Bullion round-up 11: Superheroes, Sith Lords, pharaohs, wildlife, innovators, and America’s favourite family

Our eleventh round-up of the latest bullion coins, and yes, I still hate doing these. The work putting these together is less than doing individual articles for each one, but it’s still 13 designs, from multiple sources, with varying degrees of image quality. It’s done now, however, so let me stop moaning and present this latest compilation.

We start with an exclusive first look at Coins Today’s latest stackable, and it’s a lunar – a very unique one at that. Joining it are a couple of the annual big guns, the Chinese Panda, and the Perth Mint’s Lunar Series III. Both look to be very good entrants in their respective programs. The APMEX series, Icons of Inspiration, is back again, and we’ve made no secret of how much we like that one.

There are numerous additions to existing series, like DC Comics, The Simpsons, Disney, and Panthera Tigris. The Royal Mint’s neat Myths & Legends range moves from Sherwood Forest, to Camelot, with the first of three designs. All new coins include Cambodian Wildlife, Tutankhamun, and a fine St. George & the Dragon by coin star, Jody Clark. That’s it for now. Enjoy the choice. There may be one more round-up before the end of the month, but it will depend on market activity, and where our Bullion Profiles exist, we’ve added these new ones to them.

2022 STACKABLE LUNAR RABBIT (Coins Today)

The latest in Coins Today’s hugely varied stackable bullion range, we have a lunar this time, specifically the 2023 Year of the Rabbit. It’s undenominated, so doesn’t carry a date. Choosing an interesting faceted style, we like the uniqueness of it, and it has the bonus of being easier to make stackable, we’d guess. It employs a mix of mirrored and matt finishes to enhance that faceted look.

The two-ounce weight seems to be the sweet spot for the stackable market, striking a good balance between cost and being able to carry off the design. As always, this has an unlimited mintage, but that doesn’t mean there will be countless numbers of them produced. We’ve lost quite a bit of interest in the lunar market, especially after it began to get ridiculous a few years ago, but releases like this go a long way to rekindling it.

 

 

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
None 0.999 silver 62.2 g 60.0 xx 74.0 mm Matt & Proof mixed Unlimited NO / NO

2023 CHINESE PANDA (Bank of China)

We normally have a full article dedicated to this release every year, but I can’t really explain why, when it just entailed changing the pictures from the year befores article, so here we are. Much better. The Chinese Panda has always been a popular staple of the bullion calendar, and while that seems to have cooled a little as mintages have skyrocketed, and consumer choice has exploded, it remains eagerly anticipated.

The 2023 design is really nice, continuing the trend of following the life of a newborn through to adulthood, of which this is the fifth of ten designs. Last year saw the 40th anniversary of the Panda. The range is expansive, and covers the three major metals, all with the same design. There are quite a few proof versions as well. Unique in having a metric weight system, which, if we’re honest, was a good idea, there’s something for every budget here. A great addition.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
10 YUAN (China) 0.999 silver 30.0 g 40.0 mm B/UNC 10,000,000 NO / NO
10 YUAN (China) 0.999 gold 1.0 g 10.0 mm B/UNC 500,000 NO / NO
50 YUAN (China) 0.999 gold 3.0 g 18.0 mm B/UNC 500,000 NO / NO
100 YUAN (China) 0.999 gold 8.0 g 22.0 mm B/UNC 200,000 NO / NO
200 YUAN (China) 0.999 gold 15.0 g 27.0 mm B/UNC 200,000 NO / NO
500 YUAN (China) 0.999 gold 30.0 g 32.0 mm B/UNC 1,000,000 NO / NO
30 YUAN (China) 0.999 platinum 1.0 g 10.0 mm B/UNC 10,000 NO / NO
1000 YUAN (China) 0.999 platinum 30.0 g 32.0 mm B/UNC 1,000 NO / NO

2023 MYTHS AND LEGENDS: KING ARTHUR (Royal Mint)

Myths and Legends from the Royal Mint debuted with a Robin Hood coin, followed by two other designs from the same legend. Despite the many characters in the Robin Hood legend that haven’t been featured to date, the mint has moved on to the second myth, that of King Arthur. If you’re unfamiliar with the legend, I’d highly recommend the meticulously researched documentary movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, although we think they might have got it wrong with the killer rabbit…

A good design by David Lawrence, although a little rigidly posed, perhaps, it will be the first of three for the Camelot story. There are gold and silver versions, each with an unlimited mintage, and the weight of a swallow (European, not African).

