Scottsdale Mint quantum leaps to 2024 with the (very) early launch of its first ‘Year of the Dragon’ coin

Yes, you haven’t read that incorrectly, this really is a 2024 coin! Scottsdale Mint is getting a head start on the Year of the Dragon lunar market with the debut of its Samoan issue in gold. It’s become quite typical over the last few years to release lunar coins earlier than ever, certainly much earlier than the typical January/February that defines the actual Lunar New Year. We became quite critical of mints showing coins almost a year early, but 2½ years is surely a record!

The coin itself is neat enough. The design is classic lunar, eschewing interpretations that are too symbolic, cute, or just plain weird, for someting quintessentially Asian in appearance. There are shades of the Perth Mints 2012 entrant in their Lunar Series II range, but it’s in no way a copy, both taking from a common cultural source. This is actually a pretty coin, harking back to a true depiction of the lunar cycle. We do like twists on the theme, but there’s nothing like an original take done well.

Samoa is the issuing country of choice, and that Pacific islands coat of arms takes pride of place on the obverse. Outside of the coin title, all the inscribed coin details are on this face where they belong, in our view. All told, this is a simple and to the point issue which we feel will find plenty of fans amongst those that prefer classic numismatic design.

It’s struck to a prooflike finish and comes boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity. The box is pretty special, comprised of a golden coloured, oval shaped sycee ingot case, fully red lined, and enclosed in a themed shipper. The Scottsdale logo on the top is a nice touch. It’s something we’ve only seen once before from the NZ Mint. It’s a really appropriate presentation, especially if you’re giving the coin as a gift, although we’d imagine a perplexed look from the recipient who immediately goes out and buys the giver a ten-year calendar… Available now, it has a mintage of 888 pieces.

DENOMINATION $88 Tala (Samoa)
COMPOSITION 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 32 mm (to be confirmed)
FINISH Prooflike
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes