Our first new bullion coin release round-up of 2022 is a varied mix

Continuing our regular round-ups of new bullion coins entering an ever-increasing market full of activity, is our first one of 2022. There’s another wide selection of subjects, although formats tend to have stuck close to the traditional one-ounce in most cases. There are popular culture franchise issues, and wildlife ones, with videogames, history, and culture all squeezing into the mix.

This isn’t intended to be anything other than a quick look at the market, allowing us to cover them, without getting swamped. Later this week we’ll have a look at a couple of new KOMSCO releases, and tomorrow will see our round-up of movie/TV releases in the numismatic world. Enjoy.

2022 PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: EMPRESS (EMK/NZ Mint)

The third in the NZ Mint’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ series is called Empress, and takes its name from a Chinese pirate ship from the 2007 film, Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End. It follows the same style as the previous two issues, with a simple silhouette bas-relief style depiction on the left, with a similarly realised look at the ship’s captain to the right.

Pirates and sailing ships always seem to generate interest on bullion coins, and there are some terrific ones out there. These are a bit staid for our liking, but your mileage may vary, as they say. The obverse is a basic layout of Queen’s effigy and issue inscriptions. Exclusive to German dealer EMK, there are one-ounce 0.999 silver, and one-ounce 0.9999 gold variants, with the former also available in monster-boxes of 250 coins. Available now.

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 250 NO / NO

2022 LADY AND THE TRAMP (NZ Mint)

We’ve made no secret of the fact we’re not huge fans of Disney movies here, but there have been some fine coins released for the franchise. This latest issue, for the 1955 animated movie ‘Lady and the Tramp’, is one of them. I have to admit that, even though the image could have filled a little more of the coin face, this is a terrific design – one that encapsulates the film perfectly, Disney fans should love it, we think. The obverse is standard effigy fare.

As is typical with these NZ Mint bullion coins, there are one-ounce silver and gold formats on offer, and the mintages are small, as you would expect, especially so given the popularity of the subject matter. The silver can be purchased in 200 coin monster boxes, as well as in individual quantities. Available from 27th January, a fine release, in our view.

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 250 NO / NO

2022 APEX PREDATORS: LION V HYENA (APMEX)

The epic battles for dominance at the top of the world’s various food chains, is one that has fascinated us for centuries. To release a bullion coin series based on the subject, seems a natural progression of that interest, so this new series from APMEX should have a head start in the popularity war. It certainly helps that it’s such a fine looking coin. Devoid of inscription, it gives over the whole face to the battle between a male Lion, and a trio of Hyenas. A very dynamic image, we like it a lot.

It’s a one-ounce 0.999 silver coin with a tight 10,000 mintage, and has the usual Niue effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. You’ll also notice a part gilded coin above, and that’s a five-ounce proof variant that we thought we’d slip in for your interest. Only 500 of those will be minted, and with a much higher price, but at 65 mm in diameter, it should be an impressive item in hand. Both are available now.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$1 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 39.0 mm B / UNC 10,000 NO / NO
$10 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 155.5 g 65.0 mm PROOF 500 YES / YES

2022 GALAGA 40TH ANNIVERSARY (APMEX)

It was only in December 2021 that APMEX issued its last videogame history based bullion and numismatic coin range. That one was Ms. Pac-Man, which itself followed Pac-Man. This latest coin features another absolute classic of the early arcades – Galaga. The vertically scrolling shooter was a huge hit, and it’s now celebrating its 40th anniversary. APMEX have actually hit on a terrific idea for this series, as there are countless classics from the time that could be part of this series.

As before, there are gold and silver bullion variants, both an ounce in weight, and carrying an identical design. The gold version comes in a themed tin with a Certificate of Authenticity, All have the same Niue emblem obverse and all are available now. Mintages are way down, making this particularly attractive.