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
£2 UKP (United Kingdom) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 38.61 mm B/UNC Unlimited NO / NO
£100 UKP (United Kingdom) 0.9999 gold 31.1 g 32.69 mm B/UNC Unlimited NO / NO

2022 DC COMICS: GREEN LANTERN (New Zealand Mint)

The sixth in the New Zealand Mint’s DC Comics range, Green Lantern continues the practice of being depicted in action, alongside his emblem. They’re quite different in style to the Marvel Comics series by the Perth Mint, which is a nice change. Unlike the Marvel series, however, these are also available in gold, and with a tiny mintage. One for the fans, but they’ll probably be satisfied with these.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 40.7 mm B/UNC 15,000 NO / NO
$250 NZD (Niue) 0.9999 gold 31.1 g 32.0 mm B/UNC 150 NO / NO

2023 TUTANKHAMUN’S DEATH MASK (Pobjoy Mint)

Next year sees the 100th anniversary of Howard Carter’s discovery of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb, something that popularised the Ancient Egyptian civilisation so much, that it endures to this day. The most famous artifact unearthed is, without question, the solid gold death mask, and it is this that Pobjoy Mint has chosen to represent the once in a lifetime discovery.

Looks decent, although the official images aren’t great. We’ve had a coin with that Sierra Leone obverse on it, and it was very pretty, so expect this one to look a lot better than what is shown here.

 

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$1 (Sierra Leone) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 38.6 mm B/UNC 10,000 NO / NO

2022 STAR WARS: DARTH VADER V (New Zealand Mint)

A series that’s been going for some time now, Star Wars bullion is divided into subseries, and this is the fifth issue in one that features the big bad himself, Darth Vader. It isn’t a series with a huge amount of variety, but it’s one the fans seem to like. The latest coin is unusual in using artwork originally developed for a three-ounce proof coin with a coloured face.

It seems to work well with the previous issues, however, and continues the practice of offering both silver and gold, one-ounce variants. Mintages are higher than most in this genre.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 40.0 mm B/UNC 100,000 NO / NO
$250 NZD (Niue) 0.9999 gold 31.1 g 32.0 mm B/UNC 1,000 NO / NO

2023 LUNAR SERIES III: YEAR OF THE RABBIT (Perth Mint)

A perennial favourite, the Perth Mint continues its third journey through the twelve-coin Lunar Cycle. The next in Lunar Series III is a pair of excellent rabbit designs. This series has seen a change in direction, and a definite uptick in quality over previous cycles, in our view, with much more naturalistic portrayals, and that’s the case again.

The silver has its own, two-rabbit artwork, while the playful gold design depicts a single animal, and is shared with the platinum version. Excellent stuff again. The range is extensive, with six silver, seven gold, and a solitary platinum filling out the choices. The one-ounce versions tend to be the most popular, as, apart from the niche 10 kg silver, they have limited mintages. An impressive selection.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$300 AUD 0.9999 silver 10,001.00 g 221.0 mm Reverse BU 100 NO / NO
$30 AUD 0.9999 silver 1,000.10 g 100.9 mm Reverse BU Unlimited NO / NO
$8 AUD 0.9999 silver 155.553 g 61.0 mm Reverse BU Unlimited NO / NO
$2 AUD 0.9999 silver 62.213 g 50.8 mm Reverse BU Unlimited NO / NO
$1 AUD 0.9999 silver 31.107 g 40.9 mm Reverse BU 300,000 NO / NO
$0.5 AUD 0.9999 silver 15.553 g 32.6 mm Reverse BU Unlimited NO / NO
$1,000 AUD 0.9999 gold 311.066 g 61.0 mm Reverse BU Unlimited NO / NO
$200 AUD 0.9999 gold 62.213 g 40.9 mm Reverse BU Unlimited NO / NO
$100 AUD 0.9999 gold 31.107 g 32.6 mm Reverse BU 30,000 NO / NO
$50 AUD 0.9999 gold 15.553 g 25.6 mm Reverse BU Unlimited NO / NO
$25 AUD 0.9999 gold 7.777 g 20.6 mm Reverse BU Unlimited NO / NO
$15 AUD 0.9999 gold 3.111 g 16.6 mm Reverse BU Unlimited NO / NO
$5 AUD 0.9999 gold 1.555 g 14.6 mm Reverse BU Unlimited NO / NO
$100 AUD 0.9995 platinum 31.119 g 32.6 mm Reverse BU 5,000 NO / NO

