Despite the fact that we’re starting this guide now, we’ve barely hit the half way mark of the Lunar Year of the Horse that started on 31 January 2014 and runs until the 19 February 2015. The key catalyst for this urge to get coins out as early as possible is the release in early September of the Perth Mints seminal Lunar Series II coins. Anybody releasing lunars in the September  to November time-frame is going head-to-head with an incredibly popular range of coins, encompassing as it does myriad variants of gold, silver, coloured and proof coins, to name but a few.

The first coins released this year were ironically from fellow Perth inhabitant, Treasures of Oz, whose lunar range is now on its third year and proving very popular; unsurprising as the designs are top-notch. While we still think it’s far too early for Year of the Goat coins yet, we do understand the reasons from a business point of view. Following them have been a small smattering of one-off designs, most continuing series from previous years. As with last years hugely popular guide (thank you), this one will be updated as new coins are released. Also as per last year, there won’t be any base-metal coins covered. Enjoy, and if we’ve missed a coin, let us know and we’ll include it. Tabs with an asterix are latest updates.

The Year of the Goat  is meant to represent people that are wise, gentle, compassionate, charming, elegant, slightly materialistic, quick to complain, shy and pessimistic, should you believe in such things. Some call it the Year of the Sheep instead of the Year of the Goat and both titles are equally valid as, despite general western opinion, the lunar calendar is a Far-east Asian phenomena, not just a Chinese one. In Japan, it’s clearly known as the Year of the Sheep, in Vietnam equally clearly as the Year of the Goat, and in China, either translation is equally valid for the following reason. Wèi is identified with the yáng, which in Chinese means “A ruminant mammal, generally with horns on its head. Divided into a number of types, including shānyáng, miányáng, língyáng, etc. “. The latter three types translate as ‘mountain yang’ (goat), ‘cotton yang’ (sheep) and gazelle. The goat is the animal most popularly chosen to depict the Lunar year, but either is correct. Ironically in Korea, it’s more generally called the Year of the Ram. Whoever said translation was easy!!

THE ROYAL MINT: SERIES 02

Joining the ranks of lunar coin producers just last year with their debut Year of the Horse coin, the Royal Mint has continued the series for 2015 with another Wuon-Gean Ho designed reverse-side artwork. Like the Royal Canadian Mint, the Royal Mint prefers to use Year of the Sheep instead of Year of the Goat, like the Perth and Royal Australian Mints. Both are equally valid and an explanation can be found in our Lunar Goat Superguide.

This years sheep coin is an unusual piece, likely to divide opinion as much as last years, but that was far nicer in the hand than in the images and we think that will be the case again. I had doubts upon first seeing it in leaked images a while ago, but really like it now. The layered, stylistic design makes it different, the animals radiate power (difficult enough for a sheep!), and the design isn’t littered with unnecessary symbols. Bullion versions will be available in Q4 2014.

GOLD 0.9999

The gold lunar has been released in just two proof versions today, the 1oz and the 5oz. In addition, a 1/10oz brilliant uncirculated version is also available. The larger two coins are beautifully packaged in wooden display boxes, the smallest in a neat display case. The 1oz coin is priced at £1,950.00, the 1/10oz at £225.00, and the 5oz at £7,500, no doubt brought about by the tiny mintages, the 5oz having only 38 examples being produced.

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE WEIGHT DIAMETER QUALITY MINTAGE
£10 GBP 3.13 g 16.50 mm B/UNC 2,888
£100 GBP 31.21 g 32.69 mm PROOF 888
£500 GBP 156.295 g 65.00 mm PROOF-LIKE 38

SILVER 0.999

The silver coin is available in both a one-ounce and a five-ounce variant, the former also being released in a gilded version. The design is unchanged from the gold version, just as the horse coin was. Packaging for the one-ounce versions isn’t quite as extravagant as the five-ounce, but it’s rare the Royal Mint disappoints on that score. The 1oz coin is priced at £82.50, the gilded at £110.00, and the 5oz at £395.

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE WEIGHT DIAMETER QUALITY MINTAGE
£2 GBP 31.21 g 38.61 mm PROOF 9,888
£10 GBP 156.295 g 65.00 mm PROOF 1,088
£2 GBP 31.21 g 38.61 mm GILDED 4,888

PRESS RELEASE

The Royal Mint has revealed its coin designs for the Lunar Year of the Sheep, an event that has been eagerly anticipated since the release of the 2014 Year of the Horse coins last year – the first time that Lunar coins had been produced specifically for the United Kingdom.

Known as the Shēngxiào (or Chinese zodiac) Collection, The Royal Mint’s Lunar coin series reflects the Shēngxiào tradition, linking each year to one of 12 animals, with the animal traits attributed to those born in a given Lunar year. Celebrated annually in February, it is a time during which it is traditional to exchange tokens and, in particular, gifts of money in red envelopes, symbolising good wishes for the recipient’s health, wealth and prosperity.

British Chinese artist and printmaker Wuon-Gean Ho, who designed the 2014 Year of the Horse coin for The Royal Mint, continues the collection with a design that once again combines both British and Chinese heritage. The Year of the Sheep coin is the second in this auspicious series, and its design reflects characteristics of those born in the year of the sheep: freedom-loving with a passion for company.

Shane Bissett, Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said: “Following on from the hugely popular Year of the Horse coins range, of which three quarters were sold out in the first few months, The Royal Mint is happy to be bringing its craftsmanship and artistic skills to this latest coin in the Shēngxiào Collection. Supporting the centuries-old tradition of giving zodiac coins at the Lunar New Year, we’re expecting to see similar demand this year for Wuon Gean’s stunning design.”

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Wuon-Gean Ho is an artist of Chinese descent, born in the UK. She created the reverse design for the first Lunar coin from The Royal Mint, struck for the Year of the Horse, and has once again blended Chinese and British heritage in her latest design for the Year of the Sheep. Wuon-Gean works in many disciplines including printmaking, animation and books and has work in collections including the Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum. After graduating from Cambridge University with a degree in the History of Art and a professional licence as a veterinary surgeon Wuon-Gean took up a Japanese Government Scholarship in 1998 to study woodblock printmaking in Japan.

For the Lunar Year of the Sheep design, Wuon-Gean was inspired by her veterinary experience and memories of the lambing season. She worked in shifts with hours of waiting before periods of busy and rewarding work, seeing new lambs come into the world and watching the mother and child bond. She recalls observing sheep as part of the British landscape – in the grounds of Blenheim Palace, on the hillsides of the Peak district and in the rolling Brecon Beacons – their presence part of British life.

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ROYAL MINT BULLION: SERIES 02

With its first appearance last year, the Royal Mints new Lunar series was a first for British coins and the bullion version has been very popular. As promised, the series is to continue with the 2015 Year of the Sheep and the design, as you’d expect, is the same as that of the proof and numismatic versions that we covered previously. Available in gold and silver and in one-ounce format only, the coins should be available to order this friday (12th).

It’s a nice and unusual looking piece this year, but we’ve yet to confirm that the mintage limits of 30,ooo gold and 300,000 silver in place last year are to be retained. Hopefully so to encourage an enhanced premium, more important now that the Britannia has a recurring design and unlimited mintage. As before we’d definitely like to see a ¼oz gold coin added to lower the entry level for gold bullion; it’s a popular size.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION £100 UKP £2 UKP
COMPOSITION 0.9999 GOLD 0.9999 SILVER
WEIGHT 31.21 g 31.21 g
DIAMETER 32.69 mm 38.61 mm
FINISH BRILLIANT UNCIRCULATED BRILLIANT UNCIRCULATED
MINTAGE 30,000 tbc 300,000 tbc
REVERSE DESIGNER WUON-GEAN HO WUON-GEAN HO
OBVERSE DESIGNER IAN RANK BROADLEY IAN RANK BROADLEY

 

The Royal Mint

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN MINT

 

The flagship design for the mint this year is an evolution of the one used solely on the smallest gold and silver lunar coins last year. There are four sizes available; ½oz, 1oz, 50z and 1kg. The only difference can be seen above at the 9’o’clock position where smallest coin has a sprinkling of flowers to fill the space, whereas the bigger sizes carry the weight and purity, in the example above, 1oz .999 Ag.

Described by the mint as “The Chinese Year of the Goat heralds the births of people who are creative, charismatic, kind and gifted.Packaged in a stunning presentation case, this coin features a design of three goats surrounding plum blossoms, which symbolise hope, prosperity, purity and renewal in spring”. It looks a good design to us, especially the centre artwork, though it is quite busy. The smallest coin definitely benefits from having the extended artwork instead of the technical description, in our opinion. Quite successful overall. The gold coin sensibly, has exactly the same design as the smallest silver coin.

For international buyers the silver coins are priced at $50, $80, $290.91 and $1540.91, all in Australian Dollars. Australian buyers pay 10% more due to sales tax. The gold is $272.73 ($300).

Unlike the competition from other major mints, most of these come with some very small mintage limits indeed, the 5oz coin at just 500 being exceptionally tight for an Australian-denominated lunar coin. The silver coins are of 0.999 purity, and the gold 0.9999.

 

SPECIFICATION
PROOF COIN DENOMINATION WEIGHT DIAMETER MINTAGE
1/10 OZ GOLD $10 AUD 3.11 g 17.53 mm 1,500
1 KILO SILVER $30 AUD 1,000 g 99.95 mm 500
5 OZ SILVER
$10 AUD 155.5 g 65.10 mm 500
1 OZ SILVER
$1AUD 31.1 g 40.00 mm 5,000
11 G SILVER $1 AUD 11.66 g 25.00 mm 10,000

TETRA-DECAGON FROSTED SILVER

A fourteen-sided silver coin that had a Horse equivalent last year, this 50-cent release has a frosted finish that is pretty effective in an aesthetic sense. With design more in keeping with the Tokelau goats from Treasures of Oz and even the Perth Mint goats, the only downside regarding collectability has been the raising of the mintage from last years 10,000 to this years unlimited. There are also some tiny differences in diameter and weight.

