The 2006 Year of the Dog, the 11th gold coin in The Perth Mint’s 12-coin Lunar Series, has been released and is now immediately available for delivery. Officially, however, the Year of the Dog does not begin until January 29, 2006, and it runs until February 17, 2007.
The Perth Mint Lunar Series gold coins come in eight sizes: 1-kilo, 10-oz, 2-oz, 1-oz, ½-oz, ¼-oz, 1/10-oz, and 1/20-oz, with monetary denominations of $3000, $1000, $200, $100, $50, $25, $15, and $5 respectively. An image of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II graces the obverse; the reverse carries the image of a beagle. The 1-oz ounce ($100) is by far the most popular of the Lunar Series gold coins.
The silver coins in the Lunar Series come in seven sizes: 1-kilo, ½-kilo, 10-oz, 5-oz, 2-oz, 1-oz, and 1/20-oz, with monetary denominations of $30, $15, $10, $8, $2, $1, and 50 cents respectively. As with the gold coins in the Series, the obverse of the silver coins bears a likeness of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. However, the reverse of the silver coins carries the image of a German shepherd.
Perth Mint Lunar Series: Popular with coin collectors worldwide
The one-ounce gold coins in the Lunar Series have become immensely popular with coin collectors worldwide for several reasons. Although the theme is not unique—other mints having done lunar series during earlier lunar cycles—timing seems to be perfect for The Perth Mint Lunar Series because China will host the Summer Olympics in 2008, one year after the Series ends with the Year of the Pig. Interest in China—and anything related to China—seems to be growing. By 2008, we may be seeing “Chinamania, ” which would make the Lunar Series coins still more popular.
Another reason for the strong collector interest: Production of the 1-oz coins is limited to 30,000—a number that has turned out to be ideal for a collectors’ series. The 2000 Year of the Dragon reached the production cap of 30,000 and sells at a big premium in the secondary market.
The 2002 Year of the Horse 1-oz gold coins also hit the production cap and is no longer available from The Perth Mint. Recently, premiums on 1-oz Gold Horses jumped, which suggests that wholesalers are out of coins or are about to be. If the wholesalers are out of 1-oz Gold Horses, they will be difficult to find in large quantities.
The 2001 Year of the Snake will probably be the next 1-oz gold coin in the Series to hit the production cap. Gold Snakes usually can be bought at premiums comparable to 1-oz Gold Eagles, the world’s best selling gold bullion coins. The other 1-oz Lunar Series gold coins that have not reached the production cap of 30,000 usually sell at slightly higher premiums than Gold Eagles.
Perhaps the primary reason for the popularity of the Lunar Series is the exquisite quality of the coins. The Perth Mint holds an uncompromising commitment to quality, and no other mint turns out more beautiful coins. Established in 1899, The Perth Mint operated as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint until 1970 but now is owned by the government of Western Australia.
None of the silver coins in the Lunar Series have reached their production limits, probably because the silver coins are priced for the collector market. The gold coins in the Series, on the other hand, are priced at about the same prices as popular bullion coins, such as the American Gold Eagles and the Gold Maple Leafs. This means that by going with Lunar Series gold coins bullion investors can own collectible gold coins without paying huge collector premiums.
Bill Haynes heads CMI Gold & Silver Inc, one of the nation's oldest precious metals dealers. See CMIGS’ website at http://www.cmi-gold-silver.com/ This article may be reprinted provided this signature remains intact, including the direct link to CMI Gold & Silver Inc.