Australian Gold Lunar Coins


The current 2nd lunar series started in 2008 and will end in 2019. The Australian Gold Lunar coins of this 2nd series are produced by the Perth Mint out of 99.99% pure gold with brilliant uncirculated and proof finishes. High relief and ultra high relief proof coins as well as colorized versions of the coins are produced as well. The design of the reverse side of the Australian Lunar Gold coins changes every year and always depicts the Chinese zodiac animal for the corresponding year of issuance. The coins of the prior 1st lunar series were made out of 99.9% gold between 1996 and 2007.

Design

The coin's obverse side depicts the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II in profile wearing a royal tiara. The depiction of her majesty is meant to symbolize Australia’s allegiance to the crown and the British Commonwealth. Her majesty's title and the country’s name are engraved along the upper left and right edge of the coin and the year of mintage, denomination, weight and purity information appear along the lower edge.

The design of the reverse side of the Australian Gold Lunar coins changes every year and always depicts the Chinese zodiac animal for the corresponding year of issuance. The 2015 "Year of the Goat" issue depicts a lone goat standing atop rocky terrain. The Chinese hanzi character for “goat” is inscribed next to the animal and the words “Year of the Goat” appear along the lower edge. The mint mark P can be seen on the reverse side as well. The 2016 edition is dedicated to the "Year of the Monkey". The coins depict a monkey that is sitting on a peach tree branch. In China, peaches represent longevity and immortality. The new 2017 design depicts a rooster standing on one leg between leafy bamboo plants.

reverse side of the 2017 Year of the Rooster Australian Gold Lunar coin
obverse side of the 2017 Year of the Rooster Australian Gold Lunar coin

2015 Australian Gold Lunar

Gold Lunar Series 2
(2008 - 2019)

Gold Purity: 99.99%

Weight Face Value Diameter x Thickness
10 kg AUD $ 30.000 180.6 x 25 mm
1 kg AUD $ 3.000 100.6 x 9 mm
10 oz AUD $ 1.000 75.6 x 6 mm
2 oz AUD $ 200 41.1 x 3.9 mm
1 oz AUD $ 100 39.34 x 2.5 mm
1/2 oz AUD $ 50 30.6 x 2.2 mm
1/4 oz AUD $ 25 22.6 x 2.2 mm
1/10 oz AUD $ 15 18.6 x 2 mm
1/20 oz AUD $ 5 14.8 x 1.4 mm

reverse side of the 2016 Year of the Monkey Australian Lunar Gold coin
obverse side of the 2016 Year of the Monkey Australian Lunar Gold coin

2016 Australian Gold Lunar

History

Australian Gold & Silver Lunar designs:

The Perth Mint started producing the Australian Gold Lunar coins in 1996 with the "Year of the Mouse" coins. At first, only 1 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz and 1/20 oz coins were produced. The 1 kg, 10 oz and 2 oz coins were first produced in the year 2000 for the "Year of the Dragon". The 1/2 oz coin was added in 2004 for the "Year of the Monkey". Finally, a 10 kg version of the Australian Lunar Gold coins was added to the lineup in 2006 for the "Year of the Dog".

Whereas the reverse side depicts the Chinese zodiac sign for the respective year, the obverse shows an image of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. From 1996 to 1998, the Australian Lunar Gold coins still used the image of a younger Queen. Since 1999, the coins depict a more mature Queen and this image is used in the second lunar series as well.

The first lunar coin series ended in 2007 with the "Year of the Pig" coins. Since this first series was immensely popular with investors and collectors alike, a second lunar series was launched in 2008 and will end in 2019. The Australian Gold Lunar coins depict the Chinese zodiac animal for the respective year of issuance, so the 2017 issue is dedicated to the "Year of the Rooster" and the 2016 edition to the "Year of the Monkey".

The gold coins of the first lunar series displayed information about the year of mintage, denomination and gold purity on the reverse side of the coins. That information is not engraved anymore on the gold coins that make up the 2nd Australian Gold Lunar series.

reverse side of the 2016 Australian Silver Lunar coin
obverse side of the 2016 Australian Silver Lunar coin

2016 Australian Silver Lunar

Mintages

Mintage numbers of the Australian Gold Lunar coins are comparatively lower than those of other gold bullion coins. That makes them popular with both numismatists and investors. The years 2000 until 2002 saw the highest mintage for 1 oz Gold Lunar coins of the first series. The mintage limit of 30.000 for 1 oz coins was reached in each of those years.

