We think it’s fair to say that the selection of bullion coins available to purchase these days has never been more diverse, or of so high a quality. As well as the usual big players, a wide range of small producers are either issuing their own, or commissioning new designs from the major mints. It can be a little overwhelming and many complain, but it’s all about choice, and that’s rarely a bad thing.
A producer intimately woven through the bullion market is the Western Australian based Perth Mint. Long a collectors favourite through their decade spanning ranges of nature themed bullion coins like the Kookaburra, the Koala and the kangaroo, they have a fine reputation for artistic excellence and quality of strike. In 2018, they added something a little different to their range of offerings – a rectangular bullion coin.
The theme of these is the ever popular Chinese dragon. Having a unique style, the spindly creature with a mane like fire is quite different from the brutal beasts of Western mythology. Tied with the elemental forces and forever chasing the flaming pearl, it’s a fantastic subject for a bullion series. At the time of writing, the third issue has just debuted, but each of the three released to date has a similar style. Remarkably, the artist changes each time, but they remain tightly linked stylistically regardless.
The obverse is a mildly dressed effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, initially the ubiquitous Ian Rank Broadley effort, but now the Jody Clark uncouped international version. Mintages have decreased over time. The silver has settled on a number half that of the first coin, while the gold has dropped from 25,000 units, to 20,000, and now just 8,888 (the number 8 being considered lucky in Chinese culture).
These are gorgeous bullion coins and in our opinion, one of the very best the Perth Mint produces today. It’s good to see Asian culture in this market without falling back on the overused lunar calendar for inspiration. If you like the designs but aren’t a big bullion coin buyer, there are also proof variants available of superior quality. The price is significantly higher, however.