If the price of $54.45 AUS ($59.90 for Australians) is too much, then an uncirculated bi-metallic version is also available at under a quarter of the price. It’s pretty fair to say the Royal Australian Mint has catered to all budgets this year.

 

SPECIFICATION
PROOF COIN DENOMINATION WEIGHT DIAMETER MINTAGE
½ OUNCE SILVER $0.5 AUD 16.20 g 31.51 mm UNLIMITED

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN MINT

NEW ZEALAND MINT LUNAR SERIES

The New Zealand Mint are continuing ongoing series. The main coin available is issued for long-term New Zealand Mint partner, Niue. The other is for a British Overseas Territory not often represented on commemorative coins, the Pitcairn Islands. With a population in 2013 of 56 (not thousand, literally just 56 people!), it’s not going to be a big market for the coin.

All the coins should be shipping in September and availability of these should be widespread. Interestingly there’s no ½oz coin this year. The silver Niue coins sell for $110 NZD, the gold for $750 NZD and the silver Pitcairn coin for $118 NZD.

2015 NIUE

This is the main design being issued by the New Zealand Mint for 2015 and is available in a ¼oz gold and 10z silver, the latter in both proof and coloured versions. Initial response is positive and we think these will look far better in the hand than in these artwork images, although they look good here also. It’s nice to see the use of colour so well restrained as it can often destroy the integrity of the design.

DESIGN: This coin face features a relief engraved Goat perched on a steep rocky mountainside in rural New Zealand. Silhouetted against a dramatic sky, the grandeur of the altitude and panoramic view may be felt in the dynamic moment captured on this coin.

OBVERSE: This features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

PACKAGING: The Lunar Year of the Goat 2015 coins are each packaged in very high quality contemporary style inner and outer packaging, making them ideal for gifting. The Silver coins are packaged in Perspex coin cases, with high quality outer packaging.

SPECIFICATION
COMPOSITION 0.9999 GOLD 0.999 SILVER
FINISH PROOF PROOF COLOURED
DENOMINATION $25 NZD $2 NZD $2 NZD
WEIGHT 7.78 g 31.1 g 31.1 g
DIAMETER 22.0 mm 40.0 mm 40.0 mm
MINTAGE 2,015 10,000 10,000
ARTIST UNKNOWN
PACKAGING WOOD BOX PERSPEX DISPLAY
C.O.A. YES YES

2015 PITCAIRN ISLANDS

The second design is a little more unusual. Described as a ‘contemporary style’, it actually looks a little like the goat in the cult PC video game Goat Simulator. This is another one we’re eager to see in reality as the New Zealand Mint art images really don’t do justice to the finished article, the Feng Shui Horse coin springs to mind as a fine coin that was done no favours by the published art pictures.

DESIGN: This coin face features a relief engraved Goat of a contemporary style, set against a detailed background illustrating the global community of cultures in which we live. To the left of the design, the gold gilded Chinese character for Goat is set against a proof quality background.

OBVERSE: This features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

PACKAGING: This Gilded Silver Lunar Year of the Goat 2015 coin comes packaged in an Ingot-shaped coin case and Lunar-themed printed outer case.

 

SPECIFICATION
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
FINISH PROOF GILDED
DENOMINATION $5 PITCAIRN ISLANDS
WEIGHT 31.1 g
DIAMETER 40.0 mm
MINTAGE 10,000
ARTIST UNKNOWN
PACKAGING INGOT COIN BOX
C.O.A. YES

NEW ZEALAND MINT

MONNAIE DE PARIS: LUNAR SERIES 09

 

The Monnaie de Paris has launched its gold and silver lunars and they continue on with the design ethos that has characterised the series since 2007. Available from the 08 September, but up for pre-order on their site now, it’s another clean design with a busy border, just like the 2014 Horse coin. At the moment only the ¼oz gold and the 22g silver are available to buy, but there was a 1oz gold produced last year that we’d expect to see for 2015 anytime soon. That was a 37mm diameter coin with a mintage of 500, but carried identical reverse and obverse artwork.

DESCRIPTION: The Goat is the eighth animal in the Chinese Calendar, is depicted as artist, soft and easy. She is free-and-easy. She likes all which is beautiful and the arts. She needs to feel safe. This sign corresponds to the birthdays of the next years: 1907 – 1919 – 1931 – 1943 – 1955 – 1967 – 1979 – 1991 – 2003 – 2015.

OBVERSE: Shows a Chinese depiction of a Goat, inspired by ancient potteries, all within a decorative frieze. The Chinese ideogram symbolizes the year of the Goat.

REVERSE: Depicts the portrait of Jean de La Fontaine is surrounded by the 12 animals that make up the Chinese zodiac.

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIAMETER QUALITY MINTAGE
€10 EURO 0.900 Ag 22.2 g 37.00 mm PROOF 5,000
€50 EURO 0.920 Au 8.45 g 22.00 mm PROOF 1,000

MONNAIE DE PARIS

PERTH MINT SILVER BULLION: SERIES 08

The bullion coin most awaited by collectors, even though the fanaticism has died down since the 2012 Year of the Dragon. The 1oz is the coin of choice, having a mintage limited to just 300,000. A good looking coin, but if past years are any indication, the proof versions are far nicer looking, which is handy as there’ll be a huge variety of variants coing out over the next six months. Mint description below;

These magnificent silver coins celebrate the Year of the Goat, the eighth animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. In Chinese culture, people born in the Year of the Goat – 1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 and 2015 are regarded as elegant, charming, artistic, gifted and calm.

No mintage limit applies to 1 kilo, 10oz, 5oz, 2oz and 1/2oz coins. Except for the 1 kilo release, production of these coins will close at the end of 2015 when The Perth Mint will declare each coin’s official mintage.

A maximum of 150 10 kilo coins will also be produced on a mint-to-order basis. Similarly, production will close at the end of 2015, when the coin’s mintage will be declared. The Perth Mint will produce up to 300,000 1oz coins. Production will cease when the mintage is fully sold or at the end of the series, whichever comes first.

2015LUN-PERTH-SILVER-ALL

DESIGN: Each coin’s reverse depicts a family of goats standing in a stylised rural scene. The Chinese character for ‘goat’ and the inscription ‘Year of the Goat’ also appear in the design with The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark. The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2015 year-date and the monetary denomination are shown on the obverse of each coin.

SPECIFICATION
COIN DENOMINATION WEIGHT DIAMETER MINTAGE
10 KILO $300 AUD 10,010.000 g 221.00 mm 150
1 KILO $30 AUD 1,001.002 g 100.60 mm UNLIMITED
10 OUNCE $10 AUD 311.347 g 85.60 mm UNLIMITED
5 OUNCE $8 AUD 155.673 g 65.60 mm UNLIMITED
2 OUNCE $2 AUD 62.270 g 55.60 mm UNLIMITED
1 OUNCE $1 AUD 31.135 g 45.60 mm 300,000
½ OUNCE $0.5 AUD 15.591 g 36.60 mm UNLIMITED

PERTH MINT GOLD BULLION: SERIES 08

Just like the silver coin, the 1oz variant is the coin of choice with its mintage limited to a tight 30,000. The obverse above (roll your mouse over to see) is from the 10kg gold with it’s thirty-grand denomination, not currently listed for availability. It’s a decent design; an evolution of the horse coins from last year.

These magnificent silver coins celebrate the Year of the Goat, the eighth animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. In Chinese culture, people born in the Year of the Goat – 1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 and 2015 are regarded as elegant, charming, artistic, gifted and calm.

No mintage limit applies to to 1kg, 10oz, 2oz, 1/2oz, 1/4oz, 1/10oz, and 1/20oz coins. The Perth Mint will produce no more than 30,000 1oz coins. Production of these coins will close at the end of 2015 when The Perth Mint will declare each coin’s official mintage.

2015LUN-PERTH-GOLD-ALL

DESIGN: Each coin’s reverse depicts an adult male goat standing on a ridge in a stylized mountain scene. The Chinese character for ‘goat’ and the inscription ‘Year of the Goat’ also appear in the design with The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark. The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2015 year-date and the monetary denomination are shown on the obverse of each coin.

SPECIFICATION
COIN DENOMINATION WEIGHT DIAMETER MINTAGE
1 KILO $3000 AUD 1,000.1 g 100.60 mm UNLIMITED
10 OUNCE $1000 AUD 311.067 g 75.60 mm UNLIMITED
2 OUNCE $200 AUD 62.215 g 41.10 mm UNLIMITED
1 OUNCE $100 AUD 31.112 g 39.34 mm 30,000
½ OUNCE $50 AUD 15.554 g 30.60 mm UNLIMITED
¼ OUNCE $25 AUD 7.777 g 22.60 mm UNLIMITED
1/10 OUNCE $15 AUD 3.111 g 18.60 mm UNLIMITED
1/20 OUNCE $5 AUD 1.556 g 14.80 mm UNLIMITED

PERTH MINT PROOF: SERIES 08

 

The Perth Mints flagship bullion coin range has been the Lunar Series for a few years now and they’re very popular with collectors around the world. If you want the best looking versions however, the proof coins are definitely the way to go. Changing from a mirrored relief on a matte background, to a frosted finish on a mirrored background simply makes the coins pop so much more and concentrates the detail where it belongs.

There’s a healthy range of proof coins available; in silver there are ½oz ($63.50 AUS), 1oz ($99) and 1kg ($1750) pieces available individually, as well as a set ($350) containing a 2oz coin along with the ½oz and 1oz. This is usually highly sought after and is a great way to collect. In gold there are 1/10oz ($299), 1/4oz ($695) and 1oz coins ($2,695), as well as a set ($3,599) collecting all three sizes together.

GOLD DESIGN: The reverse of the coin depicts an adult male goat standing on a ridge in a stylised mountain scene. The Chinese character for ‘goat’ and the inscription ‘Year of the Goat’ also appear in the design with The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark.

The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2015 year-date and the monetary denomination are shown on the coin’s obverse.

