The Beautiful Australian Silver Lunar Coin

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The Perth Mint which is found in Western Australia started minting the Australian Silver Lunar Coin in 1999 to start a chain of mintage based mostly on the Chinese Lunar Year. This meant the entire Lunar Silver Coin collection would have as its basis, the twelve animals.  This, according to Chinese legend, honored an invite from Lord Buddha to visit him before he left this Earth.

The good Buddha had called all the animals but only these 12 obliged, so he rewarded these fortunate dozen by naming each of them in the cycle of the Chinese Lunar Year by the order by which they came: the rat was first and started the cycle, followed by the ox, the tiger, the rabbit or hare, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the sheep, the monkey, the rooster, the dog and the pig (or boar).

However, since the Australian Silver Lunar Coin started minting in 1999, its starting animal in the 12-animal cycle is the rabbit which happened to be the ruling animal in the Chinese Lunar Calendar that year. The rest of the animals followed in their respective order with the ox design featured in this years Perth Mint issue and the tiger icon scheduled to wind up the Lunar Silver issuance in 2010.

The Australian Silver Lunar Coin originally came in five sizes: half-ounce, 1 ounce, and those that weighed at 2, 10 and 32.5 (1 kilo) ounces. Two variations, the 5-ounce and the half-kilo were added in 2004. All are legal tender and have a purity of 99.9% pure silver. Their face values, however, differ.

The 1 kilo size has an Australian-dollar face value of A$30, the half-kilo coin A$15, the 10-ounce A$10, the 5-ounce A$8, the 2-ounce A$2, and the 1-ounce A$1.

As you can see, collectors and numismatists whose thematic specialization falls under completing a collection by years will definitely find a gem in the beautiful Australian Silver Lunar Coin.