The latest big mint to announce their gold and silver coins for the 2015 Lunar Year of the Goat is the Canberra-based Royal Australian Mint. There are differences from last years releases, as the whole range basically carries the same artwork, unlike last year where the one-kilo coin had a unique reverse design.
A single coin is different, a tetra-decagon (14-sided) frosted silver piece that sits near the bottom of the range in cost terms. 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.
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).
|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.
|½ OUNCE SILVER||$0.5 AUD||16.20 g||31.51 mm||UNLIMITED|