Posted on September 29, 2017
The Year of the Dog has arrived, and refineries around the globe are cranking out their lunar-themed coin programs featuring designs honoring mankind’s best friend. Perth Mint’s Lunar Series II collection is widely regarded as the leading series of lunar-themed coins, and the 2018 issue coins in this program don’t disappoint.
Ing Ing Jong returns as the designer in the series, creating two different Year of the Dog themes for the gold and silver coin offerings. Similar to the other years in the collection, the Year of the Dog release includes a unique gold design and silver design, with the coins available in various weights across the bullion and proof offerings. Take a closer look at the penultimate release in Lunar Series II.
Lunar Series II coins debuted from the Perth Min in 2008, following up the popular Lunar Series I offering of coins. The Perth Mint’s 1996 debut of the Lunar Series I coins started with the Year of the Rat and followed the 12-year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac. Following the conclusion of the original series, Perth Mint responded to the immense popularity with Lunar Series II coins.
There were changes in the offering though with Lunar Series II’s arrival. The collection picked up again with the Year of the Rat as the 12-year cycle restarted, and the mint offered the coins with greater variety. The designs were more impressive and intricate in nature for the Lunar Series II collection.
The Year of the Dog arrives with the 2018 release, which serves as the penultimate design issue given the 2019 conclusion of Lunar Series II. For the Year of the Dog coins, Ing Ing Jong selected the German Shepherd as the representative of the species on the silver coin, and the Labrador Retriever as the gold coin representative.
The 2018 Australian Silver Dog Coins represent the silver offering in the Year of the Dog release. On the reverse side of all 2018 Australian Silver Dog coins you’ll find the image of two German Shepherds. The foreground of the design includes an adult lying in an open space with a young puppy in front of it. In the background you’ll note the image of a Chinese peony flower growing. Engravings include the Chinese character for Year of the Dog and the “P” mint mark of the Perth Mint.
German Shepherds are among the most popular dog breeds in the world, ranking fourth in registration with both the American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club in the United Kingdom. The breed is relatively young in terms of development, having emerged in Germany and Central Europe in 1899. A working breed by nature, most German Shepherds today aren’t found on farms or ranches, but rather in city locales.
German Shepherds are excellent family dogs because of their loyalty and trainability. The latter feature has also made them a favorite of police forces and military units as trained assistants on city streets and battlefields around the globe.
For the 2018 release, Perth Mint offers the 2018 Australian Silver Dog coins in both bullion and proof versions. There are various sizes available in both. All coins feature .9999 pure silver content and a face value in Australian Dollars (AUD) representative of their overall weight. For the bullion release, Perth Mint offers the following six weights:
– 1 Kilo: $30 (AUD)
– 10 oz: $10
– 5 oz: $8
– 2 oz: $2
– 1 oz: $1
– 1/2 oz: $.50
Perth Mint plans to announce a limited-issue 10 Kilo coin with a maximum mintage of just 100 coins later this year. The 1 oz coin is the only silver coin with an announced maximum mintage, set at 300,000. The remaining weights have an unlimited mintage, meaning the mint will strike the coins to meet demand through the end of the 2018 calendar year (matching the year of issue on the coin).
As for the proof release in the 2018 Australian Silver Dog range, Perth Mint offers a total of four weights available in two different purchasing options: These weights include:
– 1 Kilo
– 2 oz*
– 1 oz
– 1/2 oz
The Proof Australian Silver Dog coins have extremely limited mintages. The 1 Kilo is capped at 500 coins, while the 1 oz coin has a maximum individual mintage of 5,000 coins and the 1/2 oz coin has a maximum individual mintage of 8,000 coins. The 2 oz coin is marked above because it is not available for individual purchase. Instead, you’ll find it only in a 3-coin set, along with the 1 oz and 1/2 oz coins, that has a maximum mintage of 1,000 sets.
All proof coins arrive in special presentation packaging. The coins are individually packaged in Perth Mint black-and-red clamshells and feature a Certificate of Authenticity. This applies to the 3-coin set as well.
The 2018 Australian Gold Dog collection of coins features a different design to honor the Year of the Dog. For this release, Ing Ing Jong selected the Labrador Retriever as the representative of the species. Rather than featuring two dogs on the coin as the silver offering has, the Australian Gold Coins have one Labrador Retriever.
On the reverse of all 2018 Australian Gold Dog coins you’ll find the image of one adult Labrador Retriever. The dog is depicted standing atop a rocky outcrop, with a stylized pine tree growing out of the rock face in the background. The engravings on this side include the phrase “Year of the Dog,” the Chinese character for dog, and the Perth Mint’s “P” mint mark.
Labrador Retrievers are classified as a gun-retriever breed, and like the German Shepherd, were originally kept as working dogs to assist their human owners. Today, many people still purchase Labrador Retrievers as hunting companions, but they have also found a new use as a service dogs. Like the German Shepherd, Labrador Retrievers are exceptionally well behaved and easy to train. This makes them an ideal companion as service dogs for the blind and comfort companions for those with traumatic injuries.
For the 2018 Australian Gold Dog bullion coins, the Perth Mint offers a total of eight different coin weights to choose from when buying. The coins all feature .9999 pure gold content and come with face values representative of their weight, again in Australian Dollars (AUD). Those weights include:
– 1 Kilo: $3,000 (AUD)
– 10 oz: $1,000
– 2 oz: $200
– 1 oz: $100
– 1/2 oz: $50
– 1/4 oz: $25
– 1/10 oz: $15
– 1/20 oz: $5
In the 2018 Proof Australian Gold Dog series, the Perth Mint has issued an even more limited range of options. The Proof Australian Gold Dog coins are available only in 1 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz gold weights. The coins have low mintage figures of 3,000, 5,000, and 4,000 respectively by weight, and are also available in a 3-coin set with a maximum mintage of 1,500 sets.
Like the silver coins, the Proof Australian Gold Dog Coins ship to you inside of the Perth Mint’s classic clamshell, with Lunar Series II themed packaging that includes a Certificate of Authenticity. All coins in the collection, gold and silver alike, feature the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. Her Majesty’s image is captured in right-profile relief and was designed in 1998 by Ian Rank-Broadley.
Ing Ing Jong is a 2006 graduate of the Central TAFE School of Art and Design in Perth, Western Australia. She has an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design and specialized in illustration and multimedia. She also holds a Bachelor of Multimedia from Curtin University, and was hired as a coin designer at Perth Min 2011. She draws a lot of her inspiration from Disney artists, and is fond of the ability of Disney to “convey the essence of the character’s emotions through their sketches.” Jong took over designing Lunar Series II coins in 2013 for Perth Mint.
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