The Royal Canadian Mint has issued the 2016 Tiger and Dragon Ying and Yang Silver Coin, which is available for $98.88 CAD and has a mintage limited to 6,888 pieces. This issue has a square hole in its center, in keeping with an ancient Chinese minting tradition that included a round or square hole — referencing the universe or the earth, respectively — so that coins to be tied together for easy storage and transport. A press release points out that this is only the second square-holed coin ever produced by the Royal Canadian Mint, the first having been issued in 2007.
The reverse design features a depiction of a tiger and a dragon preparing to clash with one another. The tiger takes an aggressive stance while the dragon maintains a defensive posture, illustrating opposite or complimentary approaches symbolized by the yinyang symbol placed at the top. Inscribed on this side of the coin are CANADA 2016 and 8 DOLLARS. The eight dollar denomination and the unusual mintage limit were chosen because “eight” is the luckiest number in Chinese.
The obverse bears an image of Queen Elizabeth II along with two phoenixes located on either side of the coin’s square hole. Inscribed on this side of the coin are ELIZABETH II and D.G. REGINA, an abbreviation for the Latin, “By the Grace of God, Queen.” Both sides of the coin were designed by Charles Vinh, but the effigy of the Queen was created by Susanna Blunt.
The 2016 Tiger and Dragon Ying and Yang Silver Coin is composed of 20.86 g of 99.99% silver, measures 36 mm in diameter, and features a Proof finish. The item has an order limit of two per household and is currently wait-listed on its product page; for more information, please visit the Web site of the Royal Canadian Mint. You can also watch a short promotional video for the coin below.