Ostensibly the fifth in a loose ‘Chinese Myths and Legends’ series, the latest dragon design from the Perth Mint follows some very popular issues since its debut in 2017. We’ve had Dragon & Phoenix, Dragon & Tiger, Double Dragon, and Double Pixiu, but the 2021 coin eschews the twin beastie motif for a single creature, and there are some other differences as well.
Sticking with the design, we have to say, in our view at least, this latest issue is easily the best to date, supplanting the Phoenix coin. It’s a superb and highly dynamic depiction of a Chinese-style dragon holding the famous pearl. It fills the reverse face of the coin is a very fluid way. We only have the renders at present, so we don’t know how defined the background field artwork is, but if its subtle enoug, it should look terrific. The obverse is a standard effigy affair.
The other change seems to be the selection of formats. Previous, there were one ounce silver and one ounce gold bullion coins. This time, the 50,000 silver mintage is split into 45,000 of the standard brilliant uncirculate strikes, and 5,000 with a coloured dragon. Of those 5,000 coloured coins, 80% will be supplied encapsulated, with the last 1,000 pieces supplied on a themed card and available exclusively from LPM. Colour application is quite subjective, with many collectors hating it and some fine with it. Our own view depends on how well it suits the design, and this one looks excellent.
Both versions are available from today. We’ve yet to have confirmed if there will be a gold version or not, but we hope there is. Previous entrants in the series have also attracted various other numismatic versions (proof, high-relief), and there’s even been a ten ounce silver bullion variant. The 2021 release is a first-class addition to the bullion market.