Always the elephant in the lunar room, the Perth Mint has dominated the market for this popular numismatic genre for a healthy couple of decades. The 12-coin cycle has been undertaken successfully twice now, so it’s always a big deal when a new one comes around. Today’s the day that Lunar Series III is officially revealed, although in proof form only, until the official reveal of the 2020 bullion ranges tomorrow.
Now, we’ve always considered previous series to be nice coins, but not anything really outstanding. There have been a couple of standout designs, but the series have always been known for being relatively unadventurous and formal. Not so with Lunar Series III if this debut issue is a reliable indicator. Indeed, this is a huge improvement on what has gone before, in our opinion.
Two different designs as usual, one each for gold and silver. The gold is a pretty design, with the mouse (not the rat as many others like the Royal Mint have gone with), sitting nestled in some corn. Just the Chinese character for mouse and the title/date in English are present on the reverse face, so it’s nice and clean. Equally clean is the silver coin, but the artwork here is quite superb. It’s great to see such a pleasant and realistic scene on this series after almost a quarter century of stylistic representations. Much like the Royal Mint issue we looked at yesterday, this is a welcome change and will help maintain interest in the series in these days of vastly greater choice, especially for the bullion versions.
Three gold proof coins released today, at 1/10oz, 1/4oz, and 1oz in weight. Each is very nicely packaged in the mints new clear-lidded display boxes, of which we count ourselves fans. Cleverly, the outer shipper boxes will gradually build over the 12 issues into an artistic diorama telling the lunar story. The same applies to the silver boxes. The boxed mintages in our table below refers to those shown here. The total mintage is higher, as there will inevitably be sets and specials as we continue through 2019. The silver comes in 1/2oz, 1oz, and 2oz formats, with the latter currently only available in the pretty three coin set you can see lower down, for now.
For us, an absolutely stellar debut for the series and we’re back to genuinely looking forward to the releases again. We’ll have details on the bullion coins tomorrow, including the platinum, and the other ranges, but these are the stars of the 2020 collection. Next month will see the desirable typeset collection get its debut and the coloured and gilded coins also look bang on. Well done Perth Mint!