World Coins

Royal Mint celebrates Welsh dragon in silver

The national symbol of Wales is being given another life.

The Welsh dragon, already used for £1 coins in 1995 and 2000, is now appearing on a collectors’ silver £20 coin.

The 2016 Brilliant Uncirculated .999 fine silver £20 coin features Norman Sillman’s £1 reverse design, with the Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.

The Welsh dragon, explained

The Welsh dragon, an enduring symbol of Wales, celebrates the spirit of its people, according to the Royal Mint, including its "pride, ferocity and determination."

The dragon also appears on the Welsh flag, on top of a green and white backdrop.

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Sculptor Sillman (who trained at the Royal College of Art and became a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy) received his first commission from the Royal Mint in 1958. His design is taken from a drawing provided by the College of Arms. Sillman sculptured a “scaled and unflinching defender of the realm, channelling the spirit of Wales into its posture and poise, ensuring it is worthy of Celtic legend and representative of a contemporary Welsh attitude,” the Royal Mint said. 

Sillman’s design first appeared on the £1 coin in 1995 and 2000 as part of a series depicting the four nations of the United Kingdom, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The coin also celebrates, the Royal Mint adds, in a sense, the new Royal Mint Experience visitor center, which opened in June at the Mint’s site in Llantrisant, Wales. 

Basics of the new Royal Mint coin

The 2016 silver silver £20 coin featuring the Welsh dragon is a commemorative coin, meaning it is not designed to be spent or enter general circulation.

It is, however, available at face value, the third silver £20-for-£20 coin of 2016, in a series that began in 2013.

The silver £20 coins weigh 15.71 grams and measures 27 millimeters in diameter. 

The 2016 Welsh Dragon coin has no stated mintage limit. So there's low risk of a quick sellout. 

The coins are presented on a colorful card highlighting a red dragon.

There is a limit of three coins per household, and delivery of the coins is expected to begin in August. 

To learn more, visit the Royal Mint website.

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