SILVER DESIGN: The reverse of each coin depicts a family of three goats standing in a stylised rural scene. The Chinese character for ‘goat’ and the inscription ‘Year of the Goat’ also appear in the design with The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark.

The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2015 year-date, and the monetary denomination are shown on the coin’s obverse.

PACKAGING: Each individual coin and three-coin set is housed in a stylish red and black presentation case and themed shipper, accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity

Each coin has an issue mintage for a release in this format to which can be added the 1,500 coins of each size in the gold set and 1,000 for the ½oz and 1oz in the silver set.

GOLD SPECIFICATION
COMPOSITION 0.9999 GOLD
FINISH PROOF
DENOMINATION $100 AUS $25 AUS $15 AUS
WEIGHT 31.112 g 7.777 g 3.111 g
DIAMETER 39.34 mm 22.60 mm 18.60 mm
MAX MINTAGE 6,000 8,000 8,000
ISSUE MINTAGE 3,000 5,000 4,000
ARTIST NATASHA MUHL
PACKAGING PREMIUM DISPLAY BOX
C.O.A. YES, SERIALISED
SILVER SPECIFICATION
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
FINISH PROOF
DENOMINATION $30 AUS $2 AUS $1 AUS $0.5 AUS
WEIGHT 1003.002 g 62.270 g 31.135 g 15.573 g
DIAMETER 100.60 mm 55.60 mm 45.60 mm 36.60 mm
MAX MINTAGE 500 2,000 8,500 9,000
ISSUE MINTAGE 500 1,000 5,000 8,000
ARTIST NATASHA MUHL
PACKAGING PREMIUM DISPLAY BOX
C.O.A. YES, SERIALISED



The Perth Mint Australia

PERTH MINT SPECIALS

The Perth Mint continue releasing myriad versions of its flagship Lunar Series of coins with another five different ones this month. Most are variants on the standard Natasha Muhl design, but the standout is the annual four-coin set of rectangular silver coins which have proven pretty popular in the past. There’s not much more to be said so check out the coins and let us know what you think.

FOUR-COIN RECTANGULAR SET

One of the few Lunar coin sets released each year that has unique artwork, the four-coin rectangular set is packaged in one of the superb Nimbus frames we hold in such high regard at AgAuNEWS. One of the nicer releases for those reasons, these sets have not been huge appreciators in the past but make an attractive buy regardless, especially as a gift. Designed by Tom Vaughan, unlike the standard lunar artwork that was the work of Natasha Muhl.

DESIGN: The reverse of each coin celebrates the 2015 Year of the Goat with a design to showcase one of four different coloured goats. The Chinese character for ‘goat’ and the inscription ‘Year of the Goat’ also appear in the design with The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark. The obverse of each coin depicts the Raphael Maklouf effigy Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2015 year-date, and the monetary denomination.

Accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, the four-coin set is housed in a contemporary black framed clear display case, allowing you to see both the reverse and obverse of each coin, and is packaged in an illustrated shipper. $396 AUD

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIMENSIONS QUALITY MINTAGE
$1 CID 0.999 Ag 31.135 g 47.60 x 27.60 mm COLOURED 3,000

ONE KILO GEMSTONE EDITION

The biggest modified finish coin in the lunar range, the one-kilo ‘Gemstone Edition’ coin is basically a coloured version of the standard design but with a small gemstone inset into the eye of the animal. Quite attractive on the Dragon coin in 2012, I can’t say these coin have huge appeal for me personally, especially when the one-kilo proof version is so beautifully done. $1,750 AUD

DESIGN: The reverse of the coin depicts a family of three goats standing in a stylised rural scene. One of the goats has an emerald gemstone set in its eye. The Chinese character for ‘goat’ and the inscription ‘Year of the Goat’ also appear in the design with The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark.
The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2015 year-date, and the monetary denomination are shown on the coin’s obverse.

Each coin is housed in a classic black and red display case and illustrated shipper and is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIMENSIONS QUALITY MINTAGE
$30 AUD 0.999 Ag 1001.002 g 100.60 mm COLOURED 5,000

HIGH RELIEF 1OZ SILVER

Our favourite of the lunar releases carrying the standard artwork, the high-relief version of the Perth Mint bullion coins has always been a looker, and the lunar goat coin is no exception. About the only downside we can think of is that due to the deep strike, the coins diameter drops from 45.60mm to just 32.60mm, losing a little impact in the process. A 2oz version would be brilliant please. $102 AUD

DESIGN: The reverse of the coin depicts a family of three goats standing in a stylised rural scene. The Chinese character for ‘goat’ and the inscription ‘Year of the Goat’ also appear in the design with The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark.
The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2015 year-date, and the monetary denomination are shown on the coin’s obverse.
The coin’s high relief reverse and obverse are minted on concave surfaces to ensure the optimum flow of metal is achieved by the strike of the die.

Each coin is housed in a classic red and black presentation case and themed shipper, accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIMENSIONS QUALITY MINTAGE
$1 AUD 0.999 Ag 31.135 g 32.60 mm PROOF 7,500 (6,500 as here)

GILDED 1OZ SILVER

We’ve already covered this as part of the Typeset Collection last month, but it’s also available individually packaged as well. From the total mintage of 50,000 pieces, 47,500 will be offered like this. A nice quality collectors box is also available that will hold all twelve one-ounce gilded coins in the lunar series and is pictured below. $94 AUD ($89 without box), $75 AUD for 12-coin display box.

DESIGN: The reverse of the coin depicts a family of three goats, gilded in 24-carat gold, standing in a stylised rural scene. The Chinese character for ‘goat’ and the inscription ‘Year of the Goat’ also appear in the design with The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark.
The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2015 year-date, and the monetary denomination are shown on the coin’s obverse.

The Year of the Horse Gilded Edition coin is housed in a presentation case and customdesigned shipper, accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

The Year of the Goat Gilded Edition can also be purchased in a capsule only with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. Cases are still available for collectors of the full twelve-coin set.

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIMENSIONS QUALITY MINTAGE
$1 CID 0.999 Ag 31.135 g 45.60 mm GILDED 50,000

BABY GOAT ½OZ SILVER

Another unique design for the Year of the Goat, this ‘Baby’ coin with its selective colouring will no doubt have some appeal to the gift market, but it’s hard to imagine the coin collector going nuts. With 7,500 being struck, it’s obviously a popular item, and it’s good to see the mint pay attention to the wider market. After all, first time buyers often become collectors. $63.50 AUD

DESIGN: The coin’s reverse depicts a representation of a baby goat surrounded by snowflakes, standing on its hind legs while using its front legs to look through a sack of gifts. The Chinese character for ‘goat’, the inscription ‘Year of the Goat’, The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark, and the year -date are
also incorporated into the design.
The coin’s obverse depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the monetary denomination.

The coin is housed in a display case and beautifully illustrated shipper and is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIMENSIONS QUALITY MINTAGE
$0.5 TVD 0.999 Ag 15.591 g 32.60 mm COLOURED 7,500

COLOURED GOLD & SILVER

GOLD DESIGN: The reverse of the coin depicts an adult male goat standing on a ridge in a stylised mountain scene. The Chinese character for ‘goat’ and the inscription ‘Year of the Goat’ also appear in the design with The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark.

The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2015 year-date and the monetary denomination are shown on the coin’s obverse.

SILVER DESIGN: The reverse of each coin depicts a family of three goats standing in a stylised rural scene. The Chinese character for ‘goat’ and the inscription ‘Year of the Goat’ also appear in the design with The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark.

The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2015 year-date, and the monetary denomination are shown on the coin’s obverse.

PACKAGING: Each individual coin and three-coin set is housed in a stylish red and black presentation case and themed shipper, accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity

Each coin has an issue mintage for a release in this format to which can be added the 1,500 coins of each size in the gold set and 1,000 for the ½oz and 1oz in the silver set.

GOLD SPECIFICATION
COMPOSITION 0.9999 GOLD
FINISH PROOF COLOURED
DENOMINATION $100 AUS $25 AUS $15 AUS
WEIGHT 31.112 g 7.777 g 3.111 g
DIAMETER 39.34 mm 22.60 mm 18.60 mm
MAX MINTAGE 3,000 5,000 5,000
ARTIST NATASHA MUHL
PACKAGING PREMIUM DISPLAY BOX
C.O.A. YES, SERIALISED
SILVER SPECIFICATION
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
FINISH PROOF COLOURED
DENOMINATION $1 AUS $0.5 AUS
WEIGHT 31.135 g 15.573 g
DIAMETER 45.60 mm 36.60 mm
MAX MINTAGE 10,000 10,000
ARTIST NATASHA MUHL
PACKAGING PREMIUM DISPLAY BOX
C.O.A. YES, SERIALISED

LUNAR TYPESET COLLECTION

 

One of the more popular of the Perth Mints Lunar releases is this Typeset Collection which combines four one-ounce silver variants. The proof (8,500 mintage) has a mirror-like polished background with a frosted design, the opposite of the bullion version (300,000). The gilded version (50,000) highlights the goats in 24-carat gold and the coloured version (170,000) replaces the gilding with colour. The coloured numbers in particular are very high this year, but as a set there will only be 1,500 available.

The collection is housed in one of the Perth Mints very nice red & black display cases in a coloured shipper. A serialised Certificate of Authenticity is included.



The Perth Mint Australia

 MOTHER OF PEARL: LUNAR SERIES 04

The Cook Islands lunar horse coin was always going to be a tough act to follow, especially with a goat as the subject, but they’ve still managed to pull off a fine design. This years colour of choice is yellow, and the 5oz beast will look dramatic in the display box without question. This is a coin that will almost certainly look better in the hand than in the pictures.

Last year they released a version struck in 5oz of gold, but we think the design might become a little lost for 2015, given the lack of contrast between the yellow pearl and the gold. Not surprising however, as despite the contrast the silver looked better than the gold last year as well.

