PMC WEEK: Big cats from nature and from Ancient Chinese legend adorn a trio of Precious Metal Collectors latest

Day four of PMC Week brings forth the moggies of doom – Lions and Tigers – in their various natural and mythical forms. A perennial favourite of the modern coin world, the big cats appear on a regular basis, encompassing everything from bullion to the very high-end, and across multiple nations (there are three here). It will certainly intensify in the following months, as next year is the Asian Year of the Tiger.

The first of the three coins we’re taking a quick look at here is a lunar, and our favourite of the trio. The lunar market does attract more than its fair share of gimmickry, so it’s a pleasure to see something so unencumbered, and on point as this one. Part of PMC’s ’96 Lunar’ series, there’s an elegant simplicity to this series, with just a natural animal portrait and the Yin-Yang inspired number ’96’. They’re beautifully presented, have a very cool five-gram silver Certificate of Authenticity, and a mintage of just 96 pieces.

The second coin is another lunar-inspired effort, and apparently refers to the more complex 60-cycle lunar system that PMC have described below in more detail. The end result is that people born in 2022 are sometimes known as ‘Tiger in the Forest’, and that’s exactly what we get here. An attractive rendering of the tiger appearing from the undergrowth is the main attraction, and there’s a red highlighted seal and a border patter. The obverse continues the theme with a tiger-print background.

Lastly, we have the most ambitious of the three, struck using the producers Bi-Metal Plus technique of silver over copper. An impressive strike, although with a design I find a little awkward (probably the animal anatomy, as the foliage and background look great), it carries the unusual depiction of an African Lion fighting a Pixiu. done in an almost Asian-watercolour style, brought into relief. Another 80 mm diameter piece, it will look impressive on display. All are available now.

2022 96 TIGER


As the third animal in the Chinese zodiac cycle, those born in the Year of the Tiger are believed to be brave, confident and passionate individuals. The largest of the cat species, tigers are majestic creatures with fierce and authoritative characteristics. It is thus said that if one is born in the Year of the Tiger, they are natural leaders and lead with energy and confidence. This spirit makes them charming and well-liked by others, gaining many friends with their inspiring and optimistic disposition.

The matching of the numbers 9 and 6 together forms the Yin Yang symbol – 9 representing the strength of the Yang, and 6 representing the gentleness of the Yin. Yin and Yang, male and female, strong and weak, good and evil – this coming together of the two completes a harmonious union of all energy, the interplay of opposite principles constituting the universe. It symbolizes the balance of life and is believed to breed wisdom and positivity. The 2 digits are believed to generate and attract positive energy, invoking good thoughts, upright actions from one’s self, and cultivating worldly perception.



The Chinese Sexagenary Cycle (六十甲子) is an ancient method of calculating years, months, dates and time. Consisting of 10 heavenly stems and 12 earthly branches, a pairing of 1 character from the stem followed by another from the branch will derive the sexagenary number of a Chinese year. The 10 heavenly stems are each associated with the five elements – wood, fire, earth, metal, and water – while the 12 earthly branches are represented by one of the 12 Zodiac animals.

The year of 2022 marks the 39th year of the 60-year Sexagenary cycle, the year of the Tiger in Chinese Zodiac. Those born in this year may be referred to as the “Tiger in the Forest”, or ‘過林之虎’ in Chinese.

From the foliage of the forest emerges the tiger. A single leg sculpted in high relief steps out of the Chinese architectural patterns that outline the collectible. It reflects the symbolic nature of how the Tiger in the Forest comes to claim its ‘territory’ in this calendar year. The eyes of the tiger are indented deeply with a strong gaze while its fur and stripes are intricately sculpted to mimic the real edges and textures of the animal’s face. These fine details extend across the entire body of the tiger and bring the tiger to life in one’s hand. Chinese characters of 壬寅年 (Ren Yin Year) are detailed in the style of a red ink stamp to mark the 39th year of the cycle. On the reverse, tiger prints lay the background for the legal tender, the Coat of Arms du Tchad.



On this piece, the two massive beasts lunge forward at each other fiercely – eyes lit, fangs bared and claws showing. An image of force and power, one can almost hear the resounding roar as they clash. Minute lines that detail the muscles and fur on their bodies are contrasted with bold shadows and deep indentations on their faces.

Their impressive mane is striking and rises above the reverse to a 3D effect. Attention to fine specifics such as the matted knots on the mane of the Chinese Guardian Lion compared to the African Lion’s luscious mane flowing behind him, make them distinctly differentiated from each other, and are skillfully delivered to ensure it speaks to the collector. The obverse features the legal tender of Tokelau, the official effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

DENOMINATION $5 NZD (Niue) 10,000 Francs CFA (Chad) $10 Tokelau
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.999 silver 0.999 silver & 0.999 Copper
WEIGHT 62.2 grams 62.2 grams 62.2 grams (Ag) 11.5 oz (Cu)
DIMENSIONS 40.0 mm 45.0 mm 80.0 mm
FINISH Antique Antique Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief High-relief, colour High-relief
MINTAGE 96 500 500
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes (5.0 grams silver) Yes / Yes Yes / Yes