When the Royal Canadian Mint contacted me asking if I’d be interested in doing a review and giveaway for one of their coins I immediately said, “Yes!” I had the chance to pick out a coin to review and I chose the $15 Fine Silver Lunar Lotus Year of the Dragon Coin , aka the 2012 coin for the “Year of the…” series based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar.
Why did I chose this coin? Well, I’m a gamer-geek and I live with a gamer geek husband, so a fantasy creature like a dragon is just an image that resonates with me.
Now I have a confession to make. While I have a small coin collection, it consists mainly of coins from ancient Greece and Rome. So while I know a little bit about ancient coins, when it comes to modern day coin collecting I know absolutely nothing. Aside from some discontinued banknotes ($2 bill anyone?) and silver dollars I have saved from when I was a child, this is my first experience with modern coin collecting.
When the coin arrived and I had a chance to view it in person I was simply awestruck. Everything about this coin is absolutely gorgeous, from the packaging to the coin itself. It is a work of art.
The coin comes packaged in a presentation box, wrapped in a red cardstock sleeve. The sleeve is well made of beautiful thick cardstock and embossed in silver with the Royal Canadian Mint Logo. I worried that once I removed the cardboard sleeve I’d never get it back on again, but my concern was unjustified as I was able to slip it back on easily.
Inside the sleeve is the sturdy presentation box, covered in a dragon and flower patterned silver brocade, with a band of burgundy around the centre. When you open the box the lid is lined in black silk and again bears a silver “stamped” Royal Canadian Mint logo, while the bottom of the box is lined in black velvet with a circular indent made to hold the coin snugly.
There is a little fold out booklet explaining the background of the coin, what the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dragon symbolize. This booklet is also the “certificate of authenticity”. It certifies that coin is “99.9% pure silver with a weight of 26.7 grams and a diameter of 38 millimetres”, that it was made by the Royal Canadian Mint and that it has a limited mintage. It shows the mintage number, 35667/48888. Which means that my particular coin is number 35667 of 48888 made worldwide (I had to have the rep from the Royal Canadian Mint explain this to me, I had no clue what a mintage number meant!) A little black silk ribbon in the lid holds the booklet neatly in place.
The coin is housed inside a thick clear plastic (I’d hazard a guess it’s acrylic) shell. This plastic outer case has a seam and looks as though it can be removed, but I’m leaving it on there. I thought it was simply awesome that the coin came in a protective plastic case like this. No worries about finger prints, smudges or nicks.
Okay so that is a whole lot of gorgeousness and coolness, and we haven’t even gotten to the coin itself yet!
The coin is beautiful. It is absolutely lovely, and silver and shining in the light. I love the scalloped lotus shape. Parts of the coin are carved in or embossed and parts are raised. Okay, this shouldn’t surprise anyone — look at a quarter, you’ll see what I mean. But what really blew me away here is the level of detail. From the flower petals, to the dragons whiskers and even the ever so tiny individual dragon scales; all of it stands out in stark relief. You seriously have to see it yourself in person to get the full effect.
I think this beauty is going on display in our gaming area. This coin has sparked an interest in me to check out other offerings from the Royal Canadian Mint. Of course the previous two in this series, the Rabbit from 2011 and the Tiger from 2010, are sold out, or else I would be seriously tempted to pick them up.
The collectible nature of the coin, paired with the gorgeous way it’s presented, makes this the ideal present for anyone who is a reaching a major milestone in the coming year, or who was born in the Year of the Dragon. I think this would make a perfect wedding, anniversary, birthday or baby shower gift. You can pick one up for $98.88 directly from the Royal Canadian Mint website or in person at select Canada Post outlets.
Disclosure: I was provided with a coin to review, as described above. As always, the opinions stated are my own and were not influenced by the free item received.