For the 1 oz coins of the second Gold Lunar series, the limit of 30.000 coins was reached in every year since 2008. The mintage of fractional denominations was generally much lower than that. However, the 1/10 oz denomination exceeded the 30.000 mark in the years 2012 (33.059 coins), 2014 (34.181 coins) and 2015 (33.027 coins). The mintage record for any denomination are the 58.890 coins of 1/20 oz that were sold in 2015.

The Perth Mint published the official mintages for the coins of the first lunar series here. The mintage numbers of the second Australian Lunar Gold coin series can be found here.

Australian Silver Lunar Coins

The Australian Silver Lunar coins depict the Chinese zodiac sign for their corresponding year of issuance, just like the coins of the gold series. However, the design of the zodiac animal on the silver coins is not the same as that on the gold coins.

The silver coins are available with brilliant uncirculated and proof finishes. High relief proof coins are also offered. Proof coins may also contain special privy marks. Colorized and gilded versions of the coins exist for both BU and proof coins. Colorized coins where the zodiac animals have a special gemstone eye are very popular among collectors.

The Perth Mint started producing the first series of the Australian Silver Lunar coins in 1999. The silver coins were initially available in denominations of 1 kg, 10 oz, 2 oz, 1 oz and 1/2 oz. In 2004, 1/2 kg and 5 oz silver coins were added. In 2006, 10 kg coins were added to the series as well. From 2008 until 2010, only 1 kg, 2 oz and 1 oz lunar silver coins of the first series were still minted, parallel to the second lunar silver series that already started in 2008.

The second series of the Australian Lunar Silver coins started with denominations of 10 kg, 1 kg, 1/2 kg, 10 oz, 5 oz, 2 oz, 1 oz and 1/2 oz in 2008. The 1/2 kg silver coin was last produced in 2010.

Special Editions

The Perth Mint also issues colorized Gold Lunar coins (brilliant uncirculated and proof) that enjoy considerable popularity among collectors.

Besides 'regular' proof coins, high relief (HR) and ultra high relief (UHR) proof coins are issued in extremely limited mintages. Depending on the design of the zodiac animal, some years 'only' allow the production of high relief coins whereas other animal designs make it possible to even produce ultra high relief proof coins. The raised relief over a sunken background of these HR and UHR coins makes the details and beauty of the intricate zodiac animal design stand out even more.

high relief proof 2016 Year of the Monkey Australian Gold Lunar coin
high relief proof Gold Lunar coin 2016.
colorized proof 2016 Year of the Monkey Australian Gold Lunar coin
colorized proof Gold Lunar coin 2016.
ultra high relief proof 2015 Year of the Goat Australian Gold Lunar coin
ultra high relief proof Gold Lunar coin 2015.

Special Sets

12 coin Australian Gold Lunar Series 1 Set
1996-2007 Australian Gold Lunar Series 1 - 12 x 1/10 oz proof set

total gold weight:

12 oz (1 oz coins), 3 oz (1/4 oz), 1.2 oz (1/10 oz), 0.6 oz (1/20 oz)

These sets exist for both brilliant uncirculated as well as proof coins for the 4 different denominations (1 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, 1/20 oz) that were minted continuously during the 12 years of the first Australian Gold Lunar series (1996-2007).

3 coin proof Set - Gold Lunar Series 2
Australian Gold Lunar Series 2 - 3 coin Year of the Snake proof set 2013

total gold weight: 1.35 oz

The Perth Mint issues this 3 coin proof set annually. The mintage limit was lowered in recent years from 3.000 to 1.500 sets. It includes the 1 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz proof coins as well as a certificate of authenticity. The coins are stored in a beautiful oval display case which is shipped in an illustrated box.

gold vs. silver

Where to buy?

1 oz Australian Lunar Gold 2016
reverse side of the 1 oz 2016 Year of the Monkey Australian Lunar Gold coin
available Dealers:

Money Metals Exchange

Buy 2016 coin
for about $ 1,386.12