Royal Canadian Mint honors battle of beasts on holed silver coin

Proof silver $8 coin has auspicious mintage
By , Coin World
Published : 06/27/16
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A tiger and a dragon are locked in battle, but there’s no blood being drawn or roars from the beasts.

That is the scene on a 2016 Proof .9999 fine silver $8 coin released in June from the Royal Canadian Mint. 

Locked in their ancient battle positions, the tiger and the dragon struggle for dominance — equal and opposing forces, yin and yang. This coin, featuring a square hole through its center in the traditional style of Chinese coins, celebrates the ageless story of the two mythic powers.

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Canadian artist Charles Vinh designed both sides of the coin.

The obverse features two elaborately carved phoenixes, which are “fittingly associated with the feminine, the Empress, and the Queen when juxtaposed with the Dragon featured on the reverse of the coin,” according to the RCM. 

The phoenixes flank each side of the central square hole, above which is a small rendition of the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt. The effigy is engraved within a smooth polished cartouche that is detailed on each side with stylized scrollwork. This scrollwork is continued in elaborate detail in the bottom half of the field.

The reverse features the image of a tiger and a dragon locked in battle. The central square hole is a traditional motif used in Chinese minting to represent the Earth and the national landmass. 

Above the hole, the stylized yin/yang symbol created through the use of different finishes underscores the coin’s main theme. This symbol is surrounded by elemental flames. 

On the left side of the image, the tiger, its back to the viewer and its face turned in profile to the dragon on its right, crouches in typical defensive stance amid stylized scrollwork. On the right, the dragon, presented in profile, faces the tiger to its left. Its claws are raised and its scale-covered body is coiled to attack. 

The date and denomination 8 DOLLARS are both indicated on the reverse.

The $8 coin weighs 20.86 grams, measures 36 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 6,888 pieces. Each coin is accompanied by a serialized certificate of authenticity and presented in the RCM’s standard red clamshell case.

Distributor Talisman Coins offers the coin for $73.88 plus shipping and handling.

To order, visit the firm’s website.

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