A premium lunar series in production since the 2011 Year of the Rabbit, the Jade series of 2-oz silver coins is one of the most well-liked of all the annual lunar releases. Issued for the South-east Asian country Laos, a small landlocked country bordered by five far larger neighbours, each coin has for a signature feature a ring of green Burmese jade near the centre. 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.
Inside this sits a gilded image of the lunar animal subject. Outside of it is a ring of clean struck images, also of the subject. The jade ring carries gilded lettering in Chinese and English stating the lunar year. The jade, because of its very nature, is different for each coin which is a nice touch in this age of mass produced ubiquity. The Year of the Monkey coin follows the pattern exactly, and the outer ring of struck images is a fine one this year, almost matching the clever goats on a mountainside from last year, and much better than the disappointing horse design from 2014.
Very nicely packaged in a rich red, Asian-inspired coin box and shipper, the coin is available to purchase from a wide variety of dealers worldwide for around €165. Mintage is limited to 2,888, the kind of number you’ll see a lot of as the number 8 is considered very fortuitous in many Asian countries.