Arrival: 2012 Year of the Dragon High Relief Silver Proof Coin

Yesterday, my 2012 Year of the Dragon High Relief Silver Proof Coin arrived from the Perth Mint.

These coins went on sale March 2, 2012 and carried a maximum mintage of 7,500 and ordering limit of one per household. The enthusiasm behind this release and overflow of comments were one of the motivations for starting this new blog focused on world coins. At the current time, the coins are no longer available for sale on the Perth Mint’s website.

The high relief Year of the Dragon coin is stunning and breathes new life into an already popular design. Pictured above is a side by side scan that I took of the regular one ounce proof coin and the high relief proof coin. I will also embed a video with more views of the coin at the end of this post.

Within the past two years, the Perth Mint has offered high relief Silver Kangaroo coins (the 2011 coin is still available here). I believe this is the first time they have offered one of the lunar series coins in high relief. This was a great extension and well timed to coincide with the most popular animal in the Chinese lunar calendar.

As a side note, some readers have been looking for mintage figures on past Perth Mint products. Their website provides bullion mintages and numismatic mintages at the linked pages.

Here is the video of the High Relief Dragon uploaded by Silvercoinsshow:

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  1. Samuel says

    Captain, I ordered the opal Koala from them. If that’s the case, I would just wait.

  2. Samuel says

    Captain, I just called, a man picked up the phone at the 3rd ring. Seems he knows why people are calling. He asked me if it is the black dragon or the koala.
    He said, they are getting small batch of coins, so…………..

  3. Nate says

    Samuel, I called him last week too. I bought both the Red Welsh and the Black Dragon (separate orders). I haven’t received either one yet. I was told the same thing, they’re still receiving orders in batches from Perth Mint and shipping them out when they can.

    Very disappointed about the turnaround time, but more disappointed with Talisman’s ordering system that offers no updates or communication. This is my first order with them so it’s not a great first impression.

  4. Shutter says

    Samuel and CaptainOverkill

    Seems to me that Talisman could save themselves oodles of time and toll charges if they merely communicated the status to their customers without being asked.

    I placed an order with Gatewest for some Canadian coins and a few days got an email saying that order was prepared and will be shipped from N. Dakota in 3 weeks. Apparently they try to save money by transporting a bunch of orders to US and shipping them from there. Guess what. I didn’t worry and I didn’t need to call them to check on status.

  5. Rolling Thunder says

    I too ordered Dragon coins from Talisman on Feb 2nd – called and spoke to them March 3rd – got the “small batches trickling in from Perth response” – still no coins received as of today.

    What really bothers me about Talisman is that for the last two months while we’ve been waiting for Dragons that were ordered Feb 2nd to be sent to us- Talisman has been running Buy-it-Now auctions for the very same coins on eBay at higher prices. Apparently they have had no trouble securing coins to sell on eBay, rather using them to fullfill prior existing website orders.

    I have ordered from Talisman two times before – coins came within 3-6 weeks. But I will never order anything from them again on their website – If I ever do buy anything from them again it will be on eBay – so I can leave then negative feedback if they don’t deliver promptly.

    You can talk to someone by calling them, but from personal experience and from comments I seen on other coin blogs – they never respond to e-mails! Anyone here ever get an e-mail response from Talisman?

    Talisman currently – my least favorite coin company!

  6. says


    I did get an email response but it took about a day and a half. As for ordering from Talisman, I will probably only do so for low-demand items going forward. I do not really trust them on things like the dragons.


    Good customer service counts. I was relatively lucky and got my coins right away but most of the guys in my group will probably not buy from Talisman again. I’m willing to pay Perth’s shipping price if it means I’ll get my coins quickly and with less hassle than from Talisman (though so far I’ve been lucky and there’s usually always been enough I want available to get the free shipping).

  7. Samuel says

    I dont know they sell on ebay. hopefully they wont cancel our low-price orders to fullfill those ebay high-price orders.

  8. says

    I just noticed someone on ebay is trying to pre-sale the Perth April release of the 10 coin Dragon set for $1798.95….way too much imo. Six sets are available and none have sold. While this release is for 2500 sets, this is another example of the Perth mint recycling coins…the 9 colored coins are the same as in the 20,000 released 9 coin set for China…and also includes the “black dragon” coin from the 5000 released for the Berlin World Money Fair.