The supplied box is beautifully done, and can be seen over in our Year of the Horse Superguide under the COOK ISLANDS tab. Prices for one of the 888 minted will be in the $350-450 US range.

 

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $25 DOLLARS
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 155.5 g
DIAMETER 65.0 mm
FINISH PROOF
MINTAGE 888
REVERSE DESIGNER UNKNOWN
OBVERSE DESIGNER IAN RANK BROADLEY
PACKAGING DELUXE BOX
C.O.A. YES, SERIALISED

LAOS BURMESE JADE: LUNAR SERIES 04

Again, a coin needing to maintain previous standards of excellence, we think this one has done it effortlessly. Whereas the 2014 Horse version was fundamentally the same inside, the perimeter of horses heads around the jade insert wasn’t wholly successful. This year, the Bighorn Goats have been placed exactly where you’d expect to find these lunatic animals, clinging to a rock-face. The way the art is simultaneously aligned vertically, yet sitting comfortably within a curved space is quite superb and I’d go as far as to say that it’s nudged in front as my favourite 2015 Lunar so far. The 50mm diameter brought about by the 2oz weight certainly helps.

Burmese Jade, called Jadeite, is considered the finest in the world and believed precious in China back as far as the 13th century. It was used for hardstone carving as far back as 6,000B.C. The various varieties of Jade have had a great cultural significance for thousands of years.

2015LUN-LAOS-JADE

Packaging is excellent if it follows last years, and can be seen over in our Year of the Horse Superguide under the LAOS tab. Prices for one of the 2,888 minted will be in the $200-230 US range.

 

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 2,000 KIP
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 62.2 g
DIAMETER 55.0 mm
FINISH PROOF
MINTAGE 2,888
REVERSE DESIGNER UNKNOWN
OBVERSE DESIGNER UNKNOWN
PACKAGING DELUXE BOX
C.O.A. YES, SERIALISED

MACAU COLLECTION: LUNAR SERIES 08

 


The 2015 Year of the Goat represents the eighth issue in this very well regarded collection, and the deisgn follows that from previous years. Available in three versions, a single 1/4oz gold and a pair of silvers of 1oz and 5oz weights, none break into five-figure mintages and the silver coins are often limited by balloting when over-sold.

The obverse always carries a different depiction of a Macau landmark, this year the Mount Fortress. Winning the ‘Vicenza Palladio’ International Prize, given to the coin carrying the best architectural representation, not once, but for three consecutive years is quite a feat, winning it from 2012-2014 for the 2010-2012 coins.

THE 5oz (LEFT) AND THE 1oz SILVER

DESCRIPTION: The Monetary Authority of Macau proudly presents the Macau Lunar Coin Collection (2008 – 2019), which is exclusively minted and marketed by The Singapore Mint. The Macau Lunar Goat coin, the eighth in this collection, is issued in conjunction with the arrival of the 2015 Lunar Goat Year.

The obverse side of the coin features a well-defined silhouette outlining the fine details of the goat’s body, flanked by a fringe of brilliantly-hued rhododendron. The goat is traditionally known by the Chinese as a symbol of peace and luck. Rhododendron is one of China’s top 10 traditional flowers and has the prestigious title of “Queen of Beauty” bestowed on it. The abundant petals evoke a sense of prosperity and thriving beauty with its vivid colours.

The Mount Fortress is featured on the reverse side of the coin, an important landmark of Macau’s illustrious past. One of the oldest historical structures in Macau, the Mount Fortress is part of the Historic Centre of Macau, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

As the famous saying goes: With the advent of spring begins prosperity. This saying depicts three goats welcoming spring, a symbol of great fortune and usually refers to the unveiling of new beginnings and ushering of renewed peace and serenity. Collecting all three coins from the Macau Lunar Goat series will be akin to having the legendary three goats ushering spring to the individual during the Chinese New Year.

SILVER OBVERSE AND PACKAGING

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 20 PATACAS 100 PATACAS 250 PATACAS
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER 0.9999 GOLD
WEIGHT 31.1 g 155.52 g 7.78 g
SIZE 40.7 mm 65.0 mm 21.96 mm
FINISH PROOF
MINTAGE 8,000 2,000 5,000
ARTIST UNKNOWN
AVAILABILITY 29/30 SEPTEMBER 2014
PACKAGING SILVER DISPLAY BOX GOLD DISPLAY BOX
PRICE s$168.00 s$980.00 s$1,000.00

SINGAPORE MINT

ROYAL CANADIAN MINT LUNAR RANGES

The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) have a Lunar range at least as big as the Perth Mint, and arguably more varied in terms of design. While they don’t get involved in the Lunar bullion market like the Australian competition do to such great effect, their high-end commemorative proof range is quite superb. Offering different artwork at different sizes is a refreshing change and the RCM rarely disappoints when it comes to the quality of it.

Anyway, there are eight coins, ranging in price from under $40 to almost $70,000, so never let it be said that the Ottawa-based mint doesn’t offer a coin for every pocket. You’ll see lots of eights in the prices as this is considered a lucky number in China, although for some reason, not on the one-kilo gold coin. I guess you’ve already had your fair share of luck if you have $69k to spend on a coin…

Every coin comes with a serialised Certificate of Authenticity and nice packaging. All are available for pre-order or purchase now and clicking the little ad-link at the page bottom will take you directly to the RCM shop and, hopefully, help out this site as well.

THE LOTUS LUNAR SERIES COIN 06

 

DESIGN: The coin captures the true essence of the Sheep’s character, and features a sheep and the Chinese symbol for sheep. It features a matte sheep design over a mirror background and is the 6th release from the 12 in this particular series. One of the best looking lunar ranges on the market, with artwork that seems tailored to the lotus shape of the coin.
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $15 DOLLARS
COMPOSITION 0.9999 SILVER
WEIGHT 26.7 g
SIZE 38.0 mm
FINISH PROOF
MINTAGE 18,888
REVERSE ARTIST THREE DEGREES CREATIVE GROUP
OBVERSE ARTIST SUSANNAH BLUNT
PACKAGING SILVER SATIN CASE
PRICE $98.88

YEAR OF THE SHEEP ABORIGINAL STYLE SILVER

 

DESIGN: The coin features a sheep on a hill top, a sunset and the Chinese symbol for Sheep. It’s an unusual art-style, but an effective one.
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $15 DOLLARS $150 DOLLARS
COMPOSITION 0.9999 SILVER 0.750 GOLD
WEIGHT 31.39 g 11.84
SIZE 38.0 mm 28.0 mm
FINISH PROOF PROOF
MINTAGE 18,888 2,500
REVERSE ARTIST ARIES CHEUNG ARIES CHEUNG
OBVERSE ARTIST SUSANNAH BLUNT SUSANNAH BLUNT
PACKAGING SILVER SATIN CASE GOLD SATIN CASE
PRICE $98.88 $688.88

YEAR OF THE SHEEP ONE-KILO RANGE

 

DESIGN: The reverse image by Canadian artist Three Degrees Creative captures the true essence of the sheep’s character.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $250 DOLLARS $2,500 DOLLARS
COMPOSITION 0.9999 SILVER 0.9999 GOLD
WEIGHT 1,000 g 1,000 g
SIZE 102.1 mm 101.6 mm
FINISH PROOF COLOURED PROOF
MINTAGE 388 10
REVERSE ARTIST THREE DEGREES CREATIVE GROUP THREE DEGREES CREATIVE GROUP
OBVERSE ARTIST SUSANNAH BLUNT SUSANNAH BLUNT
PACKAGING SILVER SATIN CASE GOLD SATIN CASE
PRICE $2,288.88 $69,000.00

YEAR OF THE SHEEP SMALL COIN RANGE

 

DESIGN: The coin features a detailed depiction of a Bighorn sheep, which is native to Canada’s Rocky Mountains. Here, the sheep is viewed in three-quarter profile, which affords the viewer a close look at its distinctively long, spiral horns. An artistic rendering of bamboo–a symbol of longevity–fills the background. The Chinese character yang, meaning “sheep” or “goat,” appears below the sheep’s shoulder to represent the Year of the Sheep.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $10 DOLLARS $5 DOLLARS
COMPOSITION 0.9999 SILVER 0.9999 GOLD
WEIGHT 15.87 g 3.14 g
SIZE 38.0 mm 16.0 mm
FINISH PROOF SPECIMEN
MINTAGE 22,888 2,888
REVERSE ARTIST SIMON NG SIMON NG
OBVERSE ARTIST SUSANNAH BLUNT SUSANNAH BLUNT
PACKAGING MAROON CLAMSHELL CASE MAROON CLAMSHELL CASE
PRICE $39.88 $278.88

YEAR OF THE SHEEP COLOURED SILVER

 

DESIGN: The reverse image features an artistic rendering of a Bighorn sheep – a native of Canada’s Rocky Mountains. The use of colour showcases the sheep’s beautiful brown colouring. Nestled within the curl of the sheep’s distinctive spiral horn, the Chinese character yang (meaning “sheep” or “goat”) denotes the Year of the Sheep.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $5 DOLLARS
COMPOSITION 0.9999 SILVER
WEIGHT 23.17 g
SIZE 36.07 mm
FINISH PROOF COLOURED
MINTAGE 8,888
REVERSE ARTIST SIMON NG
OBVERSE ARTIST SUSANNAH BLUNT
PACKAGING MAROON CLAMSHELL CASE & BLACK BEAUTY BOX
PRICE $74.95

TREASURES OF OZ: LUNAR SERIES 03

 

2015 YEAR OF THE GOAT TOKELAU STANDARD ARTWORK

First launched two years ago with the low key Lunar Snake coin in a reverse-proof finish, Treasures of Oz decided to really go for it with the horse and released a greatly enhanced range of variants and complementary coins that were attractive and as a result, have proven very popular. Eventually becoming available in standard bullion, proof, reverse-proof, coloured, antiqued, gilded and gold versions, with mintages from 1,000 to 300,000, it’s clearly a sucessful endeavour for the Australian coin producer.

