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2012 Australian Lunar Series Dragon Silver Coins
All About Perth Mint 2012 Silver Lunar Dragons
In the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2012 brings about the Year of the Dragon. Mints across the globe are capitalizing on the popularity of lunar themed coins and the wildly popular dragon year by releasing a wide array of silver coins, proof silver coins, and colorized coins to commemorate the year. The Perth Mint is located in Perth Australia and has been a market leader promoting this trend. As part of their highly popular Lunar Series 2 coins they have released a wide array of silver coins, proof silver coins, and colorized coins to commemorate the year of the dragon. This lens is dedicated to their offering.
The dragon is known for its strength, beauty, and noble nature. These traits are commemorated in the Australian Perth Mint's 2012 silver coin releases. The dragon stands alone as the only mythical creature in the Chinese zodiac. It is also one of the most popular signs in Chinese culture and brings discerning silver coin collectors flocking in to purchase the popular releases.
As this lens is dedicated to coins it will be rather heavy on photographs. The coins and photos in this lens are part of my personal collection. I hope you enjoy the review as much as I did making it.
Standard Bullion Issue
The Australian Perth Mint's standard bullion issues come in 10 Kilo, 1 Kilo, 10, 5, 2, 1 and 1/2 ounce sizes. These coins are sold as bullion and usually closely follow the value of the silver contained in them. Due to popularity these coins have begun to sell at substantial premiums to their silver content and provided initial investors in them with handsome returns.
The one ounce version has a limited mintage of 300,000 coins. The other sizes are minted to demand with figures published at the conclusion of the year. The 1 Kilo is available for purchase throughout the series life while the others cease to be minted at the conclusion of the year. Another factor that attracts investors toward them is their liquidity; there is always exceptionally strong market demand for them.
Colorized Lunar Silver Dragons
The Perth Mint developed a proprietary process of adding color to coins to enhance their appeal. The color is actually permanently sealed and bonded onto the coin. The perfect execution of the technology yields striking full colored detail portraits on each coin. Colorized versions of the bullion dragon coins have been released in 1 Kilo, 10, 5, 2, 1, and 1/2 ounce versions. The photo on the right shows a single 10 ounce colorized coin.
The photo below shows both the specimen colorized and bullion 10 ounce issues. Red is the chosen color for the specimen colorized issue in 2012. It is often associated with strong emotions like anger or aggression. Red dragons can be viewed as more excited or on the verge of an outburst. Red also being a symbol of power and a bright bold notification to all challengers, a red dragon would be immediately noticed and feared in battle. The colorized coins are a popular numismatic alternative to the bullion issues with far less of them being minted.
....Here are all of the colored silver dragons for 2012
There are a 9 different color patterns that were issued in the 1 ounce size that round out the colorized specimen offering. Most of these are only available as part of special limited sets or coin show releases. The nine varieties are red, blue, brown, purple, silver, white, yellow, black and gold. Photographed above is a special set of colored dragons that the Perth Mint only released into the Chinese market.
Special Issue Colorized Versions
One thing that has become extremely popular is special issue limited releases at coin shows. Events like World Money Fair and the ANDA coin shows in Australia usually have such releases with intense demand due to the limited availability. One such example as shown on the right is the World Money Fair in Berlin special limited release. Only 5000 coins are available with this packaging worldwide.
...and the ANDA Perth 2 ounce special release
ANDA Brisbane Example
Special show offering with unique presentation packaging. The obverse of the coin displays a vibrant purple dragon highlighted with gold detailing, chasing after a pearl of wisdom as the 2012 dragon releases traditionally have. The full color design is detailed with frosty white cameo relief, on mirrored fields. The color purple has been associated with royalty and nobility for thousands of years and this design is sure to quickly follow the footsteps of previous show specials. Mintage is limited to 5000 coins.
....and the ANDA Melbourne Coin Show Special
The Australian Numismatic Dealers Association (ANDA) had its third 2012 show in Melbourne in early July. In keeping with the tradition of special releases at such events they released this Yellow Dragon in unique packaging, with a mintage of only 5,000. Perth Mint coin show specials always become highly sought after collectibles. The first two in this Dragon Series, the Berlin World Money Fair Black Dragon, and Brisbane ANDA Coin Show Purple Dragon are shown above. This one follows right in their footsteps.
2012 1 oz Dragon with Bavarian Lion Privy
A special privy release was authorized with the primary intent to be distributed in the German market with a Bavarian Lion Privy. The maximum mintage for this coin is 200,000. It is basically identical to the traditional bullion release minted in .999 fine silver with the exception of the Bavarian Lion privy mark on the reverse of the coin. The original bullion version sold out very quickly so many collectors who may have missed the opportunity can still add this one. These coins will only be available during 2012.
