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Australia Lunar Series 1
Australia Lunar Series 1 government issued silver bullion coins

Australia Lunar Series 1

First issued in 1996, the Perth Mint's Lunar coins started out as a single release of gold bullion coins limited to four sizes. Today, the Lunars are a large part of the Perth Mint's business and their flagship product. The silver Lunar Series 1 was issued from 1999-2010.

Starting in 1996 with the Mouse, each year brought a new animal in a variety of sizes. In 1999 the first silver coins were released and were also issued in multiple sizes. The first issue had 1kg, 10oz, 2oz, 1oz and 1/2oz coins. In 2004, 1/2kg and 5oz versions were added. While there were no silver coins minted for the first three lunar animals, demand from collectors led the Perth Mint to strike new designs in the Lunar I style at the same time as they were striking new coins for Lunar II. Consequently there are no silver coins dated 1996-1998, but there are series 1 coins dated 2008-2010. This allowed collectors to complete the set, however the only sizes minted during these final years were the 1kg, 2oz and 1oz sizes. All the coins are 99.9% pure.

For the first three years when only gold coins were available, the obverse depicted the excellent portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ralph Maklouf (centre). In 1999 it was changed to the later portrait by Ian Rank Broadley that shows the Queen in an older light and was also used on the silver coins.

 

Silver Bullion Mintage

Year1/2 Oz1 Oz2 Oz5 Oz10 Oz1/2 Kilo1 Kilo10 Kilo
1999 16,913 63,644 12,869 N/A 2,486 N/A 1,983 N/A
2000 52,956 118,697 29,110 N/A 7,926 N/A 7,805 N/A
2001 30,904 71,301 14,062 N/A 3,962 N/A 3,013 N/A
2002 42,824 99,632 19,359 N/A 5,537 N/A 4,338 N/A
2003 51,776 102,164 20,466 N/A 6,974 N/A 6,931 N/A
2004 52,792 105,680 18,124 3,592 3,735 1,287 5,095 N/A
2005 37,994 92,691 16,292 5,585 2,775 1,307 3,818 N/A
2006 39,361 98,825 17,106 5,080 2,813 785 4,145 78
2007 32,495 87,009 14,180 3,229 3,061 962 4,838 105
2008 N/A 59,623 7,221 N/A N/A N/A 3,344 N/A
2009 N/A 52,267 6,465 N/A N/A N/A 1,877 N/A
2010 N/A 56,077 6,520 N/A N/A N/A 1,888 N/A

 

Design

Obverse:  The design has changed throughout the series, but Queen Elizabeth II is at the center surrounded by an inscription bearing her name, the name of the issuing country "Australia", the year, and the face value of the coin "1 Dollar."

Reverse: The motif is the lunar animal of that particular year. To the left of the animal is the date and a Chinese symbol representing the lunar year is to the right. changed locations throughout the series.  The content and purity of the coin are inscribed below the motif.

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