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Royal Mint unveils new coins to mark Year of the Dragon

UK's Royal Mint welcomes Chinese New Year with a new coin as part of the Lunar Collection

The Royal mint reveals new Year of Dragon coin. Photo: The Royal Mint
The Royal mint reveals new Year of Dragon coin. Photo: The Royal Mint (© The Tolkien Estate Limited 2023)

A coin marking the 2024 Year of the Dragon has been unveiled by the Royal Mint, as part of their signs of the zodiac series.

The series launched in 2014 with a coin celebrating the Year of Tiger in 2022, and was followed with the Year of the Rabbit coin in 2023. The series will continue until all 12 zodiac signs have been featured.

A total of six dragon coins are being sold with five being sold as limited editions, all with the same features but sold in different colours.

The coin displays a powerful and courageous dragon on one side and a portrait of King Charles on the other.

The dragon is the fifth animal in the zodiac cycle and is considered China’s most important cultural symbol.


Those born under this sign are said to share many of the dragon’s desirable characteristics such as confidence, courage and adventurousness.

Read more: Royal Mint reveals new £2 collectable coin in honour of JRR Tolkien

The reverse coin was designed by the Sussex-based illustrator William Webb. He said he was inspired by some terrific Chinese sculpted dragon heads. "I think the ‘limitations’ of coin design inspired me to consider how I might create the most impact on such a relatively small scale,” he said.

The Royal Mint said since 2014, the Shēngxiào Collection has combined the finest British craftsmanship and artistic design skills with a centuries-old Chinese tradition to create the only official UK Lunar Coins.

Rebecca Morgan, director of commemorative coin at The Royal Mint said: “We are delighted to unveil the next coin in the series celebrating the Year of the Dragon, featuring a design which captures the power and wisdom of this legendary creature.

"We hope that all coin collectors as well as anyone celebrating Chinese New Year enjoys this beautiful design and incorporates it in some way during their celebrations or as part of their existing coin collections.”

It is the first Lunar coin to feature the official coinage portrait of His Majesty The King. Photo: © The Tolkien Estate Limited 2023
It is the first Lunar coin to feature the official coinage portrait of His Majesty the King. Photo: The Royal Mint (© The Tolkien Estate Limited 2023)

Shop the coin collection

This is the first coin the artist has designed for the Royal Mint. Webb said: “I researched Chinese sculpture, paintings and coin design, the latter to see how other designers had placed a dragon within a circle, but I wanted to find a different solution."

The design features a dragon floating in the sky above a lake with the Chinese symbol for a dragon positioned on the lake.

The Chinese New Year commences on the 10th of February and lasts up to 15 days. It is considered to be one of the largest and best-known events in the Chinese calendar.

The event is celebrated around the world. It incorporates blessings, family traditions and carnival activities. Unlike the Gregorian calendar, the date of the Chinese New Year varies from late January to mid February.

Prices for the unique coins start at £14.50 and can be ordered online or bought in store, in The Royal Mint Experience, South Wales.

Watch: New coin celebrating King Charles coronation enter circulation

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