The Dragon series from Numiartis returns with a fourth coin, this time rooted in the legends of Japan

Dragons are a popular subject on coins, particularly on those themed around East Asian culture, and to a lesser extent, European. However, dragons have been a cultural phenomenon around the world for millennia, likely as a result of the early discovery of fossils, like shark teeth and dinosaur skulls, for which no scientific explanation was known. As a result, many ancient cultures have their own dragon tales.

This coin series from Numiartis has taken a winding route around them, starting with the popular Chinese and Norse legends, but then heading off to Mesoamerica, with an Aztec interpretation. For this fourth coin, we’re in Japan, and the style of this legendary mythical beast, has changed again. There are certainly heavy shades of Chinese representations here, but it has many unique elements tied in with Japan’s nautical leaning, typical of an island nation.

The Watatsumi is not only a Japanese dragon, but also a water deity, and the designer has emphasised this with some very Hokusai-like waves, and the piscean tail at the end of its body. The wings are classic dragon, and the serpentine body and whiskers, classic Asian style. Topping it off is the inset pearl, something almost inextricably tied to the dragon myth in the region. Throw in a Japanese pagoda building, and you have a scene that is quintessentially Japanese.

The obverse is the common one that’s adorned the previous three issues, complete with the arcing border of silhouettes over a scaled background, filling a wide border. There are ten of them, although only five unique depictions, with each appearing in positive and negative form, perhaps indicating this is the penultimate coin in the series.

A two-ounce silver coin, packed with high-relief and struck by the Mint of Poland, it’s another beautiful entrant in a very attractive series. Dragons are always popular, and it’s hard to make something distinct, but Numiartis have certainly pulled it off this time. The mintage is capped at 500 units, and the coin comes boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity. Available to order now, it will ship later this month.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, Inset pearl
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes