The dragon is one of the principal emblems of Chinese mythology. Unlike its evil, treacherous European counterpart, however, the Oriental dragon is wise and benevolent, a symbol of nobility and good fortune.
According to powerful Chinese legends, these auspicious creatures were present at the dawn of creation where they supported and encouraged humanity to survive and flourish. Strongly associated with water and also the ability to influence rain, they were valuable in helping mankind learn to fish and farm.
As a living embodiment of a dragon’s wisdom, generosity and compassion, the Emperor of China was seen as a son of a dragon by his subjects. Owing their very existence to dragons, the Chinese people also regarded themselves as descendants of these munificent beings, and over time came together under a common banner of the dragon.
The significance of dragons has been reflected for thousands of years in many aspects of Chinese cultural life.
Decorative depictions of serpentine-shaped dragons date back to the Neolithic period. China’s iconic Forbidden City, constructed in the 1400s, teems with architectural ornamentation representing dragons.
Today, many cultural traditions displaying Chinese people’s respect and admiration for the dragon are widely appreciated worldwide.
In the ancient Chinese lunar calendar, for example, the dragon is regarded as the most propitious of all zodiac signs. Dragon boat racing, thought to have originated more than 2,500 years ago in Southern China, is a popular sporting pastime. Believed to have brought good luck to citizens since the Han Dynasty, the colourful dragon dance is another palpable demonstration of dragon culture that can be witnessed on every continent.
A stunning new opportunity for collectors of dragon themed coins, this 2017 Chinese New Year Dragon 1oz Silver Coin has been released in time for Chinese New Year, which falls on 28 January in 2017.
Its superb design portrays a traditional elongated, snake-like Chinese dragon curled around a bright red paper lantern. The reverse also incorporates the Mandarin characters for ‘Happy New Year’.
Just 5,000 of these coins will be made available, each housed in a clear latex display case with a black frame accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. The case is wrapped in a vividly coloured shipper featuring a dragon in high-gloss printing which doubles as the perfect gift-box.