2022 PANTHERA TIGRIS (LPM Group)

The third in the Panthera Tigris series, issued for Laos, is now available, and it looks to be a good addition to the range. I wasn’t sure at first glance, but a closer look reveals a well drawn design, with good detail, and decent anatomy. It’s our favourite of the series to date, and the small mintages are a nice bonus. Very nice.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
500 KIP (Laos) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 39.0 mm B/Unc 10,000 NO / NO
2,000 KIP (Laos) 0.999 gold 31.1 g 32.0 mm B/Unc 100 NO / NO

2022 ICONS OF INSPIRATION 05: THE WRIGHT BROTHERS (APMEX)

We’re said in our last round-up, that we think ‘Icons of Inspiration’ is one of the best bullion coin series in production today, and the fifth entrant, aviation pioneers, The Wright Brothers, has done nothing to diminish that view. Continuing to be designed by coin artist Joel Iskawitz, this one joins Galileo Gallilei, Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein coins.

Another terrific design, with fine portrayals of the brothers, over a background of their work. The attractive common obverse returns, as do the pair of one-ounce formats, the gold coming boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity. An absolutely outstanding series, and a favourite here.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 39.0 mm B / UNC 10,000 NO / NO
$250 NZD (Niue) 0.9999 gold 31.1 g 32.0 mm B / UNC 100 YES / YES

2022 THE SIMPSONS: SEASON’S GREETINGS (Perth Mint)

A surprisingly impressive range, The Simpsons has done a fine job of turning this dysfunctional family into decent numismatics. The range is quite large to date, featuring a mix of character portraits, and family scenes. The latest issue is one of the latter, and themed for the Christmas holiday.

Two silver variants, one the standard job available in encapsulated, and blistercard mounted versions, while the same is also true for the coloured coin. Both will keep Simpsons fans happy.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$1 TVD (Tuvalu) 0.9999 silver 31.1 g 40.9 mm B / UNC 15,000 NO / NO
$1 TVD (Tuvalu) 0.9999 silver 31.1 g 40.9 mm B / UNC, colour 5,000 NO / NO

2023 CAMBODIA WILDLIFE: CLOUDED LEOPARD (LPM Group)

A new series of Cambodian coins exclusive to Hong Kong dealer, LPM Group, it will have depictions of Cambodia’s exotic wildlife. The debut issue features the Clouded Leopard. It looks okay, although the images really aren’t flattering, so we suspect it will look better in hand. There’s a silver and gold version, both in one-ounce form, as well as a coloured silver version. A coin we’d like to get a sample of to get some images of.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
3,000 Riels (Cambodia) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 40.7 mm B / UNC 10,000 NO / NO
3,000 Riels (Cambodia) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 40.7 mm B / UNC, Colour 2,000 NO / NO
30,000 Riels (Cambodia) 0.9999 gold 31.1 g 40.7 mm B / UNC 100 NO / NO

2022 DISNEY ALADDIN 30TH ANNIVERSARY (New Zealand Mint)

Like their Star Wars range, the New Zealand Mint does a similar one for Disney, encompassing the characters, and increasingly, the classic movies. Latest to get the treatment is this silver only (currently, at least) coin marking the 30th anniversary of Aladdin. A huge hit on release, it remains a classic, despite Disney’s recent live-action remake. Not much to say here, really. A clean design, with the usual standard obverse.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 40.0 mm B / UNC 30,000 NO / NO

2022 ST. GEORGE AND THE DRAGON (LPM Group)

This one looks good, offering not just Jody Clark’s final effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on its obverse face, but his interpretation of the classic St. George and the Dragon on the reverse. It’s a bold, dynamic piece of work, quite different in style to Pistrucci’s classic on the Sovereign. Devoid of annoying inscriptions, it uses the full coin surface to fine effect. Just a one-ounce silver bullion coin, at present, although there re gold and silver proof coins for the well-heeled, and we’d imagine they look especially attractive in hand. Another LPM Group exclusive.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
£2 UKP (Ascension Island) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 38.6 mm B / UNC 15,000 NO / NO
APMEX
NEW ZEALAND MINT