Never let it be said that Scottsdale are a mint that rests on its laurels! Almost unique amongst the bigger producers, Scottsdale have a large and varied range of silver bullion products, especially with legal tender coins for far flung places. With the ongoing EC8 Caribbean series taking pride of place at the moment, you would think they’d have their hands full, but new Silverback Gorilla coins, a Samoan Seahorse, the Royal Arms of England, and issues for Fiji, Chad and the Cayman Islands, prove they have capacity to spare.
This latest issue is a departure for them. Featuring dynastic Chinese imagery, in the case of the first issue from the Ming Dynasty, this is much different from the usual naature themes they feel safe with. It’s a really nice piece and has a classic look rather than a more contemporary interpretation. Dragons aren’t exactly rare on silver coins, even bullion ones, but this has a look that is full of appeal, with artwork bordering on hand finished rather than the usual CAD concoction.
The dragon is a legendary creature in Chinese mythology and remains so to this day. Most are depicted as snake-like with four legs, and they symbolise power (including control over extreme weather), strength and good fortune. In Imperial China, the dragon was a symbol of imperial power and emperors. The five-clawed dragon was reserved for the Son of Heaven (Emperor) only, while the four-clawed dragon like that seen on Scottsdales coin, was used more widely by Princes and other nobles.
Issued for the Republic of Cameroon, the Chinese look quickly falls apart on the obverse. This African state has its emblem in the middle and is surrounded by every inscription on the coin. We really like that the reverse is free of modern textual distraction. Struck to a prooflike finish, it has a mintage of 25,000 and is available only as a one-ounce coin.