Running a standard troy ounce in weight and struck in 0.999 silver, the goat carries on the series trademark of uncluttered reverse side artwork, with only the date being incorporated into the design. Finished in a reverse-proof style reminiscent of the Perth Mints bullion lunars, there’s a mintage limit of 50,000 pieces which, if the pattern of horse variants is followed, will be the second most populous type after a straight brilliant-uncirculated coin with a 300k limit.

2015 YEAR OF THE GOAT TOKELAU COLOURED ARTWORK

Released on the 01 July along with the full proof finish coin with a mintage of 2,500. In addition, on 30 July there’ll be antique, gilded and coloured silver coins, as well as a tiny 0.5g gold coin. Apart from the antique finish, which has a 2,000 mintage, all of these variants will top out at 1,000 strikes.

The horse range diversified out into Creatures of Myth & Legend with Pegasus and a Unicorn and the goat will follow suit later in the year. In this case the subjects of the coins will be Aries and Capricornus (the Year of the Goat is also known as the Year of the Sheep) and they’ll both be released in the same range of six variations, only the straight bullion version not being available. We’ll post up details closer to the release date at the end of September.

2015 YEAR OF THE GOAT TOKELAU GILDED ARTWORK

The obverse design will follow the same layout as in previous years, carrying the Ian Rank Broadley portrait of Queen Elizabeth II over the symbol for Tokelau, and surrounded by an inscription carrying the Monarchs name, country of issue, date, denomination, weight, purity and metal.

 

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $5 DOLLARS TOKELAU
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 31.1g
DIAMETER 38.61 mm
FINISH REVERSE PROOF (+ PROOF, COLOURED, GILDED, ANTIQUED)
MINTAGE 50,000 (+ 2,500, 1,000, 1,000, 2,000)
REVERSE ARTIST UNKNOWN IN-HOUSE
OBVERSE ARTIST IN-HOUSE, IAN RANK BROADLEY
PACKAGING VARIOUS
C.O.A. YES (SERIALISED EXCEPT REVERSE PROOF)

 

TREASURES OF OZ

 

THE FIVE ELEMENTS SERIES 02

 


2015LUNAR-TOKELAU-FIVE-ELEMENTS-COIN

A new series starting last year with a Lunar Horse silver coin, the Five Elements range is a series of oval coins depicting one of the twelve Lunar animals in its centre surrounded by the five traditional Chinese elements, Earth, Wood, Fire, Wind and Water. Along with five colours, the five elements determine the exact nature of the Lunar animal for a particular year. For example, 2014 is the year of the Green Wood Horse, 2015 the Green Wood Goat.

Having a mintage of 2,015 pieces, the coins are pretty well struck and quite well liked if the horse was any indication. The design is unique and that’s often enough for a coin to become a hit these days. Available now with no suggested selling price that we’ve seen, but for under €100.

REVERSE: in the centre is a bighorn goat rearing up on its hind legs while standing upon the Earth. The other side of the fancy engraved border to this central artwork is divided into quarters each filled with one of the other four elements, Wind to the top-left, Wood to the top-right, Water to the bottom-left, and Fire to the bottom right. Outside of this is another border containing a repeating small goat design that always points to the coins 12:00 position around 60% of the circumference, with the inscription YEAR OF THE GOAT on the rest.

OBVERSE: has around its outer rim/border the inscription, “ELIZABETH II” to match the Ian Rank Broadley portrait of the monarch (not Ralph Maklouf as stated in the coin specification), the date (2015), the denomination (TWO DOLLARS), and the issuing country, in thsi case TOKELAU. In the centre under the portrait is the symbol of Tokelau.

PACKAGING: is very well done and similar to last years Horse version, coming in a beautifully done display case with a Certificate of Authenticity.

2015LUNAR-TOKELAU-FIVE-ELEMENTS-BOX

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $2 DOLLARS (TOKELAU/NZ)
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 31.1 g
DIAMETER 45 x 35 mm
FINISH PROOF
MINTAGE 2,015
REVERSE ARTIST UNKNOWN
OBVERSE ARTIST IAN RANK BROADLEY
PACKAGING LEATHERETTE STYLE BOX
C.O.A. YES

INTERNATIONAL COIN HOUSE: HEADS 02

 

The coin we have here is from Zurich-based producer, International Coin House, whose recent output has included the well-recieved Aureus trio of coins. It’s the second coin in the series after the Lunar Horse coin released last year, and shares its predecessors trait of being shaped like the jead of the animal depicted. The goat has offered them the opportunity to do something a little less extreme and a little more coin-like than the 2014 piece. One of those coins you’ll love or hate, but people definitely warmed up to last years coin.

REVERSE: depicts the head of a ram with a golden horn around which is the inscription ‘PLENTY YEAR OF THE GOAT’

OBVERSE: carries a profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by the inscriptions Elizabeth II, Niue Island, Ag 925 and 2015. To the far right is the denomination of 1 dollar. An image of the legendary ‘horn of plenty’ filled with fruit covers the rest of this side.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $1 DOLLARS (NIUE/NZ)
COMPOSITION 0.925 SILVER
WEIGHT 28.28 g
DIAMETER IRREGULAR
FINISH PROOF WITH PAD PRINTING
MINTAGE 5,000 MAXIMUM
REVERSE ARTIST UNKNOWN
OBVERSE ARTIST UNKNOWN
PACKAGING BLISTER PACK
C.O.A. YES

INTERNATIONAL COIN HOUSE

DOWNIES: GILDED LUNARS 02

The latest goat coin to get in before the Perth Mint rush is the follow-up to the big-hit from Australian dealer Downies last year, a gilded 5oz, 65mm diameter beast. Prices on the Horse have risen steadily and it’s now fair to say it’s one of the success stories of the Lunar market for 2014. The 2015 Year of the Goat coin looks set to continue that success and these coins are much more attractive in hand than in the images. The second coin in the series, the coin was struck for Downies by PAMP.

REVERSE: depicts a large, powerful-looking gilded Ram on a rocky outcrop, behind which are another Ram and a female. Accross the top is the inscription YEAR OF THE GOAT, and to the right the Chinese Lunar character for goat, which has been gilded.

OBVERSE: a profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by the inscriptions ELIZABETH II, NIUE 2015, 8 DOLLARS and 5OZ 999 SILVER. These represent the monarch, state of issue, date, denomination and composition.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $8 DOLLARS
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 155.5 g
DIAMETER 65.0 mm
FINISH PROOF WITH SELECTIVE GILDING
MINTAGE 500
REVERSE DESIGNER UNKNOWN (SCALCHEMY?)
OBVERSE DESIGNER UNKNOWN PORTRAIT
PACKAGING HI-GLOSS WOODEN BOX
C.O.A. YES, SERIALISED

DOWNIES

 

BANK OF BELARUS: CLOCKWORK LUNARS 03

 

 

2015LUN-BELARUS

The second coin in the series, the horse was widely liked last year and this one looks set to follow that trend. The lunar Year of the Goat is also known as the Year of the Sheep in many countries, and Belarus is one of them.

REVERSE: at the top — the relief image of the State Coat of Arms of the Republic of Belarus; in the center — an arrangement of the clockwork elements, the Sun, and the Moon, where the center of the clockwork is inlaid with a cubic zirconia gem; on the right-hand side — the year of issue; on the left-hand side — the alloy standard; at the bottom — the denomination: 20 РУБЛЁЎ (20 RUBLES); and at the top — a circumferential inscription: РЭСПУБЛІКА БЕЛАРУСЬ (THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS).
Figures designating the years from 2013 to 2024, in accordance with the number of years in one cycle of the Chinese lunar calendar, are shown within the inner circle. The clockwork elements and the Year of the Sheep: 2015 are plated with gold.

OBVERSE: in the center of the circle – the image of the five sheep with stars, moon and clouds, inside a circle of artistic elements – gold plated Chinese character for lamb; bottom inscription: ГОД АВЕЧКІ (THE YEAR OF THE SHEEP).

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 20 RUBLES
COMPOSITION 0.925 SILVER
WEIGHT 33.63 g
DIAMETER 38.61 mm
FINISH PROOF WITH GILDING & INSET CRYSTAL
MINTAGE 3,000 MAXIMUM
DESIGNER S.ZASKEVICH
MINT KAZAKHSTAN
PACKAGING YES (MAY BE OPTIONAL)
C.O.A. YES

NATIONAL BANK OF BELARUS

NIUE CABBAGE GOAT

 

A debut for a new series, although it could be a one-off as details are still scarce. A very strange theme all packed in a cabbage-shaped box, meant to symbolise fertility and protection apparently… Equally unusual is the irregular, assymetrical rim. Struck by the Mint of Poland.

OBVERSE: the Ian Rank Broadley portrait of Queen Elizabeth II above which is the inscription ‘ONE DOLLAR 2015 NIUE ISLAND’

REVERSE: depicts a goat dressed in a smock handing out cabbage and carrots to five kids all begging for food. In the background are some large cabbage leaves.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $1 DOLLAR (NEW ZEALAND)
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 16.81 g
DIAMETER 41.00 mm
FINISH ANTIQUE, COLOURED
MINTAGE 9,000
REVERSE DESIGN UNKNOWN
OBVERSE DESIGN IAN RANK BROADLEY
PACKAGING CUSTOM CABBAGE WINDOWED BOX
C.O.A. YES

FIJI PEARL: LUNAR SERIES 04

 

Starting back in 2011 with the release of the 2012 Year of the Dragon coin, these gilded silver coins issued for Fiji appear to be well liked and they aren’t overly expensive, selling around the €70 ($90 US, £55) mark. They all have as a central motif a real pearl and this year it’s a yellow one. For previous years the Dragon was white, the snake green, and for the horse, red.

This years design marks a departure in style by having a scene depicted on the reverse side instead of a design that circumnavigates the central pearl. The obverse keeps with the Fijiian emblem as used since 2013 when the country removed the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II from their currency. Surrounding that is an intricate design featuring all twelve animals in the Lunar Cycle. Certainly one of the nicer one-ounce gilded lunars we think.

