People scrambled yesterday to snap up coins sets minted to commemorate the Year of the Dragon, forming long lines outside Bank of Taiwan branches, the only bank authorized to sell the coins.
Bank of Taiwan public relations staffers said the lines of people waiting for the coins were the longest they had ever seen.
One elderly man surnamed Wu (吳), who was born in the Year of the Dragon, said he had to line up for four hours, but the coin set was worth it.
In anticipation of high demand for Year of the Dragon coins, the central bank issued 150,000 sets this year, compared with 120,000 in previous years.
Each set contains a silver NT$100 coin and two bronze coins in NT$50 and NT$20 denominations. This year’s set costs NT$2,000, up from NT$1,550 last year because of an increase in the cost of metals, the bank said.
The commemorative coins are expected to stir up a frenzy among coin collectors and their value is forecast to appreciate by about 20 percent almost immediately, said Chou Chien-fu (周建福), a coin collection expert.
On one side of the silver coin is an imprint of a dragon, which is considered a symbol of unparalleled distinction and auspiciousness.
The reverse side features an image of the Ershawan Gun Emplacement (二沙灣砲台) which is located east of Keelung Harbor.