The Dragon and Phoenix play a very important role in Chinese culture. Now, as a result of the talent and effort from the Perth Mint, these mystical creatures could play a very important role in your collection! The Perth Mint is striking a stunning new coin for 2017 that showcases these two symbols depicting a beautiful design on the 1 oz. silver bullion coin's reverse. Exclusively available at ModernCoinMart, this exciting new coin could be just what you need for your collection.
On November 1, the Perth Mint in Western Australia, a world leader in bullion and numismatic coin production, surprised collectors with a new addition to its already impressive line-up of legal-tender silver bullion coins. Because this coin had not been previously announced, it has been dubbed a “stealth release” by some collectors.
Called the Dragon and Phoenix, this new release is inspired by ancient Chinese symbolism and mythology. It features a stunning reverse design that depicts two mythical creatures - a dragon and a phoenix - against a background of stylized clouds. In the center is a flaming pearl, which in Chinese culture is a sign of wisdom, prosperity, and power. The obverse features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, and the reverse has the usual “P” Mint mark for the Perth Mint.
Each coin contains 1 oz. of .9999 fine silver, carries a $1 denomination, has the exceptional finish typical with most Perth Mint bullion coin issues, and comes in a protective hard-plastic Mint capsule. The Perth Mint has a reputation for issuing the finest quality bullion coins in the world, drawing on its 117 years of experience as Australia’s leading precious metal refinery.
Of great interest to buyers is the fact that the coin has a limited mintage of just 50,000, and that 10% was reserved for sale strictly in Australia as required by Australian law. This allotment of 5,000 coins sold out in days! Many of the coins are likely also being sold in Asia, where they are expected to be particularly popular due to their theme. In the North American market, ModernCoinMart (MCM) is the official distributor for this exciting new coin and will have both graded and raw coins available very soon.
The dragon and phoenix are important symbols in Chinese culture. They pre-date the First Chinese Emperor who, around 200 B.C., bestowed the title of dragon to himself, as did the emperors who followed him. On their blog, Perth said that the dragon in Chinese mythology is the “greatest divine force on earth. The phoenix is regarded as an immortal bird whose rare appearance foreshadows harmony at the ascent to the throne of a new emperor.”
These two mythical creatures play such an important role in Chinese mythology and culture, that they are also tied to the concepts of Feng Shui and yin and yang:
Feng Shui, which means wind and water, is an ancient Chinese philosophy and art in which the most important thing is harmonizing people with their environment. It has been used extensively in interior decorating.
Yin and yang is another ancient Chinese concept, which suggests that forces that may seem to be in opposition to each other may actually be complementary.
The Perth blog states that “In Feng Shui, the dragon and phoenix are perfect matches for one another. The phoenix is the ‘yin,’ while the dragon is the ‘yang’ in the Chinese philosophical account of natural balance and interdependence. Their portrayal together is a widely recognized symbol of everlasting love.”
The dragon and phoenix are also symbols for marriage harmony in China. The groom in a Chinese wedding traditionally wears a red suit with a dragon pattern, while the bride wears a red dress with a phoenix pattern.
Initial reports on coin forums and websites that cover world coins suggested that the new coin would be a “one off” release. According to a post on November 6 by an Australian precious metal analyst known as “Bullion Baron,” however, the 2017 Dragon and Phoenix is actually the first of a new series. Additionally, he stated that there will be various versions of the coin such as “a high relief and/or gold version.”
Bullion Baron also noted that the coin was conceptualized and designed over a two-year period before its release, and designs for 2018 are already in the pipeline. This first coin was designed by Tom Vaughn, who has designed many other coins for the Perth Mint, such as the 2017 Year of the Rooster silver coin, the 2014 Year of the Horse gold and silver coins, and the amazing 2014 Zeus high relief silver coin.
The accumulation of a very low mintage for a bullion coin, the impressive design and interesting background, the first coin of a new series, the high demand expected for these coins, and the Perth Mint’s amazing quality standards mean that the 2017 Dragon and Phoenix silver bullion coin will be highly sought out all over the world by silver stackers and collectors alike.
In some respects, it is reminiscent of the 2000 and 2012 Year of the Dragon coins issued by the Perth Mint, which are among the most popular ever in the I and II Lunar coin series. The new coin also reminds me of the 2014 Wedge-Tailed Silver Eagle, the first coin of that terrific series also carried by MCM, which was notable for its 50,000 mintage and impressive design by former U.S. Mint Chief Engraver John Mercanti. That coin today carries a solid premium.
It is very clear from the initial reaction to the coin that there are a lot of people interested in acquiring examples of the new dragon and phoenix issues. If you are one of those interested, be sure to grab some from MCM before they sell out and prices rise!
||Louis is an award-winning numismatic journalist and writer specializing on modern coins. He has been writing a weekly column for CoinWeek since May 2011 called “The Coin Analyst,” which focuses primarily on modern U.S. and world coins and developments at major world mints. In August 2015 he received the Numismatic Literary Guild’s award for Best Website Column for “The Coin Analyst,” and in August 2021 the column received the NLG award for best column on modern U.S. coins. He has also received other awards for his writing. He is also a contributor to several magazines, including Coin World, where he writes a bimonthly feature;The Numismatist, the American Numismatic Association’s monthly publication, where he writes a monthly column on modern world coins; and and other publications. He began writing about coins in 2009. He is a founding member of the Modern Coin Forum hosted by ModernCoinMart and has written articles for MCM since 2014. He has collected classic and modern U.S. and world coins since he was about 10 and first joined the ANA in the 1970’s. He has been writing professionally since the early 1980s.|