Australian Lunar Silver Coins

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The Australian Lunar coins are a very popular coin series that come in both silver and gold versions. The silver Lunar coins began in 1999, when the first coin of the series was released to commemorate the Year of the Rabbit.[1] Initiated with the goal of creating high-quality silver bullion coins to mark the varying animals that ruled in each specific year in the Chinese Zodiac, the Perth Mint’s Lunar Silver coins have become some of the most sought-after and well-loved of all coins. The first release featuring the depiction of a rabbit in 2009 jumpstarted a series that would last until the present day (with even a release for the following year already available for purchase!).

Initially minted in sizes of ½ oz, 1 oz, two oz, 10 oz, and 1 kilo (with varying denominations), another size was added with the 2004 mintage (Year of the Monkey), a feature that remained until all other sizes save the 1 oz, 2 oz, and 1 kilo coin remained in 2008. Due to its sheer variety, the Australian Silver Lunar coins make for the perfect collector’s items for numismatists who like to collect things in sets. The yearly revamp of the reverse design makes for truly unique coins that constantly appreciate in market value as the rarity and demand for it increases. Made of pure 99.9% fine silver, these coins also make for excellent investment pieces which double as displayable works of art. For sheer variety alone, the Australian Silver Lunar coins rank among the most diverse of coinages, with a single year’s mintage alone featuring as much as four different varieties of the year’s featured animal.

Initially began as a series of proof coins depicting the various animals of the Chinese Zodiac in accordance with their ‘ruling’ year, it soon became the perfect medium for a variety of different versions featuring the year’s animal, with examples ranging from proof-quality coins, brilliant uncirculated coins (BU), gilded coins, high-relief coins, coloured coins, and (more recently) coins that incorporated imbedded gemstones. One of the most remarkable examples of the sheer variety of the Silver Lunar series is the 2012 Year of the Dragon series of coins which released a coterie of variations, among them proof quality coins, high-relief coins, gilded coins, a caricature coin,[2] ten different coloured round dragon coins,[3] and four uniquely-shaped rectangular coloured dragon coins.[4]

The practice of variety in this large and highly collectible series has attracted not only a strong following in the numismatic world, but a devoted fan-group among bullion investors who simply cannot get enough of the richly ornate and beautifully detailed coins! Owing to the sheer number of coins to choose from and collect (including phased-out versions of half-sizes, and a variety of kilo coins) the Australian Lunar Silver coin series is a truly one-of-a-kind numismatic experience that can drive any coin-collector dizzy with the prospects of attaining and collecting the sheer number of coin varieties available. Each of these unique and artistic coins come in a limited number of issues, effectively making them prime collectors’ items from the moment of its release.

Because the series is so popular, the Perth Mint had already begun releasing the 2013 Year of the Snake series of coins in the same vein as the 2012 Dragon, but with one additionally unique variation – a meticulously coloured 1 kilo silver coin depicting a snake with a black diamond imbedded in its eye.[5] All of these Silver Lunar coins depict an unchanging obverse portrait of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Ian Rank-Broadley with the legends ‘ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA’ as well as the respective details on the coin’s weight, silver purity, date of mintage, and face value. Proof-version coins also possess a distinct mintmark (a ‘P’) on the reverse side to denote their being official mintages and authentic proofs, while other versions may or might not possess this distinction. The Silver Australian Lunar coin series is a definite must-have for any collector or investor who wishes to hoard silver in a very rewarding and enjoyable manner.

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