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Obverse of the PNC showing "YEAR OF THE DRAGON" on the left, the medallion in the center near the left, a dragon printed on the right looking towards the medallion and the stamp and postmark on the right

2024 Lunar New Year PMC

The Year of the Dragon

Lunar New Year

Obverse of the PNC showing  "YEAR OF THE DRAGON" on the left, the medallion in the center near the left, a dragon printed on the right looking towards the medallion and the stamp and postmark on the right

The Lunar New Year is a very popular time for commemorative pieces of all kinds. Australia Post generally release at least one coin PNC, and at least one medallion PNC. As of 11th Feb 2024 (the morning after Lunar New Year), a search for “Year of the dragon” on the Australia Post shop yields 306 items!

The year of the Dragon is the often considered the most powerful sign in the Chinese zodiac. So it is no surprise there are many pieces made to commemorate this sign. With the last few years being largely defined by the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis, there is likely also an element of hope for the future in the lunar new year, as there is at the turn of the Gregorian new year. In fact there are at least 26 different “New Year’s” celebrated around the world in different cultures. There are lots of sites with information about the Chinese new year, and how to find your Chinese Zodiac sign. So I won’t try to re-invent the wheel. Instead, since I find this piece really impressive, I’m going to let it tell the story a little more this time.


The obverse of the PMC is dominated by a large red and gold dragon on a background of blue hills, orange sun and light sky, this Postal Medallic cover features the stamp and cancellation mark on the right and the medallion on the left.

This is also a limited edition, with 2888 pieces (8 being a particularly auspicious number. Mine is #506 / 2888.


Reverse of the PNC with title YEAR OF THE DRAGON at the top and description underneath. The medallion is on the right of the envelope from this side (Text in the body of the post)

The reverse shows off the back of the medallion, with some information on the left. The text reads:


The Dragon is the fifth of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals, and people born under this sign are said to be confident, lucky and gifted. The dragon dance is a traditional element of Chinese New Year celebrations. It involves several participants who perform underneath a vibrant and decorative dragon costume that is held up with poles. Their dance mimics the undulating movements of a dragon. As the dragon is a symbol of power, nobility and authority, the face of the costume often has an intimidating expression. A special fireworks version of the dragon dance is also performed in some regions. This cover contains a gold-plated medallion and a Dragon stamp from the Year of the Dragon 2024 stamp issue.

Stamp and medallion illustration: Chrissy Lau. Cover design: Sharon Rodziewicz, Australia Post Design Studio. Cover & card images: Ann_Udod(dragon), Pochile (mountains) both Shutterstock.com, alina/Adobe Stock Images (inner card dragon)”

The RRP of this piece is $30.00 AUD ($19.58 USD, 18.14 Euro or 140.55 Chinese Yuan – according to Google at the time of writing).

Medal obverse

Close up of the obverse of the medallion. with LUNAR NEW YEAR in red on gold and the dragon skin pattern over the rest of the outer, and front on image of a dragon leaping towards us on the main part of the medallion, front feet either side and dragon symbol below.

The symbol underneath the dragon is 龍, which is the symbol for “dragon”.

The obverse of the medallion with the inner part of the medallion turned and half showing the dragon's head side

One neat feature of this piece is that the central part of the medallion is hinged so it can spin.

Medal reverse

Reverse of the medallion showing YEAR OF THE DRAGON aabove in the fixed part, and 2024 at the bottom, both in gold on a red background. In the centre movable part, is a dragon's head facing right with the dragon symbol below, all in gold on a red background.. There is a fine "dragon skin" type design on the outer part between the title and year

I’m actually not sure what he symbol below the dragon’s head is here. If anyone knows, please comment below so I can share!

Inner obverse

Reverse of the inner card featuring the medallion on the left and a dragon weaving behind and to the right of the medallion, looking left.  The piece is sitting on a table with the empty envelope Below .

PNCs (with coins) and PMCs (with medallions) generally come with the coin or medallion set in a card, which is inside the envelope. The design on each ties in together, but I often forget to pull the card out and have a look. In this case, it features another dragon against mountains and sun, and works really well with the outer cover.

Inner Reverse

Obverse of the inner card shoring the medallion on the right, specifications of the medallion left (see main post) and a dragon above the text looking down and left

The inner reverse features another dragon above the specifications of the medal itself:

  • Minimum gross weight (g): 65
  • Maximum diameter (mm): 60
  • Maximum thickness (mm): 4.1
  • Metal component: zinc alloy
  • Finish: gold plated

Stamp and cancellation

Stamp with "Australia $1.20" at the top, a dragon and the Chinese symbol for Dragon below, all in gold leaf, with YEAR OF THE DRAGON 2024 in white, all on a red background. The postmark is a black dragon's head with "First day of issue 29 January 2024 Christmas Island WA 6798

Finally, the stamp and cancellation mark. The cancellation mark shows the head of the dragon facing us. The stamp shows the whole dragon rearing up and facing us. The cancellation mark reads: First day of issue 29 January 2024 Christmas Island WA 6798. It’s often a trade off with PNCs for events on a particular day – make the cancellation mark ON the day, in which case the PNC itself won’t be available beforehand (which doesn’t work well in this case where the special day was on a Saturday). Or release it a few days earlier, so people have time to get theirs before the day – in which case it has to be postmarked earlier.

What do you think? Is this a good design? What is your favourite Lunar New Year Postal cover design? Let us know below! And if you know what the symbol below the dragon’s head on the reverse of the medallion is, please let us know as well!

Obverse of the PNC showing "YEAR OF THE DRAGON" on the left, the medallion in the center near the left, a dragon printed on the right looking towards the medallion and the stamp and postmark on the right






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