and is about to come to a close. However, fans of the series will be pleased to see a new variant added to the mix – a kilogram of 0.999 silver. We haven’t covered this series to date, as we did, until recently, tend to stick to modern denominated coins almost exclusively.
This is certainly a series worthy of coverage. We particularly like issues that showcase coin history, such as the Narodowy Bank’s superb ‘History of Polish Coin’ range, and the Royal Dutch Mint’s Lion Dollar restrikes. This range is particularly esoteric, and covers a period when Trade Dollars were the universal coinage of commerce around much of the world. Based on the specification of the Spanish Silver Dollar (27.22 grams and 0.900 fineness), the Silver Dragon was issued in various forms by Korea, China and Japan and took on a local flavour in many instances.
The first kilo re-issue is a good case in point. Kiang-Nan province, literally ‘South of the Yangtse’, was one of China’s richest regions, and the mint located there (originally called the Nanking Mint) began striking the silver coins in the late 1890’s. They were not produced for long, just a few years, so command high prices on the collectors market. LPM’s coin is a close replica of that design and clearly evokes Imperial China with its distinctive style. It’s a great looking coin.
This new kilogram variant doesn’t change in appearance, it’s simply larger, but from the images looks beautifully struck and closer to proof than bullion (they call it ‘Premium Uncirculated’). Not meant to be a mass market bullion coin, there are only 100 of these being produced, and each will come presented in a wooden box with a Certificate of Authenticity. The serial number and composition is laser engraved on the chunky edge of the coin in two seperate locations.
I had hoped to have a coin profile to the original eight-coin series ready for today, but as usual, I underestimated the work and it will be a couple of days away, so look out for that as it will give you an idea of what should come later in kilo form.