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, 1/2-oz, 1/4-oz, 1/10-oz, and 1/20-oz, with legal tender denominations of $3000, $1000, $200, $100, $50, $25, $15, and $5 respectively. Lunar Series gold coins are .9999 fine (99.99% pure) gold. 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, 1/2-kilo, 10-oz, 5-oz, 2-oz, 1-oz, and 1/2-oz, with legal tender denominations of $30, $15, $10, $8, $2, $1, and 50 cents respectively. Lunar Series silver coins are.999 fine (99.9% pure). 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
Lunar Series one-ounce gold coins 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 increasing.
Further, 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 coin also hit the production cap and is no longer available from The Perth Mint; however, 1-oz Gold Horses are still in inventory at some wholesalers. When the wholesalers sell out, the Horses are likely to pick up premiums quickly. The 2001 Year of the Snake will probably be the next 1-oz gold coin in the Series to hit the production cap.
But perhaps the primary reason for the collector popularity of the Lunar Series is the exquisite quality of the coins. The Perth Mint holds an uncompromising commitment to quality manufacture, and no other mint turns out more beautiful coins. The Perth Mint was established in 1899, operated as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint until 1970, and 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 collectible 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.