Last years coin came packaged in the red box seen below and we’ve no reason to expect that to change. The coin should be shipping shortly and many of the major dealers sell them.

 

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $10 FIJI
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 31.1 g
DIAMETER 40.0 mm
FINISH PROOF
MINTAGE 8,888
ARTIST UNKNOWN
PACKAGING RED BOX AND OUTER SLEEVE
C.O.A. YES

TREASURES OF OZ YIN-YANG: SERIES 06

 

Now in its sixth year since the 2010 Year of the Tiger kicked off the range, the big change for 2015 is the application of colour to both sides of the coins. The Yin-Yang range is unusual in that it’s formed from two individual half-ounce silver coins designed to sit together and form the shape of the ancient Chinese symbol used to describe how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary; light and dark, hot and cold, life and death, etc. It’s a series that has its fans and the dual concept goes a long way in cementing its appeal.

DESCRIPTION

DAY: On this side, a brave male goat stands with his feet planted firmly on the ground, symbolizing power and strength. A cornucopia, also known as the Horn of Plenty, overflows with riches in the form of coins and represents an endless stream of good fortune. Yang, often considered to represent the male half of the ying-yang symbol, is also associated with light and the day. This quality is represented by the burning sun, clearing away the clouds that surround it. The yang goat, filled with passion and smiled upon by fortune, will always endure and triumph in life.

NIGHT: As night is the partner to day, stars and the crescent moon shine in the sky overhead to represent “ying,” which can be associated with shadow and the night. A soft and beautiful white goat rests peacefully in the grass, reminding us that ying is also used to represent the qualities of feminine grace. The ying goat is shy and reserved, but her unassuming elegance and gentle compassion endear her to everyone she meets. The coat of arms of Fiji, the date and the monetary denomination appear on the obverses.

The coat of arms of Fiji, the date and the monetary denomination appear on the obverses.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $1 FIJI x2
COMPOSITION 0.925 SILVER
WEIGHT 16.81 g x2
SIZE 49.9 mm WHEN COMBINED
FINISH PROOF
MINTAGE 1,500
MINTED BY MINT OF NORWAY
COA YES, SERIALISED
PACKAGING POLISHED WOODEN BOX

TREASURES OF OZ

 

TREASURES OF OZ FILIGREE: SERIES 05

 

One year behind the Yin-Yang at five years into the lunar cycle, the big change for 2015 here is the gilding of the filigree work in the open centre of the coin. When the Year of the Rabbit coin was released it was the first time that this process was used on a coin, even though it’s been used for jewellery for millenia. For those unaware of the process it involves the laying of twisted threads of metal to form patterns and images. The gilding looks good, but the considerably more intricate design of last years horse coin still holds the edge for us. If they can combine both, the results will look superb.

DESCRIPTION

Featuring intricate hand-woven silver filigree wire as the centerpiece of each design, this year’s Goat head design is gold plated for the first time in the series’ history. In the border surrounding the filigree design, a series of Goat head silhouettes are featured together with the words ‘The Year of the Goat’.

The obverse features the coat of arms of Fiji, the date, monetary denomination and the silver purity.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $1 FIJI
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 20.5 g
SIZE 38.61 mm
FINISH PROOF
MINTAGE 1,500
MINTED BY MINT OF NORWAY
COA YES, SERIALISED
PACKAGING POLISHED WOODEN BOX

TREASURES OF OZ

 

PALAU ULTRA HIGH RELIEF: SERIES 03

 

Another series that’s been going for a couple of years, the stand-out for this series is the slightly smaller diameter of 35mm compared to the usual 38.6-40.5mm that typifies a one-ounce silver coin. This means the coin is thicker and the benefit of that is seen with these coins; they’re struck in ‘Ultra’ high-relief to a proof finish. It’s almost impossible to see on the images available at present, but the coins is quite deeply dished in and the artwork stands quite proud of the mirrored background. They’re a more attractive coin in person than can be determined from these pictures.

Also available around the €70 mark, the coin is packaged in an attractive box which you can see below. Available for pre-order from several dealers, it’s expected to ship towards the end of September.

 

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $5 PALAU
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 31.1 g
DIAMETER 35.0 mm
FINISH PROOF GILDED
MINTAGE 3,000
ARTIST UNKNOWN
PACKAGING COIN BOX
C.O.A. YES

NIUE HAPPY YEAR OF THE GOAT

This latest lunar coin is from German coin producer JVP Investment Coins Berlin and is the first we’ve seen that incorporates more than the basic premise that it’s the year of the goat. The Chinese calendar counts years in cycles of sixty years. Each year has a label consisting of two parts. The first component is the celestial stem being one of the five elements. The second component is the terrestrial branch being one of the twelve animal (zodiac) signs. Thus there are five years in which the goat is the terrestrial element, each associated with a different celestial one. For 2015 the celestial part of the equation is green wood and therefore it’s the Year of the Green Wood Goat (or sheep).

JVP have also gone with the goat, like the Perth Mint and many others, with the Royal Canadian and Royal Mints using the sheep. Both are valid and there’s an explanation at the start of the guide if you want to know more. JVP seem to have embraced the concept, so if anyone wants to know why the goat is green, now you do. We can imagine the coin being very popular in the Asian market where such nuances are greatly appreciated.

The coin is one-ounce in weight and is limited to just 1,500 pieces. JVP certainly know how to package a coin as the box for this looks to be of a very high quality indeed. An unusual and striking design with the gilded horn and the lack of large, intrusive inscriptions. The coin should be shipping in late October/early November and seems to be up around the $200 USD mark.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $2 DOLLARS (NZD)
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 31.1 g
SIZE 40.0 mm
FINISH PROOF
MINTAGE 1,500
ARTIST UNKNOWN
CERTIFICATE YES, SERIALISED
PACKAGING LACQUERED WOODEN BOX / SHIPPER

NIUE HAPPY YEAR OF THE GOAT

 

2015LUN-NIUE-HAPPY
This one looks to be either a one-off coin, or the first in a new series. The International Coin House does produce individual lunar coins so we think this will be another one-off. An unusual design, especially on the obverse where colour is quite rare, especially for Niue, where the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II usually takes up the majority of the available space. We’ve yet to see this at a dealer yet, but any that carries the goat head-shaped coin should be able to get this as they’re both from ICH.

REVERSE: In the centre of the coin two goats (male and female), one of them with the chamomile flower in the mouth. Around the coin an ornament of leaves and forest fruits. Inscription: “HAPPY YEAR OF THE GOAT” and the hallmark “Ag 925”

OBVERSE: In the centre of the coin an effigy of Elizabeth II, inscriptions: “Elizabeth II”, “Niue Island”, “One dollar” and “2015”. Around the coin ornament of leaves.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $1 NIUE (NZD)
COMPOSITION 0.925 SILVER
WEIGHT 28.28 g
DIAMETER 38.61 mm
FINISH PROOF COLOURED
MINTAGE 5,000
ARTIST UNKNOWN
PACKAGING UNKNOWN
C.O.A. UNKNOWN (LIKELY)

INTERNATIONAL COIN HOUSE

SEVEN BELLS LUNAR

 

Following on from the ‘Seven Horseshoes’ lunar horse coin last year, the Mint of Poland has released the ‘Seven Bells’ for the Year of the Goat. A nice coin with the central design overhanging the rim design in multiple places, thus enhancing the illusion of depth. Weighing a standard ounce and well packaged, we think it’s a good, mid-range release for the lunar market.

“This silver coin is rich in symbols of prosperity, success, happiness and fortune. The Goat is the embodiment of fertility and abundance. Gold on the bells symbolizes wealth. Not without significance is the number of bells – seven, which in many mythologies was the attribute of the gods. Nowadays the number seven is a symbol of excellence, luck and happiness.”

REVERSE: Central part – relief images of a goat and decorative floral motifs. Chinese inscription on goat’s body meaning Year of the Goat. On the bottom along the rim – seven golden bells. Inscription along the rim –YEAR OF THE GOAT 2015.

OBVERSE: Central part – the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Along the rim – inscriptions ELIZABETH II, NIUE ISLAND (issuer), 1 DOLLAR (face value), 2015 (year of issue). Below on the left side – m/w (mint mark).

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $1 NZD
COMPOSITION 0.925 SILVER
WEIGHT 28.28 g
SIZE 38.61 mm
FINISH PROOF – GILDED
MINTAGE 1,500
ARTIST IN-HOUSE
COA YES, SERIALISED
PACKAGING CUSTOM BOX

ANGEL CARRIAGE LUNAR

We’re not quite sure what the symbolism behind the goat pulling a carriage with an angel hovering nearby actually is, but it’s certainly different to anything else out there. The mint description is “a goat which is a symbol of fertility and a little angel – the embodiment of hope, guidance and protection. Elements plated with 24-carat gold symbolize wealth and prosperity. This coin is sure to bring luck to any household!” They have a range of coins called Ounce of Luck, so it’s clearly a theme important to them.

REVERSE: The central part features an angel sitting on a carriage led by a goat. Stars decorate its background. Inscription on top: „YEAR OF THE GOAT”. Inscription and image of angel covered with 24 carat gold.

OBVERSE: In the central part of the coin – the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Below – the hallmark: Ag 999 and the mint mark (m/w). Along the rim – inscriptions: ELIZABETH II, NIUE ISLAND (issuer), 1 DOLLAR (face value) and the year of issue – 2015.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $1 NZD
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 16.81 g
SIZE 38.6 mm
FINISH PROOF – GILDED
MINTAGE 6,000
ARTIST IN-HOUSE
COA YES, SERIALISED
PACKAGING CUSTOM BOX

MINT OF POLAND

CHINESE LUNAR RANGES

There are five basic sets of designs this year with four different shapes as there were last year with the Horse ranges, for a total of sixteen different coins spread across gold and silver.

With sizes ranging from 1/10 oz right the way up to 10kg, only the Perth Mint competes on the sheer breadth of the range. Weirdly, and despite some quite esoteric sizes, there isn’t any actual one-ounce gold coins anywhere in the range. Even in a country with a population of over a billion people, they’re only minted 18 of the 10kg gold coins. How about that for rarity!!