  9. Rolling Thunder says

    @ Samuel
    Talisman on eBay

    See eBay item# 160737226650
    Or do a search for “Berlin Dragon” and then look down to ~20-25 days remaining – you will find a Talisman Black Berlin Dragon Buy-it-Now auction with 17 items listed for sale @ $199.99!

    They’ve been constantly running auctions for the Black Berlin Dragon since they were released on Feb 2nd & have sold more than 100 welsh dragons on eBay too.

    I’ll will be very surprised if they ever send the dragons I ordered.

  10. Louis says

    I am surprised by all the negative remarks about Talisman. I have only bought from them a couple times, but I received everything and in about the time frame expected. The accept a lot of pre-orders and state that the coins will be shipped when they arrive. I know they are not the fastest, similar to Downies in that regard. But if they take your order, I am sure you will get your coins, but not right away. If it is a high demand item and you paid a good price, I would just be patient and glad you got a good deal.

    In fact, recently I e-mailed to check on my black dragon, and by coincidence it was shipping out that day. They had waited to ship it because of some Canadian items that had not been released yet. I decided I did not want the Canadian coins for budget reasons, and they happily took it off my order, repackaged it, and send out the dragon by itself, which came a couple days later. I don’t have a lot of experience changing orders, and it is not often allowed, and I felt my order was handled well.

  11. Samuel says

    I just checked the Talisman on ebay. i checked their feedbacks, not all of them. it seems they did not sell a single black dragon even though they have 17 avaiable for BIN! they guys who are still waiting for the black dragon, why not give them a call?!

    the opal koala i ordered at $125 the first day it came to market or at least their website, they sold many of them at around $200. and i am still waiting for the Feb 2 order hopefully will be fullfilled.

    this makes it very difficult for me to buy from them again!

  12. Tallon says

    G, What did you pay for them? Was it 300 Euro? I can’t remember. They seem to be selling for around $450. ~ $500. now on eBay.

  13. Nate says

    Samuel, did you order your polar bears from Talisman too? I ordered mine direct from the mint in early February and received them last week. A friend ordered from Talisman about the same time as you and he hasn’t seen his yet or heard any news on when those will ship.

  14. Tallon says

    Yesterday APMEX popped the price of the Niue Titanic up $20 to $102.99 (credit card.) Do you think they are getting low on inventory or are they just sick of seeing “their” coins sell for $100.+ on eBay

  15. Rolling Thunder says

    @ Tallon
    I noticed the APMEX price increase too

    Am somewhat surprised at the pace of sales – would have thought with low mintage they would be sold out already

    Just checked APMEX – they still have 816 in stock!

  16. JW says

    I received my Dragon High Relief yesterday. Beautiful Coin. I see some people on Ebay trying to sell theirs for 300+. What do you all see as a realistic price for this coin going forward. Im fairly new to international coins and Im wondering if this is a coin worth getting graded.

  17. Schalk says

    JW, depending on what you paid for the coin, MCM is selling an ER PR70 (NGC) for $299.00. This coin may be a “flavor of the month” coin and may lose value after this year. Grading is entirely up to you. NGC has already graded 531 PF70 ER’s and 62 PF70’s. A total of 748 coins (all grades). I would say that this is a lot of grading for a world coin!

  18. Samuel says

    I am watching the 2010 Kangaroo these days, I found out that the original box ones are in the similar price range as the 69 ones, or maybe a little higher.

  19. says


    In general, I think modern Perth coins, specifically, are NOT worth getting graded, overall. Excepting one, every single coin I have ever received from Perth has been flawless and problem-free. As Samuel mentioned in his comment, the 69 kangaroos are going for about the same as the OGP kangaroos. In almost every case, I prefer Perth coins in their OGP as opposed to being graded. Probably the only case where I would differ would be like the one Schalk mentioned above – the 70 grade kangaroo selling for a price equal to the kangaroo in the OGP.

    For those curious, the one coin I received from Perth that had a problem was the aluminum dragon from the coin & cover. There were problems with the fields similar to the problems with the army clad half dollar. In that particular instance, I bought an MS-69 from Modern Coin Mart.

    As for a realistic price, don’t let your high relief go for anything less than $200, and you can probably get at $250 for a good quality coin in OGP with a little work. I personally would not sell a high-relief proof (even if I had two or more). These coins are too good to let go! 🙂

  20. G says

    I got ten of the red welsh dragons. I think they are keepers too. For the year of 2012 my favorite world coins go like this: red welsh, opal, high relief dragon, then at next level down- black dragon, Canada moose, Canada wolf bimetallic, octopus reef.

