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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Perth Mint 12 Coin 2oz Silver Lunar Set & 1oz Bullion Year of the Snake Sold Out.

The Perth Mint has a couple of recent blog posts which are worth a read.

The first from the Perth Mint bullion blog advising that the bullion series year of the snake 1oz coins (both Gold and Silver) have now sold out at Perth Mint:
Gold and silver 1oz coins from the Australian Lunar – 2013 Year of the Snake Coin Series are officially sold out at The Perth Mint.
The sell out of the full mintages of 300,000 pure silver 1oz coins and 30,000 pure gold 1oz coins was achieved in just two months, ranking this release as one of the fastest selling behind the phenomenally successful Year of Dragon coins in 2012. Blog
While the dragon 1oz bullion coins sold out in days, this is still a very respectable result. The lunar rabbit didn't sell out at the Perth Mint until the February after release (around 5-6 months after release).

The other interesting blog was on Perth Mint's collector coin blog which addressed the dissatisfaction shown by collectors given that Perth Mint are releasing more 2oz proof Lunar Series 2 coins in a new set which will backdate the coins to the start of the series (I covered this in a post which you can read, click here):
Some collectors expressed irritation at the forthcoming release of a 2oz Silver Proof Lunar 12-Coin Collection, which in their eyes doubled the mintage of coins previously only available in an annual Three-Coin Set.
Similar concerns were raised about next month’s 2012 Silver Proof High Relief Four-Coin Set. Writers said that the release increased the mintages of Kangaroo, Kookaburra, Koala and Dragon high reliefs already available in individual presentation packaging.
I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the discussion and to let you know your comments were considered at a full meeting of the marketing department, as promised.
 Total vs. Certificate Mintages
In response, the maximum number of collectable coins we are permitted to strike is actually established in the Currency Determinations issued by Australian Treasury under the Australian Currency Act 1965. We always state a maximum mintage when we apply for approval of a collectable coin. 
In the case of the high relief Dragon, Treasury (as requested by the Mint) gave approval to strike up to 30,000 coins. Subsequently, we decided to release just 7,500 coins in individual presentation packaging – leaving a balance of 22,500 that could still legally be issued.
For obvious reasons of rarity and collectability, it is unlikely that we will ever do this, although we have decided to make an extra 1,000 available in the 2012 High Relief Year Set. In most people’s books, that’s a relatively minor increase in the overall quantity available in the market. Blog
I would recommend hitting the blog link and reading the above article (and all comments that follow) in it's entirety. It throws into question the entire Perth Mint numismatic mintage listing.

Given this revelation it's unlikely that I will be purchasing any new release numismatic coins from the Perth Mint, except those being added to my personal collection (rather than being purchased for investment/speculation purposes), which is really only the High Relief coins at the moment and even then I might wait and purchase them on the secondary market with the expectation their value will fall.

Perth Mint releases a new batch of coins tonight, for those interested check out the forthcoming releases page here (click) and once live you will find them in the new release section here (click). Apparently over November they will be providing free shipping with orders over $100 so keep an eye out for that deal.

If Lunar series coins interest you I would highly recommend signing up for free email updates with posts likely to be spasmodic as information on the 2013 Lunar Snake coins comes to hand... [CLICK HERE] To subscribe to blog updates via email (free).


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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fake/Counterfeit Silver Lunar Coins on eBay, BEWARE! (Perth Mint Replicas)

Some time ago I wrote about fake Silver Lunar Dragon coins which had been discovered:

Tonight I bring you a new warning. This time the victim (coin being copied) is 1oz Perth Mint Coloured Lunar Coins (both Series 1 and 2).

I was browsing eBay for the first time in awhile and stumbled across some fake Lunar coins being sold. Apologies if this is old news, but I haven't seen it reported anywhere:

Those I found are being sold by coingift, my recommendation would be to avoid any coins this seller has available. This seller previously went by the name xuemei828 and there are old examples of this eBay user selling plated/fake coins including Pandas (see this blog).

In this particular case the auctions clearly state that the coins are "Silver Plated" and weigh only 24 grams (without the ring) when they are marked 1oz, so this information alone should be enough to warn potential buyers, however there is nothing to stop someone purchasing these and then trying to sell them as the real coin, so be wary.

