Perth Mints latest silver bullion coin is the beautiful Dragon & Tiger and there’s a high-relief version

For better or worse, and opinions do vary, the Perth Mint has heavily increased its choice of silver bullion coins over the last year. We’re of the opinion that it’s a great thing and a wide choice is important. Perth has certainly provided that. Apart from the usual iconic ranges that have served them well for many years like the Koal, Kookaburra and Lunar series, the mint has added such fine designs as the Swan, Emu, Bird of Paradise, the Rectangular Dragon, and even the Marvel Comics series.

Coming last year was an unusual new one-ounce silver bullion coin called Dragon & Phoenix. Steeply based in Chinese symbolic culture, it was a depiction of the two mythological creatures chasing a centrally placed flaming pearl. An attractive coin, it has spawned a sequel for 2018 that closely follows the design style set in place by its 2017 predecessor. Called Dragon & Tiger, the difference is quite apparent in the coins title. In place of the elegant Phoenix is placed a powerful looking tiger also chasing that same flaming pearl. The dragon is fundamentally the same, although it appears there have been some needed improvements to the face of the beast. It now looks more than capable of facing down the aggressive tiger on the coin.

The obverse, as you would expect of an Australian coin, carries an effigy (by Ian Rank Broadley still, although next years may move to a variant of the new Jody Clark portrait) of Queen Elizabeth II. It’s a basic affair, as they always are on Perth Mint bullion coins. The mintage remains at 50,000 pieces – a number that seems to a benchmark for limited run, one-ounce silver bullion coins from the major mints. The coin will be available to buy from today and is being distributed by Hong-Kong based dealer, LPM.

Also on offer for the higher-end proof coin collector is a beautiful two-ounce high relief version of the same design. We’ve always been huge fans of the Perth Mints high-relief variants of their bullion designs and this one is no exception. Limited to 1,500 pieces, this coin is packaged in a box with with a certificate of authenticity, both items obviously missing from the vanilla bullion coin. Whatever version you choose, it looks like you’ll be getting a fine coin and the bullion version is one of the best of 2018 so far.



In Chinese culture, the dragon is revered as a divine mythical creature embodying power, wealth and good fortune. Dragons are frequently depicted in pursuit of the flaming pearl, a metaphor for wisdom and enlightenment, which is often represented swirling through mist, smoke and shadows.

Like the dragon, the tiger is considered a lucky animal and has been held in awe for centuries. The pattern on the forehead of a tiger is very similar to the Chinese character for “king” hence it has become a symbol of bravery and power. In feng shui, the dragon and the tiger are considered perfect matches for one another. According to the traditional Chinese philosophical account of natural balance and interdependence, the tiger is ‘yin’, or female energy, and the dragon is ‘yang’ (male).

REVERSE: The coin’s reverse depicts exquisitely detailed representations of a dragon, a tiger and a flaming pearl, with a stylised representation of clouds in the background. The design includes The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark.

OBVERSE: The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the monetary denomination, and the 2018 year-date are shown on the coin’s obverse.

DENOMINATION $1 Australia $2 Australia
COMPOSITION 0.9999 silver 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 31.107 grams 62.213 grams
DIMENSIONS 40.6 mm 40.5 mm
FINISH Bullion Proof
MODIFICATIONS None High-relief
MINTAGE 50,000 1,500
BOX / COA No / No Yes / Yes