PMC WEEK: The classic Asian tale of Dragon & Phoenix is brought to life as a figure of eight

A popular motif in modern coins, the Chinese Dragon adorns everything from bullion to fancy proof coins, sometimes alone, but often interacting with another of the regions expansive mythological entities. The Phoenix is one of the more popular and striking of them all, with several issues depicting the two in dynamic poses. None have done it as well as Precious Metal Collectors, however,

The coin is simply gorgeous. Beautifully done in a figure of eight, that number having considerable respect in Asian culture for its association with luck and fortune, it has the two creatures circling the number and coming into face to face contact at the centre. Each flows with great drama around the edge of the coin, the inside of which looks like the interior ceiling of a temple, for example. High-relief is the order of the day which, combined with the detailing, gives it a fine sense of depth.

Even the obverse has a simple, but effective nod to the culture with a cleverly incorporated yin-yang symbol passing behing the side-on mugshot of Queen Elizabeth II. This isn’t one of PMC’s silver over copper ‘Bi-Metal Plus’ coins, but a traditional all-silver, three ounce strike. It will come well presented and has a mintage of 333 pieces. It’s been an interesting week looking at this distinctive and innovative producers work and this is a fine way to end it. We’ll be doing the same for European producer, MDM next week.


The Chinese dragon is a formidable creature that symbolises power, strength and fortune. In Imperial China, the Chinese dragon was exclusively used by the Emperor in his official robes, stamps and within his inner palace. As such, the dragon has long been associated not only with its auspicious connotations, but also a sense of superiority and excellence. On the other hand, the phoenix is a divine bird that symbolises virtue and grace, a positive sign of peace and harmony. Thus, the Chinese consider the pairing of the dragon and phoenix as a perfect match as they embody all things propitious.

This divine duo intertwine and meet on a figure eight, showcasing fine details of the scales and feathers on their bodies fully. The number 8 is the the most ‘lucky’ number in Chinese culture as the pronunciation of the number 八 ‘ba’ sounds similar to the words ‘发’ fa i.e. ‘发财’ fa cai, meaning ‘to prosper’. The number 8 also symbolises balance and wholeness in Taoism. To emphasise this, the octagon Ba Gua symbol used in Taoist practice is tastefully included within this piece as holes of the figure 8, complemented with deep 3D caisson details and the body of the dragon and phoenix circling around them. On the obverse, the yin and yang sign curves beautifully down the length of the collectible, a reflection of the perfect pairing of the two creatures. The obverse is complemented with the legal tender of Tokelau, the official effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 93.3 grams
DIMENSIONS 41.0 x 60.0 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes