Perth Mint Lunar Series Gold Snakes Sell Out
The year 2001 one-ounce Gold Snakes, the sixth coin in The Perth Mint Lunar Series, became the third coin in the Series to reach the 30,000-coin production cap that the Mint set for the one-ounce Lunar Series gold coins. The year 2000 one-ounce Gold Dragon was the first coin to hit the production cap, followed by the year 2002 one-ounce Gold Horse. The Perth Mint Lunar Series is based on the Chinese 12 year Lunar Calendar, which dates back to 2600 BC. Each year is named after an animal, and, in turn, each animal sign is governed by five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each element appears with each animal only once every sixty years. Because of the uniqueness of the Lunar Series, coin collectors worldwide are drawn to these coins. The Perth Mint launched the Lunar Series in 1996 in the year of the Rat. Although aimed at the coin collector market, Lunar Series coins are sold at bullion coin prices. Perth Mint Lunar Series coins offer both value and beauty. They are struck with near proof quality and are among the most beautiful bullion coins being minted. Although Lunar Series coins come in various sizes, the one-ounce coins carry the greatest appeal. For gold bullion investors, the one-ounce gold coins are easy to secure and store. And, as a rule, one-ounce coins are more sought after by coin collectors than are fractional-ounce gold coins. The 30,000-coin production cap also increases the appeal of the Lunar Series coins. By comparison, the U.S. Mint's one-ounce Gold Eagles, which are the world's best-selling gold bullion coins, have unlimited production. In 1998 and 1999, the U.S. Mint turned about
1.5 million one-ounce Gold Eagles each year. Gold Eagles are not likely ever to become collector coins, whereas the sold-out one-ounce Dragons, Gold Horses, and Gold Snakes already have achieved collector status. The one-ounce Lunar Series gold coins have become popular with coin collectors and gold bullion investors alike. Lunar Series one-ounce gold coins offer gold bullion investors the opportunity to buy collector coins at bullion coin prices, therefore giving bullion coin investors the opportunity to profit two ways. One, by an increase in the price of gold. Two, by the potential for the one-ounce Lunar Series gold coins to pick up collector premiums. The Lunar Series coins are so exquisitely struck that many bullion investors on seeing the beauty of the coins buy all the available coins in the Series. (Distribution of the final coin in the Series, the 2007 year of the pig, will not begin until September 2006.) Some bullion investors have become collectors because of the high quality of the Lunar Series coins. Another reason for increased interest in the Lunar Series gold coins is the approaching 2008 Summer Olympics, which China will host. Regularly, the media carry stories and articles about China, its land, people, and culture. As a result, more people are learning about the Lunar Calendar, and promotional items related to the Lunar Calendar, including gold coins, are starting to appear. Still another reason for the high interest in the Lunar Series: In the past, collector coins have risen to very high prices during precious metals bull markets. Actually, sometimes those markets have overheated, and collector coins have achieved unrealistic prices. If precious metals prices are headed higher, as many metals analysts assert, the one-ounce Lunar Series coins could do very well.
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