The coins were minted at multiple locations; Shenzhen Guobao Mint, Shenyang Mint and Shanghai Mint Co. They’re distributed by China Gold Coin Corporation.

CLEAN STRUCK ROUND COINS

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIAMETER QUALITY MINTAGE
300 YUAN 0.999 AG 1,000 g 100.00 mm PROOF 10,000
10 YUAN 0.999 AG 31.104 g 40.00 mm PROOF 200,000
100,000 YUAN 0.999 AU 10,000 g 180.00 mm PROOF 18
20,000 YUAN 0.999 AU 2,000 g 100.00 mm PROOF 100
50 YUAN 0.999 AU 3.11 g 18.00 mm PROOF 120,000

COLOURED ROUND COINS

 

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIAMETER QUALITY MINTAGE
50 YUAN 0.999 AG 155.52 g 70.00 mm PROOF 30,000
10 YUAN 0.999 AG 31.104 g 40.00 mm PROOF 220,000
2,000 YUAN 0.999 AU 155.52 g 60.00 mm PROOF 3,000
50 YUAN 0.999 AU 3.11 g 18.00 mm PROOF 120,000

LOTUS SCALLOPED COINS

 

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIAMETER QUALITY MINTAGE
10 YUAN 0.999 AG 31.104 g 40.00 mm PROOF 60,000
10,000 YUAN 0.999 AU 1,000 g 100.00 mm PROOF 118
200 YUAN 0.999 AU 15.552 g 27.00 mm PROOF 8,000

ARC SECTOR COINS

 

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT RADIUS QUALITY MINTAGE
10 YUAN 0.999 AG 31.104 g 85-60 mm PROOF 80,000
150 YUAN 0.999 AU 10.368 g 51-36 mm PROOF 30,000

RECTANGULAR COINS

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIMENSIONS QUALITY MINTAGE
50 YUAN 0.999 AG 155.52 g 80 x 50 mm PROOF 20,000
2,000 YUAN 0.999 AU 155.52 g 64 x 40 mm PROOF 2,000

MOUNTAIN GOATS: BIG-HORNED RAM

The Big Horned Ram is found widely in the United States, Canada and North Mexico. The Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep is the provincial mammal of Alberta and the state animal of Colorado. It got its name from the male’s impressive horns which can weigh up to 14kgs. Females also have horns, but they are smaller and less curved. Males can way over 140kg (300lb) generally, but those inhabiting Alberta and the US Rockies have been known to exceed 230kg (500lb) in weight. Quite an amazing animal, with climbing abilities you simply wouldn’t attribute to a cloven hoofed animal and at 200kg, quite able to look after itself we’d imagine.

REVERSE: This side depicts a Big-Horned Ram standing proudly against the backdrop of Yellow Mountain, Alberta, in summer hues.

OBVERSE: Features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank Broadley. Above that is inscribed the words ELIZABETH II ~ TOKELAU 2015, denoting the issuer and date. Below the portrait is inscribed the denomination and purity of the coin, along with the emblem of Tokelau.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $5 NZD
COMPOSITION 0.929 SILVER
WEIGHT 31.10 g
SIZE 38.6 mm
FINISH COLOURED
MINTAGE 1,500
MINTED BY TBC
COA YES, SERIALISED
PACKAGING OPTIONAL

MOUNTAIN GOATS: K2 MOUNTAIN RAM

The Urial Ram is found in the lower ranges around K2, the world’s second highest mountain. It has delicate features and large horns. K2, sometimes known as the Savage Mountain due to the extreme difficulty of ascent, reaches a height of 8611m/28,251 feet. When first discovered it had no name and was given a surveyors designation – K for its location in the Karakorum Mountains and a number denoting that it was the second highest in the world

REVERSE: This side depicts the ram shown with K2 in the background, both highlighted in colour against the proof finish of the coin.

OBVERSE: Features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank Broadley. Above that is inscribed the words ELIZABETH II ~ TOKELAU 2015, denoting the issuer and date. Below the portrait is inscribed the denomination and purity of the coin, along with the emblem of Tokelau.

 

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $5 NZD
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 31.1 g
SIZE 38.6 mm
FINISH COLOURED
MINTAGE 1,500
MINTED BY TBC
COA YES, SERIALISED
PACKAGING OPTIONAL

RING-SHAPED LUNAR – SERIES 03

This coin is the third in the series that includes the Infinity Snake and the Carousel Horses pieces. It’s an unusual, but effective concept that because of the hole, results in a 70mm diameter coin; quite a size for two ounces of silver. The goats are drawn in the traditional Chinese style, and the obverse is unusual in doing away with the usual Tokelau ‘handbag’ emblem and going with a representation of the Tokelau flag. Only 1,000 are being struck, but the coin doesn’t ship until next March, so plenty of time to pick one up.

The Urial Ram is found in the lower ranges around K2, the world’s second highest mountain. It has delicate features and large horns. K2, sometimes known as the Savage Mountain due to the extreme difficulty of ascent, reaches a height of 8611m/28,251 feet. When first discovered it had no name and was given a surveyors designation – K for its location in the Karakorum Mountains and a number denoting that it was the second highest in the world.

REVERSE: This side depicts the ram shown with K2 in the background, both highlighted in colour against the proof finish of the coin.

OBVERSE: Features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank Broadley at the top, under which is the coins purity. To the left and right is inscribed the words ELIZABETH II ~ TOKELAU 2015, denoting the issuer and date. Below the hole is inscribed the denomination of TEN DOLLARS, above which is not the usual emblem of Tokelau, but a representation of their flag.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $10 NZD
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 62.2 g
SIZE 70 mm
FINISH COLOURED
MINTAGE 1,000
MINTED BY TBC
COA YES, SERIALISED
PACKAGING BOX

TREASURES OF OZ

LUNAR ALMANAC 03:11

The Singapore Mint has released its lunar range for the Year of the Goat and it comprises eight coins, all of the same design. Having been in the lunar game considerably longer than most, these coins actually represents the eleventh issue in their third cycle of Chinese lunars, thus their 35th annual release.

Coins should start to ship from 20 January 2015, and all are nicely packaged.

There are eight coins in this launch, four gold and four silver, with just one of the silver coins being colour adorned. The coloured silver coin is a double-thickness Piedfort coin wieghing two ounces. Clean struck silver coins come in 20g, 5oz and 1kg versions, with the 5oz coin being subject to balloting due to its highly restricted mintage.

Gold versions come in 5oz, 1oz and ¼oz weights, with a very tiny (just 7mm!) 0.3g coin being sold on a card (pictured at top).

In addition to the individual coins, the Singapore Mint is releasing three sets of the coins, each containing different size combinations. First up is the 5oz set containing 5oz gold and silver coins that’ll sell for S$16,188 (US$12250, £7900, €10000) and only 88 sets are available.

Next up is the 2-in-1 set that contains a 2oz coloured silver coin, along with a Cupro-Nickel proof-like coin and a floral-shaped and coloured ingot. The ingot is described as “The uniquely-shaped floral ingot features three goats grazing in a pasture to welcome happiness and prosperity in the New Year. The Chinese character for goat is a homophonic pun to the Chinese character for sun, therefore this three-goat expression is popular as a prosperity blessing in the Year of the Goat. This ingot will bring blessings and good fortune to its owner. ” The set sells for S$260 (US$196, £127, €161) and is limited to 3,000.

Lastly, the 3-in-1 set is the same as the 2-in-1 except for the addition of the 1oz gold coin. Selling for S$3,600 (US$2725, £1750, €2230) and limited to 500 sets.

MINT DESCRIPTION

2015 Year of the Goat Almanac Commemorative Coins

The goat is traditionally known as a symbol of harmony, diligence and stability. People born in the Year of the Goat often display favourable traits such as creativity, intelligence, dependability and great composure. Therefore they are often well-liked for their gentle, nurturing and even-tempered nature.

To welcome the Year of the Goat, The Singapore Mint is proud to present the 2015 Year of the Goat Almanac Coin Collection and the second issue of the puzzle coin set featuring designs of the second Chinese Almanac series. The Year of the Goat Almanac Coins are the eleventh issue in the third series of the Chinese Almanac Coins.

The goat illustrated on the coin has a docile appearance which reflects its gentle disposition.The peony, a traditional Chinese symbol of blessings and festive cheer, is incorporated on the body of the goat.

SPECIFICATION

COMPOSITION FINISH WEIGHT DIAMETER MINTAGE
SILVER 0.999 PROOF 1000 g 100.00 mm 500
SILVER 0.999 PROOF 155.52 g 65.00 mm 250
SILVER 0.999 PROOF 20.00 g 38.70 mm 10,000
SILVER 0.999 PROOF COLOURED 62.21 g 45.00 mm 20,000
GOLD 0.9999 PROOF 155.52 g 60.00 mm 200
GOLD 0.9999 PROOF 31.10 g 33.00 mm 2,000
GOLD 0.9999 PROOF 7.78 g 21.96 mm 2,000
GOLD 0.9999 PROOF 0.3 g 7.00 mm 10,000
THE SINGAPORE MINT

LUNAR PUZZLE 02

The Singapore Mint has released the second of its Lunar Almanac coins following on from a debut release last year. Struck in 0.999 fine silver, and made from thirteen individual pieces totalling eight-ounces, the whole locks together like a puzzle to form a single round coin.

The central part of the coin weighs approx 2oz and features a Peony. Unlike last years coin, this one is gilded in commemoration of Singapores 50th anniversary of independence. Each of the twelve puzzle pieces surrounding this central section weighs approx. half an ounce and when locked together form a disc 96mm in diameter.

The 2014 Almanac coin featured lunar animal images from the Singapore Mints first Lunar Almanac Coin Series that was issued between 1981 and 1992. This 2015 coin bears images from their second series that ran from 1993 through to 2004, and the designs are more complex and attractive than those the last time around. In fact the whole coin looks better all round.

