Tuesday, January 31, 2012

NZ Mint - 1oz Silver Proof Lunar Dragon Gilded Coin

Following the popularity of the Perth Mint’s 2012 Lunar Dragon release it seems every Mint with some spare capacity is now pumping out a new Lunar Dragon coin (in some cases where they haven’t released Lunar coins in the past). At some point I will collect a list of as many of these as I can, but for now I would just like to highlight the most impressive design released, which in my opinion trumps all others (including the Perth Mint designs).

Meet the New Zealand Mint 2012 1 oz Silver Proof Lunar Dragon Gilded Coin (photograph by TomD):
New Zealand Mint 2012 1 oz Silver Proof Lunar Dragon Gilded Coin
This coin is the highlight of the Lunar Dragon releases. It has sharp detail, a fierce design and effective use of the gilded highlight.

Unfortunately the only source for the coin that I’ve been able to spot is a US coin dealer, Gainesville, who have strict rules about overseas payment and expensive shipping. Luckily a user on Silver Stackers (Maggie) who regularly organises group buys is doing their best to source the New Zealand Mint Dragon for Australian buyers. You can view the Silver Stackers thread here. Expressions of interest for a second order are being taken. The first order saw Silver Stackers members soak up 6% of the entire 2500 coin mintage (150 coins).

I tried contacting the New Zealand Mint, but they weren’t able to provide me advice as to whether I would be able to buy some direct (I have 1 on order through above group buy), but they didn't have them in stock to take an order when I enquired. I suspect Gainesville might be provided with the entire mintage for this coin as New Zealand Mint has since announced two more Lunar Dragon coins which they will be selling through their online coin site. Pictured below:

New Zealand Mint 2012 1 oz Silver Proof Lunar Dragon Coin (4000 Mintage)

New Zealand Mint 2012 1/2 oz Silver Proof Lunar Pearl Dragon Coin (8000 Mintage)
Neither is as attractive as the Gilded coin and both have a much higher mintage as well.

New Zealand Mint has minted other Lunar coins in the past, although there doesn’t seem to be a pattern to the type and mintage, so they are more like standalone coins than a series, here are some of their previous Lunar releases:

New Zealand Mint Lunar Series Coins, Rabbit, Tiger, Ox, Pig and Mouse Coins
You can view the entire range (including the dragons -Gilded) at the Lunar Series page here.

Gainesville is showing sold out on the coin at the moment, but they are waiting on a shipment that’s expected late February, so if you are interested in buying one (or more) of these coins then keep an eye on Gainesville or sign up at Silver Stackers and contact Maggie to get an EOI in for the group buy. Gainesville has been charging $50 over spot for the coin (so around $80 when recently available on their site.

Although I’m sure many of the Lunar Dragon releases will be a flop, probably dropping to below their release price, I suspect this particular coin will continue to appreciate in value given its low mintage and attractive design/presentation. They are already selling for around $125 on eBay.

I will likely post up a couple more pictures once I received mine, but here is another photo from an eBay auction showing the packaging that it's presented in:
New Zealand Mint 2012 1 oz Silver Proof Lunar Dragon Gilded Coin & Packaging
Well played New Zealand Mint, well played. I suspect this coin will increase the number of eyes glued to your future releases.


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Also the 2010 lunar tiger gilded coin 2$ silver is amazing
the same packaging lucky blessings ingot.

Hey LAB, The New Zealand Mint Tiger (Gilded) is a beautiful coin, mind you the mintage was much higher at 20,000 vs 2,500 for the Dragon.

its true.. but try to buy the tiger... its nowhere to be found imagine the dragon in 2 years

agreed ... I have been looking for that particular tiger coin and no luck

Gainesville Coins has stock for it again....2,500 never seems to be sold out

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