The Chinese Year of the Tiger officially starts on February 1, and The Perth Mint is marking the occasion with a limited-edition, silver proof coin featuring the image of the Chinese zodiac animal rendered in pure Australian opal.
Irregular slices of the bluish-purple precious stone are meticulously arranged to fill out the shape of the tiger, which stands out from the center of a black circular background.
The coin’s outer ring features stylized depictions of cineraria flowers, which are considered to be lucky for those born in the Year of the Tiger. The outer ring also includes the inscription “YEAR OF THE TIGER,” the Chinese character for “Tiger,” the year 2022, the coin’s weight and purity, and The Perth Mint’s traditional “P” mintmark.
Designed by Lucas Bowers, the Aussie coin measures 36.6mm in diameter, which is slightly smaller than a US silver dollar.
The one-ounce, legal tender silver coin is the sixth release in the Australian Opal Lunar Series — a series that launched with an opal rooster design in 2017 and was followed up with opal-adorned Chinese zodiac offerings in 2018 (dog), 2019 (pig), 2020 (rat) and 2021 (ox).
Those born in the Year of the Tiger are said to be brave, competitive, unpredictable and confident. The tiger is the third animal of the ancient lunar calendar.
The obverse of the tiger coin features the Jody Clark effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the weight and fineness, the “1 DOLLAR” denomination, “AUSTRALIA,” and the Queen’s name. The tiger coin will have a limited release of 5,000 units.
The Perth Mint frequently pays tribute to themes that are truly Australian. Opal is the official gemstone of Australia, and the country is credited with supplying nearly 95% the world’s fine opal.
From 2012 through 2014, the mint promoted the Australian Opal Series of five coins depicting native animals, including the koala, wombat, kangaroo, pygmy possum and Tasmanian devil — all rendered in opal.
Credits: Images courtesy of The Perth Mint.