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Dragon Year commemorative coins to go on sale soon

2012/01/03 18:47:32

Taipei, Jan. 3 (CNA) Taiwan's central bank said Tuesday it will soon release a set of coins to commemorate the Year of the Dragon, which is celebrated in Chinese cultures as an auspicious year.

This year, the central bank will issue 150,000 coin sets, compared with 120,000 in past years, in order to meet the expected high demand in the Year of the Dragon, said Shih Tsun-hua, director-general of the bank's Department of Issuance.

Each set contains a silver NT$100 (US$3.3) coin and two bronze coins in the denominations of NT$50 and NT$20, respectively.

The Bank of Taiwan has been commissioned by the central bank to handle the sales, which will start Jan. 16. Each person will be allowed to purchase only one set at a time, the central bank said.

The coins will cost NT$2,000 per set, up from NT$450 in the previous year due to an increase in the price of metals, Shih said.

The dragon commemorative coins are expected to stir a collection frenzy and their value is expected to appreciate by about 20 percent almost immediately, said Chou Chien-fu, a coin collection expert.

On one side, the silver coin carries the imprint of a dragon, which is considered a symbol of unparalleled distinction and auspiciousness among Chinese people.

The reverse side features an image of the "Ershawan Gun Emplacement" that is located east of Keelung Harbor.

The structure, built on a natural reef, was reconstructed in 1886 during the Qing Dynasty by General Liu Ming-chuan, the first Taiwan Provincial Governor.

(By Kao Chao-fen and Hanna Liu)