Lunar II silver coins are considered to be one of the best investment coins in the world. The coin series started in 2008 with the year of the mouse and runs until the year of the pig in 2019. The 12 illustrated zodiac signs of the Chinese lunar calendar are very popular in the Asian region but also inspire investors and collectors around the world.
Weights, sizes and denominations
The Perth Mint issues the Lunar silver coin series in the traditional fine weight of 1 oz, but also in seven more variants. Other very successful silver coins such as the Vienna Philharmonic, Maple Leaf or American Eagle are available with the weight of 1 ounce only.
The Perth Mint’s intention is to appeal to collectors and investors who like to buy other coin weights, especially larger silver coins. Traditionally 1 oz silver and gold coins sell well. Therefore the Lunar II series 1 oz silver coins are minted with an annual circulation of 300,000 pieces. All coins have a fineness of 999/1000.
1/2 oz 15.55 g 36.6 mm 2.3 mm 50 Cent
1 oz 31.103 g 45.6 mm 3.20 mm 1 AUD
2 oz 62.2 g 55.6 mm 3.6 mm 2 AUD
5 oz 155.5 g 65.6 mm 5.8 mm 8 AUD
10 oz 311.1 g 85.6 mm 6.6 mm 10 AUD
1 kg 1 kg 100.6 mm 14.6 mm 30 AUD
10 kg 10 kg 221 mm 33 mm 300 AUD
History of Lunar Silver Coins
With the release of the Lunar II silver coin series in 2008, the Perth Mint continued to build upon the success of the Lunar I series. In 1999 the first edition of Lunar I silver coins were introduced and ran until 2010.
The design of the first edition was, according to the Chinese calendar, a rabbit. However, in 2008 before the 12 year cycle of the Lunar I series ran out, the Lunar II series was started to synchronize with the first year of the Chinese calendar, the year of the rat (mouse).
The remaining three editions of the Lunar I series were minted in 2007 and released to the market in the next three years until 2010. But the year of issue for these three editions was no longer minted on the obverse (front), but on the reverse (back). The obverse retained the current year of the Chinese zodiac sign.
The issued quantities of Lunar II silver coins were a multiple of the first series and therefore more successful. This is linked to the reputation of the silver coins but also of the large portfolio of the Perth Mint itself. The designs of the Lunar II go up to 12 years until 2019, which is the year of the pig.
Appearance & Zodiac Signs
The appearance of Lunar II silver coins has changed considerably compared to the Lunar I series. We can view the Lunar II series as an even more attractive silver coin series. From the first Lunar series to the second the dotted ornamental circle was removed and the animal motifs were slightly enlarged on the front. Since 2008 the obverse of the Lunar II silver coins depict an animal motif, which is surrounded by a very nice unevenly dotted ornamental circle. Below the motif "Year of the" and the name of the animal are displayed. The Chinese characters for the pictured animal is above the design or imprinted toward the side. Furthermore you can see on the obverse of the Lunar II a "P" which is the mint mark for the Perth Mint.
The reverse depicts Queen Elizabeth II. also displayed are the year of issue, the name of the Ruler of the United Kingdom "Elizabeth II", the Country "Australia", fineness and fine weight, the metal name and the respective nominal value in dollars. The Lunar Silver Coins are equipped with edge bar and rippled edge. The edge bar allows good stackability of the coin, and at the same time protects the motive because it is a little higher. The rippled edge has mainly aesthetic reasons.
Annual Mintage of Lunar II Silver Coins
The annual editions between the individual weights are very different. The highest minted coin is the 1 oz variant with an annual circulation of 300,000. Next to the 1 oz the smaller ½ oz Lunar silver coin reached more than 100,000 pieces in the last several years.
From 2008 to 2010 the ½ kg Lunar II was also minted, but suspended in 2011. The 2 oz variant has experienced very high growth since 2008 and even exceeded the 100,000 limit.
In comparison, the first edition of 2 oz silver coins in 2008 had a circulation of 9,126 pieces. The year of the Dragon, 2012, had annual sales of 118,738 pieces. All sizes of the Lunar II silver coins are minted on demand, only the 1 oz has a fixed circulation of 300,000 pieces.
YearZodiac Sign1/2 oz1 oz2 oz5 oz10 oz1 Kilo10 Kilo
The Perth Mint was founded as a branch of the Royal Mint London in 1896. The mint started to operate three years later in 1899. Located in Perth / Australia, the Perth Mint was one of the seven mints, which could mint the famous Sovereign gold coin of the United Kingdom.
The gold Sovereign was minted in total more than 1 billion times worldwide. The Mint Mark of the Perth Mint is a "P", it can be found on most of their minted coins. Today Perth Mint is owned by the Gold Corporation, which is in turn 100% owned by the Australian government.
Products from the Perth Mint
Lunar I and Lunar II
Perth Mint bullion
Price for silver coins
The price of Lunar silver coins is composed of the current silver price, VAT and premium. Silver is traded on the commodity exchanges of the world and the price is determined by supply and demand.
In addition the price of silver is influenced by the dollar, oil prices, world political situation, mining output, and many other things. The second component of the price of silver coins is the VAT, which is in most European countries is added to the coin price. The only exceptions are Germany where silver coins are traded under the margin scheme and Estonia where silver coins are VAT free.
Another price determining component of silver coins is the premium. The premium describes the difference between the silver price and the buying price. The premium includes the margin and costs of both the mint and sellers
The price of the raw commodity silver is the main component of the price of silver coins. Investors should learn about the performance of silver and price determining factors. This way you can make an informed decision when to purchase silver.
When choosing the right investment coin, not only should the appearance and the current price of silver play a role, but also the premium. Silver coins from different manufacturers and sellers can carry different premiums. Within the series of coins, there are also different premiums depending on the weights. As a rule thumb smaller weights usually have a higher premium.