This 50-cent silver-plated piece is my favourite coin released by the Mint since 2012 for one simple reason: the design is absolutely stunning. The interplay between the three main elements–the vertical bamboo stocks, the square lines of the undulating border along the circular rim, and the bright red rectangle–is mesmerising. Since the 100 logographs are variations on the character for good fortune (fu), which receives pride of place as brilliant silver engraved into a bright red rectangle, the overall design achieves a very satisfying sense of unity and purpose.
The embroidered case–from the $15 East Asian zodiac series–is gorgeous and far superior to the ordinary clamshell cases for most RCM products.
Value-conscious collectors will love the price-point of this coin; at $34.95, it’s one of the cheapest offerings the Royal Canadian Mint has, and is well worth the price.
The only negatives I see are two-fold: first, it would have been better if the coin were actually silver instead of merely silver-plated–and I’m thinking of the half-ounce Three-Degrees-designed fine silver $10 Year of the Dragon coin, which is another personal favourite. Second, the capsules for these coins do not sit as deeply in the cases as every other RCM coin does.
Yet overall, these two disadvantages do not warrant reducing this unique coin from its five-star rating. For a little money, you, too can be the proud owner of a coin that bespeaks considerable culture and good taste, one that will bring you much pleasure for the years to come. Highly recommended.
Readers may feel free to discuss the coin in the comments.
To order this coin in Canadian dollars from the J & M website, please click here: here.