    Coins I’m most excited about that I don’t have yet?: hedgehog, next dragon of myth release, high relief snake coin, Jonah whale, libertad proof set

  21. Shutter says

    Re 2010 HR Kangaroo in silver (I am assuming you’re not shopping for gold). Of the max mintage of 20,000, at least 14,032 were graded by NGC (a whopping 8,585 PF70). Probably a very negligible number went to PCGS. That means there are relatively few OGP are available. Also those were not for sale from Perth Mint to individuals in US. Only dealers.

    748 out of 7,500 comes to almost 1%. For the 2010 HR Kangaroo 70% got graded. Of course dragon coins are of greater interest to non-collectors and they couldn’t care less about grading. And again, since so many went to dealers instead of direct to individuals, they were more likely to get graded.

    I received the HR Dragon and 2011 HR Kangaroo. Both coins have no post production defects. I’m nearly certain that the Dragon would be a solid PF70, but the Kangaroo is PF69 and maybe even less. You can tell by examining the difference on the Queen’s effigy. The wrinkles on her neck are barely visible on the Kangaroo. If I didn’t have two coins to compare, I wouldn’t have known. This happens as dies wear out and leave less distinct impression in the coin. Incidentally, based on discussions here and personal experiences, I’d rather pay $200 for a PF70 Kangaroo from MCM and get it than $200 to Talisman for OGP and wonder if I will ever get it.

  22. Nate says

    Shutter – do you know why so many 2010 HR kangaroos were graded? I’ve noticed this when trying to buy OGP.

    All – where can I look up grading stats for world coins. Are they available from the same NGC/PCGS sites as the US population reports?

    For those following along, I just got an e-mail from Downies saying that my previously cancelled order will now be filled. I had written them an email asking to be placed on a waiting list but hadn’t heard back from them in over a week. They wrote me back today and I’m impressed with the response:

    “We have been trying profusely to get additional coins for our customers who missed out and I am happy to say that we are able to provide one to you! You should receive it in the next 2-3 weeks.”

  23. Shutter says

    Nate, no clue. But here are some possible reasons.
    First silver Kangaroo from Perth
    Not available direct to US customers (You ship a bunch of coins to MCM, and they will all get grades. You ship a single coin to a bunch of individuals and very few get graded).
    Apparently Perth made some kind of a deal with US dealers for the bulk of this issue. International dealers wouldn’t have graded so many.
    While this one is extremely high, many Perth coins get graded in sizable quantity. The reason is that quiet a few of them end up with 70 and very few bellow 69. Dealers love that. None of them want to get stuck with a bunch of PF68 or worse.

    If you have NGC membership, you can search for world coins they graded. If you don’t, but have a cert number you can verify certification and that page will give you population for that coin at that grade. Since the bulk of modern collector issue coins are 69 or 70, that will tell you approximate total graded population. Pretty sure PCGS is the same way.

  24. samuel says

    thanks for the info.

    I noticed the cheapest($150) 69 2010 Kangaroo at Silvertowne was gone. it seems there are really quite a few people looking for them.

    i am not a fan of graded coin. if you only have a few and submit to be graded, you take a big risk, unless, in my opinion, you have >10? for proof coins, if i see a 69, i would think it is worse than the ones in original capsule. i think for those proof coins without box, it is probably reasonable to get the slab. but for the new with beautiful box coins, i don’t think it is necessary.

    for the HR dragon, i think it is the first HR lunar, i will keep it the way it is.
    by the way, for perthmint, i found out that most of the first coin in one series will be very expensive.

  25. samuel says

    when did you place your original order? my friend’s order also got cancelled. not sure if he is lucky enough to get the coin.

  26. Shutter says

    if you only have a few and submit to be graded, you take a big risk

    If you had a coin that at 70 is worth many times the value of 69, you’d take that chance. If you had 1999 Silver Eagle, there are only 78 graded MS70 by NGC. It’s worth a shot to see if you’re in for nice payday. When the premium is only 10%-20%, why bother?

    unless, in my opinion, you have >10?

    You probably need 100+ coins for a bulk submission. Then you pay a reduced fee for those that are 69 or 70 and much less for the rest. Those not meeting minimum grade get returned un-slabbed and you can sell them as OGP.

    for proof coins, if i see a 69, i would think it is worse than the ones in original capsule.