With these particular fake coins there are some obvious tell tale signs:

- No year on the coin (should be on front of Series 1 coin or back of Series 2 coin)
- Colouring and detail not as fine/sharp as on original coins
- Rear of coin on Series 1 coins differs a lot to the replicas
- In some cases the animal graphic doesn't even resemble that of the original designs

There are also other tell tale signs specific to individual coins (e.g. they've used the picture from the Series 2 Year of the Mouse/Rat Coin with the Series 1 decorative border). Some of the coins don't even exist (e.g. there is no coloured Series 1 1oz Tiger). Ultimately anyone taking care when making a purchase should be able to spot these fakes, however it's possible that there are better fakes out there.

Here are further pictures of the fake Lunar coins (Click to enlarge):



Take care when purchasing Lunar coins, especially when doing so from eBay!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Australian Lunar Series II - 2oz Silver Proof Twelve-Coin Collection (Perth Mint)

Today the Perth Mint released a variety of Lunar Snake Coins, as I previously mentioned on the blog:

This included the Australian Lunar Series II 2013 Year of the Snake 1oz Silver Coloured Edition (pictured below):
Australian Lunar Series II 2013 Year of the Snake 1oz Silver Coloured Edition
As I mentioned the standout purchase in today's release was the Typeset:
Besides the High Relief Snake the only standout is probably the typeset, which have tended to perform well given their low release numbers (1,500 sets). I suspect this might be the only release in this lineup that might be difficult to source directly from the Perth Mint, so may be worth jumping onto their site quickly for that one next week.
As I suspected it sold out quickly, Captain Overkill posting on his blog 'Doomberg' that it sold out in less than half an hour after release:
The rush to acquire the dragon typeset, combined with the speed of the sellout of the 2013 Year of the Snake three coin proof set made it highly likely that the snake typeset would face a similar quick sellout. Sure enough, the set sold out 23 minutes after going on sale, only lasting for eight minutes longer than the three-coin set! As with the three coin set, some people reported they were unable to enter the queue quickly enough, and could not buy before the coins sold out. Doomberg
While I didn't grab this set for myself, I think the Typeset collection is one of the few numismatic releases which will perform well due to the low number of sets released.

The forthcoming releases page was updated on Perth Mint's website during the day unveiling an interesting range of new Lunar coins which will be released:

A couple of interesting coins stand out for next months release...

A 2012 Gold Proof High Relief Coin is an interesting addition. It will be the first High Relief Gold Lunar Coin from Perth Mint, although they have released a High Relief Gold Koala. I suspect this will be one beautiful coin, but likely priced near $3000 retail it will be out of the price range for most collectors (even though as a premium over spot it is relatively cheap compared with Silver equivalent). The 1oz Gold Proof Dragon had a RRP of $3100 from Perth Mint, but shortly after release secondary dealers were offloading them for around $2300-2400. I suspect we might see similar for the High Relief Gold Dragon (heavy discounting shortly after release).

The other interesting release in the lineup is the Lunar Twelve Coin Collection... I emailed Perth Mint in regards to this set and was provided the following information:

A maximum of 1,000 sets will be issued with just 100 available in Australia via Perth Mint wholesale and retail.

Initially, purchasers will receive six standard 2oz proof coins (dated 2008 – 2013) in a presentation case and six Certs.

The case has room for the final six 2oz proof coins, to be issued between 2014 and 2019.

This is likely to disappoint some collectors who have purchased the 3 coin set thinking it would be the only way to purchase the 2oz Proof Lunar Coins (Series 2 releases, Series 1 had the 2oz Proof Coins sold individually, see the mintage sheet here), but the addition of the 12 Coin 2oz Lunar Set will effectively double the mintage of that particular coin (1,000 in the 3 Coin Set, 1,000 in the 12 Coin Set) and this move confirms  that Perth Mint may choose to mint additional Series 2 numismatic coins in various sets to workaround existing mintages.

For absolute certainty when buying numismatic Lunar coins you are best off sticking with Series 1 coins which can definitely no longer be reminted.

If Lunar series coins interest you I would highly recommend signing up for free email updates with posts likely to be spasmodic as information on the 2013 Lunar Snake coins comes to hand... [CLICK HERE] To subscribe to blog updates via email (free).


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