The Perth Mint has been a leader in the production of lunar-themed bullion coins since 1996. Its groundbreaking Lunar Series I program offered different designs for each of the 12 animals on the Chinese Lunar Calendar for both gold and silver buyers to purchase. The concept of lunar designs has proven so popular that the Perth Mint followed up that collection with not one, but two additional Lunar Series. The Lunar Series III collection launches in 2020 and starts a new 12-year program for investors and collectors to follow.
Ing Ing Jong offers up the first designs of the Lunar Series III with the debut issue of the 2020 Year of the Mouse. Ms. Jong was initially hired by the Perth Mint in 2011 to work on a variety of coin designs. Since 2013, one of her major contributions for the mint has been in the Lunar Series collections, with the 2013 Year of the Snake in the Lunar Series II program marking her debut. She now brings her talents to bear for the new Lunar Series III program as well.
The available designs in the Lunar Series III silver bullion collection include:
Both the investment-grade silver bullion coins available in the new Lunar Series III collection and the collectible silver proof coins will share this design. For the first time in Lunar Series history, the Perth Mint will use the new sixth-generation effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. The previous Lunar Series II collection concluded with the Ian Rank-Broadley design to ensure all 12 releases in that series shared the same effigy.
This right-profile portrait of Her Majesty debuted on several bullion coins from the Perth Mint in 2019. It was created by Jody Clark and showcases the Queen wearing the Royal Diadem crown on her head, as well as earrings and the Victorian coronation necklace. Notably, this is the first Australian coin effigy of the Queen to include her neckline and shoulders in the portrait since 1966.
The Perth Mint has adjusted the weights available in its lunar collections with the passage of time, narrowing down the available options in bullion and proof for both silver and gold coins until it found the selection that investors respond to the best. The Lunar Series III collection kicks off with six different weights available in the Silver Year of the Mouse design:
Each of these available weights features .9999 pure silver in Brilliant Uncirculated condition. The coins have a face value in Australian dollars (AUD) corresponding to the specific weights. The base weight is the 1 oz silver coin with a face value of $1 (AUD). The other face values include $.50 (1/2 oz), $2 (2 oz), $8 (5 oz), $30 (1 kilo), and $300 (10 Kilo).
In addition to its investment-grade silver bullion options, the Perth Mint has Lunar Series III coins available in collectible silver proof versions. There are fewer coin weights available, but if past issues are any indication, the Perth Mint will release varying designs of its Lunar Series III proof silver coins to include high-relief strikes, gilded coins, colorized coins, and even its 4-coin Type Set collection.
The main Lunar Series III silver proof collection consists of four options though. You can individually purchase 1 Kilo, 1 oz, and 1/2 oz proof silver coins with Ing Ing Jong’s 2020 Year of the Mouse design. Alternatively, you can purchase a 3-coin set that includes the 1 oz and 1/2 oz coins alongside a 2 oz proof silver coin. The latter coin is not available for individual purchase and can only be found in specialized proof sets.
In a new addition to the Lunar Series III collection, the Perth Mint is using a new authentication feature on the silver bullion coins in the series. The 10 Kilo coin will not feature this option, but the other five bullion weights will. On the reverse side of the coin, the Perth Mint has a micro-engraved letter within the design of the Year of the Mouse that is only visible under magnification.
The Perth Mint offers each of the silver bullion 2020 Year of the Mouse coins individually inside of protective acrylic capsules. Most of the coins have options for multiples that utilize different packaging. The 1/2 oz and 1 oz Lunar Series III coins are additionally available in multiples of 20 inside sealed rolls or boxes of 100 coins with five rolls in total. The 2 oz Lunar Series III coins are also available in boxes of 100 coins with five rolls, but not available in individual rolls of 20 coins. The 1 Kilo coin also has a box option that consists of 15 coins per box. The 5 oz and 10 Kilo coins are only available inside of individual acrylic capsules.
Mintage figures for most of the Lunar Series III silver coins are unlimited. The Perth Mint will produce the 1/2 oz, 2 oz, 5 oz, and 1 Kilo coins to meet demand through the end of the 2020 calendar year, at which point no more coins will be struck. The 1 oz coin has a limited mintage of only 300,000 coins for the year. The 10 Kilo coin has a mintage cap of 100 coins and will only be struck as orders dictate.
As for the Lunar Series III proof silver coins, all products are housed individually inside of the Perth Mint’s iconic red-and-black clamshell displays. The clamshell will ship inside of a stylized shipper that includes artwork representing the animal matching the date mark. The three-coin set ships in a similar Perth Mint clamshell with spots for each of the three coins. All other proof sets ship in appropriate clamshells to house the declared number of coins. Proof silver coins all come with an individually numbered Certificate of Authenticity as well.
If you are ready to add the Lunar Series III coins to your collection or start a new one with your first lunar purchase, please feel free to contact JM Bullion. Our customer service team is available to you at 800-276-6508, online using our live chat, and via our email address.