The lunar market is about as diverse as it gets, featuring gold and silver coins covered in everything from ink to gemstones. Two of the most widely desired lunar horse are ones that have done something different from the others, but have done so by taking a classy approach and showing some restraint.
Our favourite lunar of 2014 was the Cook Islands Mother of Pearl with its anatomically powerful, profile horse bust formed in red in the centre of the coin. A close runner up was the excellent Jade coin from Laos, a 2oz silver coin of 55mm diameter, covered with selective gilding and a green Burmese Jade insert.
2015 COOK ISLANDS MOTHER OF PEARL LUNAR GOAT
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.
|OBVERSE DESIGNER||IAN RANK BROADLEY|
2015 LAOS BURMESE JADE LUNAR GOAT
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.
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.