2014 Perth Mint Lunar Horse Coins and Royal Australian Mint Tetra-decagon Lunar Coin

Gold and Silver Perth Mint Lunar Year of the Horse Series Coins (LHS, Centre). Royal Australian Mint Tetra-decagon Lunar Coin (RHS).

2012 Silver Lunar Dragon Designs From Around The World.

New Zealand Mint Proof Silver Lunar Dragon Gilded Coin (Left). Perth Mint Silver Lunar Dragon Coin (Middle). Royal Canadian Mint Lotus Silver Dragon Proof (Right).

Series 1 Lunar Coins

Series 1 Chinese Gold Lunar Coins (left). Series 1 Perth Mint Silver Lunar Coins (Right).

Chinese Silver Lunar Rabbits 2011

A selection of Chinese Silver Lunar Rabbits, Round, Coloured and Plum Blossom.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Perth Mint 2012 Year of the Dragon Ten-Coin Set

UPDATE: The Perth Mint 2012 Year of the Dragon Ten Coin Set can now be purchased online (until sold out) from the Perth Mint Online Store <<CLICK HERE>>

Pictures have surfaced of the new Perth Mint "2012 Year of the Dragon Ten-Coin Set" which is coming to Australia next month. As previously mentioned the set will contain the 9 coloured coins as was produced in the Chinese versions and also include a 1oz Silver bullion/specimen round also.

2012 Year of the Dragon Ten-Coin Set

And here are photos of each of the coins included in the set (pictures courtesy of Gold.de who have a great list of reference images here):



There was a question left after one of my recent posts:
"I was under the impression that you are buying pretty much all of the lunar dragon releases. Is that because you are speculating that they will all be winners?"
To which I responded:
"The High Relief Dragon is actually the first Perth Mint 2012 'modern numismatic' dragon which I've purchased so far.

In my opinion a Dragon coin set which will perform poorly is the forthcoming 2012 Year of the Dragon Ten-Coin Set. Although I may blog about some of these coins (some I do so just out of interest or to keep those reading up to date with releases), it's by no means an endorsement for every coin released."
I think the coloured Silver Dragons make a nice looking set, however I think there are a few reasons this won't perform as well as other modern numismatics released by Perth Mint.

Firstly there there are now several versions of the coloured coin set. For example we had the original release of the 9 coin set for the Chinese market (with a mintage of 20,000):

2012 Year of the Dragon Nine-Coin Set (Chinese Version)
There is also a Chinese 10 Coin Set released which has a 1/4oz Gold coin as the centerpiece (with a mintage of 5,000):

2012 Year of the Dragon Ten-Coin Set (Chinese Version)

And now we have the Ten Coin Set released for the Australian market (pictured at top of post) with a mintage of 2,500.

So the sets do not feel as exclusive as the High Relief Dragon or standard Proof Coin for example.

Furthermore the Australian 10 Coin Set will have a price tag of $990. While this is less than I've seen the 9 Coin Set sell for last year (when they saw a bubble peak price of well over $1500 at one point), it is still relatively expensive for a single set of coins. 

It is much easier for a single 1oz coin to double or triple in value if highly sought after than it is for a more expensive set to do the same. The lower price point of single coins expands the number of buyers with the funds to purchase and hence there is potential for increased liquidity and demand.

I do think there will definitely be modern numismatic coins which perform poorly into the future, including some of the Dragon coins. One thing to keep in mind is that the price of the individual coins or sets could stay above their release price but still be considered to perform poorly if spot price increases significantly. For example if Silver rises to $60 per ounce and this 10 Coin Set is only selling for $1100 (still a 10% increase on issue price) then you would have been much better off putting your cash into low premium Silver instead of this set.

If you are interested in purchasing the 10 Coin Set then keep an eye on the Perth Mint website from 12.01am (AWST) on April 3rd.


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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Perth Mint 2012 High Relief Coins: Roo, Lunar & Kook

HIGH RELIEF KOOKABURRA now available from the Perth Mint [CLICK HERE]

I received my Silver Lunar Dragon High Relief 1oz Proof Coin today in the post from Perth Mint and I'm very impressed with the coin, here is a photo:

Silver Lunar Dragon High Relief 1oz Silver Proof Coin
The deeper strike results in a stunning finish. It reminds me of the deeper design seen in the Series 1 Lunar coins which had a smaller diameter than the bullion Series 2 coins. I wish they'd kept the smaller diameter and stronger looking design as the shallower animal strike on the Series 2 coins makes them a lot more difficult to photograph.

