This unusual and fascinating low mintage coin serves both as a symbol of good luck and as a high quality collectible. The tradition of coins with a square hole in the middle dates back to China over 2,000 years ago, to a time when most coins in Asia were made only of copper or bronze. While single coins could be spent for small everyday purchases, larger purchases were made using counted quantities of coins on a string, with the string running through the square holes. This 2016 Canadian $8 coin carries on this historic tradition, struck in about three quarters of an ounce of pure silver with a low limited mintage. The design is also steeped in history and tradition, featuring the ageless story of the two mythical creatures; the tiger and the dragon – equal and opposing forces, yin and yang.
As a pure silver coin struck by the RCM, this coin is HST/GST exempt. With an extremely low mintage of just 6,888, it is both a good luck piece and a high quality collectible.
The front design by Canadian artist Charles Vinh features a tiger and a dragon locked in their ancient battle positions, as they struggle for dominance – equal and opposing forces, yin and yang. Above the square hole in the coin is a stylized yinyang symbol, surrounded by elemental flames. To the left of the image is the tiger with its back to the viewer. Its head is turned toward the dragon as it crawls in typical defensive stance. To the right is a dragon, presented in profile, facing the tiger to its left. Its scale covered body coils, ready to attack with its claws raised. The back design also by Canadian artist Charles Vinh features two phoenixes that flank each side of the square hole. Above and in the center is the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susan Blunt. On each side of the effigy is stylized scrollwork, which also continues on the bottom half of the coin.
In addition to being an attractive and artistic collectible, this coin will also serve as a symbol of good luck. The number 8 is prominently featured, and is associated with wealth and prosperity and good fortune. The year 2016 itself is also a multiple of 8. The front is engraved with the word “CANADA,” the date “2016”, and the face value of “8 DOLLARS.”