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Australia’s esteemed Perth Mint celebrates the lunar calendar with its silver commemorative coins released every year to delight investors and collectors. A lunar year is a year broken up by the cycles of the moon rather than traditional months. Lunar years are observed by many ancient civilizations, including the Chinese. The Chinese lunar calendar, which dates beyond 2,600 BC, was the inspiration for Perth Mint’s Lunar Series.
A different animal is associated with each year of China’s 12-year lunar calendar. According to mythology, the 12 creatures were summoned by Buddha who assigned each one a year of the lunar calendar. Buddha said that the children born within each year would develop the personality traits of its animal mascot.
While the Chinese people use the traditional Gregorian calendar for most purposes, the lunar calendar still helps determine the nation’s festivals. The sense of fun and tradition surrounding the lunar calendar make it an ideal subject for a coin series. Coins that celebrate the Chinese lunar calendar are becoming prized by investors and collectors, and the exquisitely detailed pieces from Perth Mint are no exception. These lunar coins complement others released by global bullion manufacturers, including the British Royal Mint, Highland Mint of Florida, and NTR Metals.
Perth Mint’s Lunar Series is one of three lines of silver bullion coins produced by Australia’s longest running mint every year. Along with the coins in the Koala series and Kookaburra series, the coins in the Lunar Series are prized by collectors and investors the world over. Perth Mint began producing gold Lunar Series coins in 1996, but added silver to its range in 1999. After the popularity of the first series of lunar-inspired coins, Perth Mint began producing the current series, known as Series II, in 2008.
Most of the Perth Mint’s silver Lunar Series coins are made entirely from 99.99 percent silver. Some also feature gilded gold or colored graphic accents. Each Lunar Series coin is sold in presentation packaging with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.
The reverse side of the 2014 Lunar Series silver coin features a pair of horses to commemorate the Chinese Year of the Horse. One horse looks ahead to the future, while his friend drinks from a flowing stream. Delicate trees provide some shade for the steeds. The detailed illustrations are complemented by the words “Year of the Horse” and the Chinese character for “horse.” The same horse design is featured on all silver coins, including those embellished with colored panels and gilding. Perth Mint uses a different horse design on its gold Lunar Series coins.
Like all legal Australian tender, the obverse side of the silver coins from the Lunar Series feature the head of Queen Elizabeth II, the year of manufacture, and its legal denomination. This side also features its weight and .999 pure silver, your guarantee of its quality.
It’s important to note that while the Lunar Series coins are legal tender, they are rarely sold for face value. Instead, within their year of release they typically command at least the current value of silver bullion. As the Lunar Series coins age, their value may increase depending on demand.
Perth Mint’s silver Lunar Series coins are available in a range of sizes, from small half ounce coins to more substantial 10 kilogram pieces. By producing such a diverse range of Lunar Series coins, Perth Mint helps make its silver collectibles accessible to any interested parties, no matter how much they have to spend.
Most of the silver Lunar Series coins are sold on a mint-to-order basis. That means that as many coins needed to satisfy public demand are made within their year of release. However, a maximum of 300,000 one ounce coins are made. This ensures there’s enough available for all interested parties to secure one, but not so many that they lose value. To ensure their exclusivity, just 200 of the 10 kilogram coins will be produced.
New designs will be released each year to commemorate future lunar years. So investors and collectors can expect to purchase coins celebrating the Year of the Goat in 2015 and coins celebrating the Year of the Monkey in 2016.
You needn’t take the long-haul flight to Australia to get your hand on these collectible coins though. Simply visit Silver.com, who proudly offers the latest uncirculated silver Lunar Series coins to investors and collectors around the world.