    If it’s one of those coins that is graded in large numbers and you are buying from a dealer who mostly deals in slabbed coins (e.g. MCM), you can be almost certain that it would grade bellow 69. For coins that have been graded in large numbers, but there are no (or almost no) 70, you can also be sure that the coin in OGP is not better than 69. As I said, I just got a coin that would very unlikely be a 70. A 69 would be as good or better than the coin I have.

  27. Nate says

    Shutter, thanks for the info. Bulk submissions from dealers do seem pretty common so that would help explain the percentage of graded 2010 HR kangaroo.

    It makes me think twice about buying a 2010 kangaroo HR in OGP now. Even though I prefer it, maybe it was a coin that was rejected as being less than PF69 and was subsequently sold as OGP.

    Samuel, I placed the order about 9:00AM EST on Friday (I believe they went on sale before midnight to Downies customers). Writing in to ask about a waitlist may have helped me secure the coin. Your friend may want to try sending an email to ask.

    Not only are they filling my order (hopefully) but I had them add the 2010 and 2011 Kangaroo at Sunset silver proof coins. These are gorgeous and limited to 5,000 pieces. I just have to go back and get the more pricey 2009 first year of issue. Anyone else have these?

  28. Shutter says

    Kangaroo at Sunset silver proof coins. … Anyone else have these?

    No, but have you seen them in gold. Once you do, you may not want silver. It’s one of those few instances where the metal color really is part of the design.

  29. Nate says

    I’ve heard they’re great too but haven’t seen the gold in person. I probably don’t want to because then I’ll want them :-). A friend has a couple of those though. They’re certainly more money and harder to come by. Impressive coins if you’ve got the funds!

  30. Samuel says

    my friend who placed the order on the Thursday night does not get any email. seems your waiting list email helped.

  31. Nate says

    Samuel, Downies also told me that they are launching a new website, hopefully starting by the end of April. Hopefully this fixes any issues for the future.

  32. Two Cents says

    To anyone who is still looking at this blog, I just received notification from my credit card company that a $118 charge from Downies was made to my credit card. I was one of those who had ordered an Australian 2012 High Relief Dragon from Downies on March 1, and later received an email from them that the order could not be fulfilled due to a website error. The $118 charge is exactly the cost of the coin plus shipping.

    I emailed Downies today asking about the charge and if that meant that my order was indeed accepted.

    People who had ordered the coin from Downies and were turned down might want to see if a charge came thru on their credit card. I can easily check on my credit card company’s website for that information, and have set up automatic email notifications whenever charges over $100 come thru.

  33. Broooster says

    Two Cents, I am surprised ppl are still posting down here. Thanks for the tip about being billed for the UHR. I started to inquire about my cancelled UHR order on Saturday, they replied late Sunday night asking for more info, and after a couple of back and forth e-mails, confirmed my order cancellation, and told me last night that they was able to secure me 1 UHR Dragon for the original price, $118, which includes shipping. They said my card would be charged when the item was ready to ship. I am guessing since your card has been charged, you order is not only excepted, but getting ready to ship. I am anxiously watching my card now 🙂

  34. Broooster says

    I wasn’t going to post this, but I changed my mind. Just in case anyone still reads this, I went to a coin show this past Sunday. One guy had a Gilded Dragon, in a NGC slab. I will have to say, it looked 100 times better in person than it does on the internet. The fields are frosted, with the Proof Gold Dragon laying on top. It looked very very nice. I am not really into colorized coins at all, I do have a couple from Canada, but this Dragon was outstanding. I think I am going to get me one of these. (In case you are wondering, he was asking $125 for it, MS-69)

  35. Two Cents says

    Brooster, Downie’s replied to my email about the 2012 High Relief Dragon, and they said they will send the coin very soon and that I should contact them next week for the tracking number.

    Lately, I’ve been having a spate of problems with several USA companies, and their Customer Service responses are mostly canned, computer-generated replies. Even when a person responds, it is apparent that they have not really read my emails to them, as they give an irrelevant answer. Sometimes they even become rude when I point out discrepancies in their various answers. It seems that most USA’s customer service departments are mostly there to protect the company, not to help the consumer.

    So, I am impressed with the responses from the Aussies (Downies and Perth Mint). They are professional and courteous, and give customer service a high priority.

  36. SauceXX says

    Brooster, I got an ms70 gilded dragon from MCM for $125. Look around for better deals.

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