Chinese New Year began Jan 23, and it seems the Year of the Dragon appears to bring good luck to some Australian miners.

The Year of the Dragon, which has a special significance for the Chinese, has already got buyers in China rushing for gold for themselves and to gift it to their loved ones. In China, giving gifts is a major part of the tradition.

We saw extremely strong demand for gold from China in 2011, said Thompson Reuters analyst Andrew Cameron.

In fact, China imported 500 tons of gold, double its imports for 2010. A lot of the families who head back to their homes in rural areas, they tend to buy gold for their families, he said. He also added that electroplated dragons were very popular gifts in their culture.

Perth Mint, the Western Australia manufactures and distributes of platinum, silver and gold coins worldwide, have seen an increased demand in Dragon coins.

According to Perth Mint spokesman Ron Curry, in spite of China being the largest gold miner in the world, they have a strong affinity with Australia. The mint has issued a bullion collection on Chinese Lunar New Year for some time.

Within a matter of two days, the mint sold out 300,000 silver and 30,000 one-ounce gold.

What happened was that Paul Keating was Prime Minister, and he made that fundamental change for Australia to go from a European focused country to an Asian focused country. We issued the first ever Australian legal tender coins with Chinese design with the lunar characters on them, Curry was quoted as saying.

The value of the coins has increased dramatically. By far and away this is the most successful issue of Chinese New Year coins ever. In fact, the speed of the sales of the coin has really caught us out, he said.

Within the 12 year lunar cycles, the Dragon is the strongest year. There was increase in the marriages in China last year so that they could get their child delivered in the dragon year.

The Year of the Dragon is one of the most revered years of the Chinese New Year calendar, and those who are born under the sign are regarded as innovative and passionate who are confident and fearless.