It was interesting to hear that there are 2 more High Relief coins on the way from the Perth Mint very soon:

2012 1oz Silver Kookaburra High Relief Proof Coin (10,000 coin mintage)
2012 1oz Silver Kangaroo High Relief Proof Coin (20,000 coin mintage)

The designs won't vary from the current format and will simply mimic the designs of the bullion Gold Kangaroo and Silver Kookaburra:

The Kookaburra is to be released in May and the Kangaroo in July (corrected 23/03 thanks to Perth Mint Coin Collectors Blog). The mintage of 10,000 was information supplied by Gold Pelican on Silver Stackers and the 20,000 mintage for the Kangaroo is an assumption based on the mintage of the 2010 and 2011 High Relief Kangaroos which were also minted to this number.

The above two releases will follow the 10 coin set on April 3rd:

2012 Year of the Dragon Ten-Coin Set (previously blogged about here)

There aren't many coins that I see myself collecting, generally speaking I am in the Lunar market as a speculator more so (see this earlier post for the differences), but can see myself adding each of the new High Relief coins to my personal collection for viewing pleasure!

Perth Mint Silver High Relief Lunar Dragon and Kangaroo 1oz Coins
If you haven't already seen it the Perth Mint released a promotional video for the High Relief Dragon as well which is worth a watch:

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Counterfeit Silver Lunar Dragons - Don't Get Stung!

On the Bullion Baron Blog I recently wrote about fake coins and bars that were hitting the market and included a photo of a fake 1 Ounce Gold Kangaroo and also mentioned a recent warning that there were counterfeit Perth Mint 2012 Year of the Dragon 1oz silver coins being sold.

Some photos of the fake Lunar Dragon (assuming the origin was China) were posted online recently. I've cut them out and posted them next to images of the real coin so you can see the differences. The images on the left are the counterfeit Silver Lunar Dragon coin and the images on the right are a real coin. Click any of the below images to enlarge the view. 

Major Differences.

Dragon Side:
- Swirls in clouds not as visible on the fake coin
- Smooth (instead of scaled) claws on the fake coin
- "Year of the Dragon" text on the real coin is thicker
- Detail in general (scales/edges) is more defined on the real coin

Queen Side:
- Queen looks to be smiling on the fake coin (not so on the real one)
- Queen has a sharper looking nose on the fake coin
- Wrinkle lines on forehead missing on fake coin
- Much more detail in the hair and crown on the real coin

These fakes even came in coin capsules which replicated the look of those from the Perth Mint.

This is only one version of a fake 2012 Silver Lunar Dragon, there may be others out there which look closer to the real item or have other differences to watch out for.

The safest way to avoid fake/counterfeit Lunar coins would be to ensure you are buying your coins from a reputable source (Official Perth Mint Dealer). Site sponsor Bullion Money is one of the dealers that I can recommend as a reputable source for your Silver Lunar Dragons.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

2012 Perth Mint High Relief Silver Dragon Released

Around a month ago on the blog I posted about the High Relief Dragon Coin that was on the way from Perth Mint. I followed up a few days later with a new post which showed the difference in stature between a standard Series 2 Lunar coin and a High Relief Kangaroo.

I was right about the measurements, Perth Mint has released the High Relief Dragon with measurements that match the High Relief Kangaroos:

Diameter: 32.60 mm
Thickness: 6.00 mm

The denomination will be the standard for 1oz Silver coins ($1). The finish will be proof.

The mintage for the High Relief Silver Dragon will be 7,500 coins placing it squarely between the recently released Berlin Coin Show Special Year of the Dragon 1oz Silver Coloured Coin which had a mintage of 5,000 and the Year of the Dragon Silver Proof Coloured Coin which had a mintage of 10,000.

The High Relief Dragon Coin is styled on the existing Lunar Dragon design, but with a much deeper imprint of the design:
I think these coins will most definitely sell out and maintain a premium, that said I wouldn't recommend paying any speculative prices on the secondary market once they are sold out at the Perth Mint and other official distributors. Many of the Dragon releases have had a nasty habit of rocketing sky high and coming down almost as quickly.


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