Metal Content : 1 Troy Ounce
Fineness: 99.90% Pure
Minimum Gross Weight: 31.135 grams
Monetary Denomination: 1.00 AUD
Maximum Diameter: 45.6 mm
Maximum Thickness: 2.6 mm
All coins are presented in protective Perth mint airtight capsules.
The dragon was also released in a proof finish version composed of 99.9% fine silver. The design elements of the coin remain unchanged but the fields are mirrored and the details are frosted. Photographed below is the one ounce. It was also released in a 1/2, 2, and 5 ounce sizes. The 2012 5 ounce proof released in June of 2012 is the first of its kind lunar 5 ounce silver proof released by the Perth mint.
2012 1/2 oz Colored Proof
The proof colored version of the Lunar Dragon struck in 99.9% pure silver is an extremely striking issue. The coin is legal tender in Australia of 50 cents. This is mostly symbolic since the silver value of the coin is far greater than 50 cents. The reverse depicts a red dragon with a representation of a Pearl near the end of the dragon's tail along with the Perth Mint "P" mintmark. Traditionally the color red represents success, good luck, and prosperity. The obverse carries the Ian Rank-Broadly effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. The coin has a maximum mintage of 10,000 coins. The packaging consists of an outer box, presentation case, Certificate of Authenticity and an air tight capsule. There is also a one ounce colored proof release.
2012 High Relief Silver Proof
In 2012 the Perth Mint released its first high relief lunar coin to commemorate the year of the dragon. The coin was issued with mint packaging including an outer box, presentation case, COA, and coin capsule. It is composed of .999 fine silver and is somewhat smaller and thicker than traditional bullion issues to allow for the high relief technique. The coin's surfaces are actually concave to ensure the metal flows properly as the die strikes this unique issue. Mintage was limited to 7,500 coins and this resulted in an extremely quick sell out.
Kilo Gemstone Eye Colorized
The crown jewel of the Year of the Dragon silver coins is the largest $30 legal tender issue. The impressive one kilo, .999 silver, full color specimen is undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking coins to ever be issued. Instantly commanding the attention of anyone who sees this massive specimen, this dramatic one kilo silver coin is punctuated by a genuine ruby inset in the right eye of the dragon! Actual mintage is limited to a meager 5000 coins.
10 Kilo Coin
This is a terrific video put out by the Perth mint showing the press during the manufacturing of the 10 Kilo gold and silver dragons. All I can say is enjoy!
2000 Silver Australian Year of the Dragon
2000 was also a year of the dragon. It was the 2nd release of the Series 1 set.. The 2000 Silver Lunar Year of the Dragon features a traditional Chinese dragon, The design was by Tony Dean. The Ian Rank- Broadley effigy of Elizabeth II is shown on the obverse. Here is the release from that year. This was the coin that actually began the dragon and subsequent lunar coin craze.
Mint Sealed Rolls
If you have ever wondered how rolls are prepared at the mint here is your answer. 20 individual 1/2 or 1 ounce coins are shrink wrapped together to form a continuous roll. In the case of 2 ounce coins the roll is only 5 coins. The photo depicts rolls of one ounce and 1/2 ounce series 2 silver dragons.
2012 Silver Lunar Dragon Bullion Coin Mintage Figures
Announced at the Conclusion of 2012
$300 10kg - 234
$30 1kg - TBD
$10 10oz - 47,390
$8 5oz - 31,664
$2 2oz - 118,738
$1 1oz - 300,000
50c 1/2oz - 389,161
Australia's Perth mint gold dragons - ...and they also produce gold versions of the popular series
Pictured above is the 2012 10 ounce gold and Silver Dragons with an American Silver Eagle for perspective. Yes, that is a 10 ounce gold dragon coin!!!
2012 Australian Silver Dragon Photo GalleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
Why are Australian Silver Dragons so Popular?
There are a number of factors that affect the popularity of the lunar Dragon Coins. Demand will likely continue to be very strong since:
- The Chinese Lunar Calendar is the most popular theme in modern numismatics
- The Dragon is just simply the most popular animal in the Chinese Lunar Calendar.
- The mintage of the silver one ounce lunar coins is very limited to just 300,000 coins.
- All the benefits of legal tender status are bestowed on them.
- The quality and finish is almost equal to other mint's proof releases.
- They are priced as bullion with only a modest premium.
- The design by the Perth Mint is always innovative and top notch.
- All coins are encapsulated in unique Perth Mint exclusive air tight capsules.
- The Perth Mint is held in overall very high esteem by collectors.