Nicely packaged, the coin is available to pre-order now for $1,380 SGD ($1,050 USD, £668, €847) and starts to ship in early January.

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MINT DESCRIPTION

The Singapore Second Almanac Coin Series Puzzle Coin Set is a continuation to the First Almanac Coin Series Puzzle Coin set which was very well-received following its issue in January 2014.

The coins are joined together using a 3-way interlocking concept to form a circle. Precision minting is required to achieve the 3-way interlocking mechanism.

The coin set, minted in 999 fine silver, has each of the 12 surrounding coins depicting an animal from the Second Chinese Almanac Series. The centre coin features the national flower of Singapore, the Vanda Miss Joaquim. 2015 marks Singapore’s Golden Jubilee and to commemorate this joyous occasion, the Vanda Miss Joaquim is specially plated in gold.

Bask in the festivities and look forward to a golden year of abundance, success, and great fortune with this majestic puzzle coin set! This impressive set will be the crown jewel of every collection.

Order on or before 19 Dec 2014 and collect from 8 Jan 2015 onwards, and from 20-31 Dec 2014 – Collect from 20 Jan 2015 onwards

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 12 x $2, 1 x $10 SGD
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 249.45 g
SIZE 96.0 mm
FINISH PROOF
MINTAGE 2,000
BOX / COA YES / YES (SERIALISED)
SINGAPORE MINT

HAPTIC FEEDBACK COIN

The Lunar Year of the Goat coin flood continues with almost every possible permutation of shape, colour and insert hitting the shelves, mostly continuations of existing series. We’ve had a new take on the subject matter with Son Montuno’s Lunar Skull coin, and now we’ve got a new take on the inserts with a coin that needs a shave.

Featuring what the mint is calling ‘haptic perception’, this concept refers to the process by which touch is used to recognise objects. The word originally derived from the Greek ‘haptikos‘, meaning able to grasp or perceive. For this coin the word refers to a goat-like fur/hair printing applied to the image of the kid on the coin’s reverse side. We’re not sure who’s actually going to run their fingers over a silver coin and risk tarnishing it, but the option’s there if goat rubbing is your fetish..

Issued for Benin, only 2,000 of these unusual coins will be struck by German mint Geiger Edelmetalle (the mint responsible for the Noahs Ark bullion coin). The coin is packaged in an attractive box, and sealed in a custom capsule for easy display. The 50mm diameter is large for a one-ounce coin, even bigger than the Perth Mint bullion lunar coins which are 45.6mm wide. The rear carries the emblem of the Republic of Benin which actually looks quite beautiful on the obverse of the actual coin, as opposed to the art image here.

The coin is available now from many dealers for around the €120/$120 mark. While Geiger Edelmetalle do mint the coin, it’s not sold by them.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 1000 FRANCS CFA
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 31.1 g
SIZE 50.0 mm
FINISH PROOF
MINTAGE 2,000
STRUCK BY GEIGER EDELMETALLE GmbH
BOX / COA YES / YES

CREATURES OF MYTH & LEGEND 02

Last year, the Perth-based coin producer Treasures of Oz released a pair of horse coin designs that, while not strictly lunar coins, were clearly influenced by the annual phenomenon. Called ‘Creatures of Myth and Legend’ the lunar horse designs depicted Pegasus and the Unicorn, and were available in a range of different finishes.

For 2015 the range has expanded to include the lunar year of the sheep/goat with a pair of new designs. Featuring equally mythical creatures, there are six coins each, depicting Aries and Capricornus. Mintages range from just 1,000 up to 2,500, far lower than the 2014 coins which ranged up to 50,000 in the case of the reverse-proof versions.

These are fine designs again, and no doubt you’ll all have your favourite finish, for me it’s the antiqued coins. The tiny 0.5g gold coins are becoming a speciality of Treasures of Oz and quite collectible in their own right. These two are very well detailed for the 11mm diameter. All should be available shortly.

CAPRICORNUS

The first of the two designs features a half-goat, half-fish animal from ancient mythology. None of the coins has a mintage greater than 2,500 making them a rarer sight than previously. The images above are, in clockwise order from top-left, proof, reverse-proof, antique, gold, gilded and coloured.

Capricornus, more commonly called Capricorn, has one of the oldest mythological associations, having been consistently represented as a hybrid of a goat and a fish since the Middle Bronze Age. In Greek mythology, the constellation is sometimes identified with Amalthea, the goat that suckled the infant Zeus and it is often identified as Pan, the god with a goat’s head, who saved himself from the monster Typhon by giving himself a fish’s tail and diving into the river.

ARIES

The second design features Aries, also from ancient mythology. All of the coin variants share mintages with the equivalent Capricornus version. The images above are, in clockwise order from top-left; proof, reverse-proof, antique, gold, gilded and coloured.

Aries, the Ram, is a constellation of stars visible from earth that appear in what the ancient Greeks thought to be the shape of a ram’s head. The mythology of Aries comes from the story of Jason and the Argonauts, whose main quest was to find the golden fleece of Aries the Ram in order to prove himself to be the rightful king of Iolcos in Thessaly.

The magical ram is said to have carried off the children of Nephele to keep them safe from their evil stepmother.

ANTIQUE

PROOF

REVERSE PROOF

SPECIFICATION

QUALITY METAL WEIGHT DIAMETER FACE VALUE MINTAGE
PROOF 0.999 Ag 31.1 g 38.61 mm $5 NZD 1,000
REVERSE-PROOF 0.999 Ag 31.1 g 38.61 mm $5 NZD 2,500
ANTIQUED 0.999 Ag 31.1 g 38.61 mm $5 NZD 1,000
GILDED 0.999 Ag 31.1 g 38.61 mm $5 NZD 1,000
COLOURED 0.999 Ag 31.1 g 38.61 mm $5 NZD 1,000
PROOF 0.9999 Au 0.5 g 11.00 mm $5 NZD 1,500
TREASURES OF OZ

BULLION LUNARS 01

Just as the Royal Mint did last year with the release of its first lunar bullion coins, the New Zealand Mint has decided it wants a piece of the action and has launched a new bullion coin for 2015 featuring the Year of the Goat as its subject. Designed in house, it’s an unusual design, but one we like here. At present they’ve just released the silver coin, but we understand a gold coin should be forthcoming soon.

Available in just a one-ounce format, the art is described by the mint as “Designed in-house by our skilled creative team, depicts “The Lucky Three” in a calligraphy style of art captured on the coin..” The obverse carries the usual profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank Broadley, a common choice for Niue issued numismatics.

Available now, the New Zealand Mint has a minimum order limit of 20 coins, but it’s also available from bullion dealers as usual. No news on a mintage limit, but bullion products from this mint rarely make huge numbers, so potentially one to watch if premiums remain reasonable.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $2 NEW ZEALAND DOLLARS
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 31.1 g
SIZE 40.70 mm
FINISH BRILLIANT UNCIRCULATED
MINTAGE T.B.C.
DESIGN IN-HOUSE / IAN RANK BROADLEY
NEW ZEALAND MINT

LUNAR SKULLS 01

We all know that the Lunar market can sometimes seem an endless procession of coins with similar themes and designs, and while there are releases that rise above the pack, it’s genuinely rare to see something completely different. We’re not talking about inset crystals, agate, gilding or fluorescence for example, but something that deviates from the overall theme. A quick look through our huge Year of the Goat Superguide will show you scores of coins, pretty much all with the same basic design; a picture of a goat.

Coming from nowhere, and from a new arrival on the coin producing scene is the debut release in a new 12-coin series entitled ‘Lunar Skulls’. Depicting exactly what you’d expect from the title, each coin will feature the skull of the lunar animal. Fortunately, despite being one of the less impressive animals visually, the goat has a seriously cool looking skull and that’s been ramped up to 11 by Portland, Oregon based tattoo artist, Kiana Roo, whose work can be seen at Kangaroo Paw Tattoo.

The new coin producer is SM Mint, an extension of a US coin dealer who runs from an EBay store called Son-Montuno. Their website will be up shortly and we look forward to what comes next after this impressive debut.

DESIGN

The front of the coin features a high-relief depiction of a goat skull drawn head on by tattoo artist Kiana Roo, whose signature is integrated into the artwork. Surrounding this are inscriptions featuring the series name, the series subject, the date, and the composition.

The obverse features the emblem of the Republic of Ghana, a country which currently has a relatively low profile in the numismatic market. The denomination of 5 Ghanaian Cedis is around $1.50 USD for those interested.

Each coin is engraved with a unique serial number that will match the supplied Certificate of Authenticity, a nice touch. It will be available in two finishes; a proof with a run of 500, and a Brilliant Uncirculated/Satin finish with a larger mintage of 2,000.

At present we’ve only seen artwork, but being struck in high-relief we’ve high expectations that the finished article will be worth it.

SON-MONTUNO MINT

Son-Montuno has been operating on eBay for coming up to fifteen years now selling a wide variety of mainly precious metal coins, earning a 100% feedback rating of almost 6,000. They’ve now taken the bold step of commissioning and selling their own coins through a new company called Son-Montuno (SM) Mint.

This first coin has been a huge hit, selling out batches of proof coins in a matter of hours since its debut a few days ago. The BU coins also seem to be flying out, so clearly a coin with great potential for appreciation and a highly promising debut for the new company.

Websites are currently being set up for both www.smmint.com and www.skullcoins.com, but at present just click the blue button at the end of the article to hit their eBay store.

The price of the proof has risen from $89 to $179 as stocks deplete, and they’re still selling, so if you want a proof in particular, don’t hang about.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 5 CEDIS
COMPOSITION 0.999 SILVER
WEIGHT 31.10 g
SIZE 38.61 mm
FINISH PROOF / BRILLIANT UNCIRCULATED
MINTAGE 500 / 2,000
ARTIST KIANA ROO
BOX / COA NO / YES (SERIALISED TO MATCH COIN)
SON-MONTUNO EBAY STORE