The Australian Lunar Silver Bullion Coins started with a series of strikes released by the Perth Mint of Australia in 1999. Coins of the lunar series have appeared annually since that release and are each struck from 99.9% pure silver to several different sizes ranging from ten kilograms down to one-half ounce.
Shown on the reverse of each coin is an annually changing design featuring a creature taken from the Chinese Lunar Calendar. These creatures include a rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, horse, dog, pig, mouse, ox and tiger.
Lunar Silver Bullion Coin Information
The Perth Mint debuted the Lunar Series One in 1999 and completed the run of that initial collection in 2010. Lunar Series Two first appeared in 2008 when the first run was still in production meaning that both series were actually produced together from 2008 until 2010.
Owing to the great number of sizes available as well as the annually changing reverse designs of the coins, both collectors and investors have made these series extremely popular. Investors are likely drawn in by the fact that each is struck from .999 fine silver giving them an intrinsic melt value approximately equal to their weight of the precious metal on the open market. Thus, if silver is currently trading for $25 an ounce, a one ounce Lunar Coin will have a melt value of about $25.
Collectors look more at the fact that their unique new reverses each year and relatively low mintages make the strikes somewhat rare. A rare coin in good condition is typically worth more to another collector than a coin produced in more massive quantities.
Both are also given an assurance by the government of Australia that guarantees each Lunar Coin for weight and purity. The strikes are also considered legal tender of the country with varying face values ranging from AUS $300 down to AUS $.50.
As legal tender coins of Australia, the obverse of each contains a portrait of the constitution monarch of the country. Since the debut of the series, that monarch has been Queen Elizabeth II of England.
Lunar Silver Bullion Coin Specifications
|Face Value:||AUS $300, $30, $15, $10, $8, $2, $1, $.50|
|Mintages:||varies based on year|
|Diameter:||221.00mm, 100.60mm, 100.60mm, 85.60mm, 65.60mm, 55.60mm, 45.60mm, 36.60mm|
|Weight||10,009.000g, 1,003.002g, 502.500g, 312.347g, 156.673g, 62.27g, 31.135g, 15.573g|
|Mintmark:||‘P’ for Perth Mint|
|Obverse Design:||Queen Elizabeth II of England|
|Obverse Designer:||Ian Rank-Broadley|
|Reverse Design:||depiction of a creature from the Chinese Lunar Calendar|
|Reverse Designer:||varies based on year|