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) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 32.0 mm B / UNC 40 YES / YES

2022 LOST TIGERS OF CAMBODIA 5OZ (LPM GROUP)

We’ve already covered the release of the one-ounce version of this, but now there’s a five-ounce version as well. The portrait view of an adult taking centre stage, surrounded by a scattering of foliage, is an old school design, but that’s okay, it looks good. The obverse has that traditional Cambodian view of Angkor Wat, easily the most famous archaeological site in the country and one of the finest in the world. Inscriptions on both faces are well-placed, minimal and unobtrusive

It’s very rare to see a bullion coin from a South-East Asian nation, so this has extra kudos for that. The mintage is also very low for the type. Available from LPM right now.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
15,000 Riels (Cambodia) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 65.0 mm B / UNC 500 NO / NO

2022 7 WONDERS: LIGHTHOUSE AT ALEXANDRIA (APMEX)

A bullion round, not a coin, this is something we don’t cover a lot of unless it’s especially coin-like, but ‘The Seven Wonders’ series from APMEX just seemed a natural for us. Taking the famous Seven Wonders of the Ancient World as their subject, each depicts the structure on the reverse face, and the ruler, along with an appropriate historical denomination, on the obverse. This is one of the few series out there that we often prefer the obverse design over the main face.

This one, the third, is the famous Lighthouse at Alexandria, something we know did actually exist. It has a look we’ve seen associated with the speculated architectural look of the building, and there are lots of neat little touches around it. The obverse depicts a portrait of Ptolemy II Philadelphus, said to have had it built around 280 BC. All told, another good release in this series. There have been gold versions in the past, and while we’ve yet to see this one inthe yellow metal, we’re expecting it soon.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
NONE 0.999 silver 31.1 g 37.0 mm B/UNC 7,777 NO / NO

2021 IBERIAN LYNX (REAL CASA DE LA MONEDA)

One we missed in December, the Spanish Royal Mint is issuing a new gold bullion coin called, and depicting, the Iberian Lynx. This one-ounce 0.9999 gold coin has a portrait view of this beautiful animal on its reverse face, and a version of the Columnario del Real de a Ocho (columns of the eight reales), either side of a two hemispheres image, on its obverse. A very pretty and historically inspired coin, it’s great to see more interest taken in the market by European producers.

The coin is also unusual in having a very low denomination of just 1.5 Euros, and a mintage capped at 12,000 pieces. Struck to a reverse-proof finish, a very welcome addition to the market, and one available now.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
€1.5 EURO (Spain) 0.9999 gold 31.1 g 37.0 mm REV PROOF 12,000 NO / NO

2022 BIG FIVE SERIES II: LION (SOUTH AFRICAN MINT)

A series we really like here, the South African Mint’s ‘Big Five’ series returned late last year for a second journey through these impressive animals. This is the second of the five in Series II to be issued, following the elephant. It maintains the same style as before, with the obverse being carried over wholesale, but with a new depiction of the lion on the reverse face. It remains a great looking coin, with a good-looking and realistic view of the King of the Jungle.

We’re expecting the full range of formats to hit in the coming months, but for now, the one-ounce silver coin is where it’s at. It comes in the same themed and info-packed blistercard packaging as before, and has a mintage of 15,000 pieces. The only downside to this range is a larger than average premium over spot, giving these a semi-numismatic status, rather than an outright bullion one. Check out our comprehensive guide to this series HERE.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
5 RAND (South Africa) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 38.73 mm B/UNC 15,000 BLISTERCARD

2022 CHINESE MYTHS & LEGENDS: DRAGON (LPM / PERTH MINT)

A gold version of a silver coin launched last year, this Perth Mint produced LPM exclusive bullion coin remains a beautiful piece of work by Natasha Muhl. Apart from the 2022 issue date, the design remains unchanged, fortunately. A lovely piece. We actually have a profile of this series up which you might want to check out, as it’s already up to five issues.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$100 AUD (Australia) 0.9999 gold 31.107 g 32.6 mm B/UNC 5,000 NO / NO
NEW ZEALAND MINT
SOUTH AFRICAN MINT
ROYAL SPANISH MINT