Australian Lunar I

The Australian Perth Mint first introduced the Lunar Gold Coin series in 1996. Each coin is 99.99% pure 24 carat gold and features the animals of the ancient Chinese Lunar Calendar. The coin series was minted from 1996-2007 and each year highlights a different lunar animal.

The Gold coin series began with the year of the mouse in 1996 and ended with the year of the pig in 2007. The series was so popular that the Perth Mint launched the Lunar II Gold Coin series in 2008.

Size and Purity

Lunar I gold coins have a fineness of .9999 pure gold and are legal tender in Australia. Each coin in the series is available in 1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz 1/10 oz, and 1/20 oz sizes.

Lunar I coins are some of the most popular gold bullion products in the world. Because of the annual design changes the coins appeal to both collectors and investors.

Chinese Lunar Calendar

Lunar I gold coins celebrate the ancient Chinese Lunar Calendar, which dates back to 2,600 BC. Based on the appearance of the new moon, the calendar associates a different animal with each year in the 12 year lunar cycle.

In Chinese culture, the different animals are said to influence the behavior of the individuals born under its rule. Below is a table which shows the birth dates under each animal dictated by the appearance of the new moon.

Mouse

1924

1936

1948

1960

1972

1984

1996

2008

Ox

1925

1937

1949

1961

1973

1985

1997

2009

Tiger

1926

1938

1950

1962

1974

1986

1998

2010

Rabbit

1927

1939

1951

1963

1975

1987

1999

2011

Dragon

1928

1940

1952

1964

1976

1988

2000

2012

Snake

1929

1941

1953

1965

1977

1989

2001

2013

Horse

1930

1942

1954

1966

1978

1990

2002

2014

Goat

1931

1943

1955

1967

1979

1991

2003

2015

Monkey

1932

1944

1956

1968

1980

1992

2004

2016

Rooster

1933

1945

1957

1969

1981

1993

2005

2017

Dog

1934

1946

1958

1970

1982

1994

2006

2018

Pig

1935

1947

1959

1971

1983

1995

2007

2019

Source: Perth Mint

The lunar cycle begins with the year of the mouse. According to the historical myth, the order of the animals was determined by a race across a river. The mouse quitely rode on the back of the ox, and leaped to victory at the last minute.

The sequence of the 12 animals featured in the Lunar I Gold Coin series from the Perth Mint are as follows:

1996- Year of the Mouse (Rat)

1997- Year of the Ox

1998- Year of the Tiger

1999- Year of the rabbit

2000- Year of the Dragon

2001- Year of the Snake

2002- Year of the Horse

2003- Year of the Goat

2004- Year of the Monkey

2005- Year of the Rooster

2006- Year of the Dog

2007- Year of the Pig

Design

What makes the Lunar I series so unique is the annually changing designs which feature the different animals of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The front side of the coin depicts the animal in the Chinese zodiac. The reverse side will always show the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Lunar Gold coins from the Perth Mint are some of the best designed coins in the world.

Perth Mint

The Perth Mint was established in 1899, as a branch of the Royal Mint (UK). The Perth Mint was the third colonial branch of Britain’s Royal Mint with the others being the Sydney Mint and the Melbourne Mint, both now closed. The Perth Mint opened because of the large gold deposits discovered in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. It’s main purpose at the time was to mint Sovereigns and half Sovereigns for the British empire.

Between 1899-1931, the mint produced more than 106 million Gold Sovereigns and almost 735,000 half Sovereigns for use as currency throughout Australia and the British empire.

The mint remained under British control until 1970 when ownership was transferred to the government of Western Australia. By state act of Parliament, a new direction was established in 1987 with the creation of the Gold corporation. This allowed the mint to market Gold, Silver and Platinum bullion products to investors and collectors all over the world.

The Perth Mint produces a number of popular bullion coins which include:

Lunar I Gold Coin Series

Lunar II Gold Coin Series

Australian Gold Kangaroo Series

Kookaburra Silver coin Series

Koala Silver Coin Series

 

Advantages

  • Lunar I gold coins are 99.99% pure gold

  • Are popular worldwide and easy to buy and sell almost anywhere precious metals are sold.

  • Are available in a variety of different sizes.

  • Are popular with both investors and collectors

  • The annual design changes add to the coins global appeal.

It should be noted that pure gold coins like the Lunar I are susceptible to surface scratches and should be kept in their protective packaging.

Tips

The price of Lunar I gold coins is made up of the gold price plus the premium. Gold is traded on the stock exchanges of the world and fluctuates constantly based upon supply and demand, geo-political factors and central bank policy.

The premium includes the cost and margin of the mint and bullion dealer. Each dealer has a different cost structure and as a result premiums can vary widely. Always choose a dealer with a good reputation and a wide selection of bullion products to choose from.  

German Investment Coins

In Germany investment gold coins are exempt from VAT regulated in § 25c UStG. The following criteria make the Lunar I investment gold.

  • The gold coin must have been stamped after 1800.

  • It must be or have been an official means of payment in the country of production.

  • It must have a fine gold content of at least 900/1000.

  • The gold coin may not exceed the open market value by more than 80%

Details

Manufacturer: Perth Mint
Country of origin: Australia
Carat: 24K
Gold: 99.99%
Fineness: 999.9/1000
Alloy: Gold
Common Sizes: 1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, 1/10 oz and 1/20 oz
Scratch resistance: Poor

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