In Chinese mythology, dragons are wise, powerful creatures. Unlike in Western mythology, they do not bear humans ill will and, in fact, try to help them. There are many different kinds of dragons in Chinese mythology, each with a specific role to fulfill. This year, a new commemorative series of Royal Canadian Mint coins honours Tianlong, the heavenly dragons, and offers a wish for good fortune and prosperity.
Legends of Chinese Dragons
Chinese dragons in Chinese mythology are powerful creatures. They are believed to control the weather, and farmers would appeal to them to send rain for their crops. Dragons are also considered to be noble, benevolent, generous creatures who look for ways to help people in need.
According to an ancient legend, the Jade Emperor challenged the animals of the world to a race to his palace. He expected that the dragon, the most powerful creature, would come in first. At first, he was disappointed when the dragon came in fifth. When the dragon explained that he had stopped along the way to send rain clouds to a village that was suffering from a drought, the Jade Emperor was pleased. That’s why the dragon is the fifth animal in the Chinese zodiac.
Ancient Chinese emperors were considered sons of dragons, and because the dragon was a royal symbol, ordinary people were not allowed to display it. This is no longer the case, and dragon symbology is common throughout China. Because the dragons of legend were kind and tried to help people, they are regarded as symbols of good fortune, often displayed at weddings and other special occasions.
Chinese legends tell of many different types of dragons. Tianlong are the celestial dragons. Unlike many Chinese dragons, Tianlong have the ability to fly. Their job is to guard the heavenly palace where the gods live. When the gods want to travel, Tianlong pull their chariots.
The Symbolism of the Heavenly Dragon Gold Coins
Gold is a precious metal often used in commemorative coins. Nevertheless, there is another reason the Heavenly Dragon commemorative coin is made of gold. Traditionally, the colour gold represents prosperity and is believed to attract good fortune. The image of the dragon is also supposed to attract good luck, so a gold dragon coin should be particularly auspicious.
The image on the coin’s reverse is by artist Simon Ng, who has incorporated yet another traditional good luck symbol into the design. The number eight is considered the luckiest number in Chinese culture, and if you look carefully at the back of the coin, you’ll notice that the dragon’s body is twisted into the shape of a figure 8. In keeping with this numerological theme, the face value of the coin is $8, and it has a limited mintage of 8,888.
Significance of the Packaging
At the Chinese New Year, it is traditional to present loved ones with a wish for good fortune and luck in a red envelope. The colour red symbolizes happiness and good fortune. The clamshell package containing the coin is contained within a red beauty box with gold graphics. The top of the box offers a wish of “Good Fortune” in three different languages: English, French, and Chinese.
Wish a Loved One Good Luck With One of These Royal Canadian Mint Coins
Compared to other commemorative gold coins, the heavenly dragon coin is relatively small at 14.1 mm and 1.58 grams. This makes it one of the more affordable gold coins the Mint has ever produced, making good luck accessible to everyone. The beautiful design on this coin is nevertheless very detailed, making this a thoughtful gift for anyone who appreciates numismatic coins, Chinese culture, or to whom you wish good fortune. Purchase this beautiful coin at Colonial Acres.