2015 Lunar Series II Year of the Goat Silver Proof Coin
The Perth Mint continues its Lunar Series II in 2015 with the Year of the Goat Silver Proof coins. Now in its second iteration, this popular series draws its theme from the Chinese Lunar calendar (also known as the Chinese zodiac) and features new reverse designs every year for each successive animal in the Lunar cycle.
Following the Year of the Horse in 2014, the goat is the 8th animal in the 12-year Lunar cycle, last appearing in 2003. People born under the sign of the Goat (sometimes, the Sheep or Ram) are said to be charming, elegant, gentle, loyal, artistic, and possess a calm demeanor.
The common reverse of these coins, created by artist Natasha Muhl, is an original design featuring three goats in a tranquil rural setting. Two adult goats look on as a kid grazes in the foreground. The Chinese character for “Goat” is placed above the leftmost goat, while the inscription “Year of the Goat” curls along the rim below. The “P” mintmark for Perth appears along the rim to the left.
On the obverse, we are graced by Ian Rank-Broadley’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II facing right. Inscriptions circling the outer rim rim also indicate the coin’s legal tender face value and year of issue (2015). These coins also feature a Proof quality finish, exhibiting mirrored backgrounds that contrast beautifully against frosted relief devices.
For 2015, the Year of the Goat coins will be struck for four different denominations, listed in the table below:
|Size||Silver Content (troy oz)||Gross Weight (grams)||Fineness||Denomination||Diameter (mm)||Maximum Mintage|
|1 kg||32.15||1,003.002||.999||30 AUD||100.6||500|
|2 oz||2||62.270||.999||2 AUD||55.6||2,000|
|1 oz||1||31.135||.999||1 AUD||45.6||8,500|
|½ oz||0.5||15.573||.999||0.5 AUD||36.6||9,000|
Just 500 of the kilo coins will be minted, and only 1,000 of the 3-coin set that includes the 2 oz, 1 oz, and ½ oz sizes will be issued worldwide. The remainder of the mintage limits will be satisfied by orders for the individual coins. All maximum mintage figures represent worldwide distribution limits.
2014 Australian Opal Series Masked Owl 1 oz Silver Proof Coin
The Perth Mint’s Australian Opal Series receives a new addition with the 2014 1 ounce Silver Masked Owl Proof coin. Designed by artist Aleysha Howarth, this beautiful silver coin is the sixth in the series and depicts the Australian Masked Owl, harkening back to the Athenian drachmas minted from Laurium silver. The owl is crafted from precious Australian opals, which add depth and color to the coin’s already striking design.
The Australian Masked Owl featured on the reverse is a handsome bird that can be distinguished by its heart-shaped white face which contrasts with its brown plumage. The Australian Masked Owl is a species of barn owl that inhabits the timbered regions of Australia, mirroring human habitation near or just inland from the coasts. The species is relatively common throughout the country, but some states have seen populations decline and have listed the birds as “threatened.”
The Masked Owl is rendered in precious Australian opal, a gemstone that forms in the cracks and cavities of other rocks, sometimes even making up entire fossils. Australia produces the vast majority of the world’s gem-quality opals, with the state of South Australia producing nearly 80% of the country’s supply. Opals can exhibit nearly any color in the visible spectrum, sometimes many at once within the same stone.
The outer panel on the reverse is ringed with eucalyptus boughs, blooms of native Australian flowers and a waning moon. Also depicted is the Southern Cross, a constellation of stars that is only seen in the sky of the Southern Hemisphere. This group of stars is featured on the flags of many South Pacific nations including Australia, New Zealand, and many of the small island nations that dot the region.
The obverse features Ian Rank-Broadley’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II before a radiating central field. The panel that surrounds the Queen’s portrait bears inscriptions containing the denomination of “1 DOLLAR,” as well as “ELIZABETH II” and “AUSTRALIA.”
The Perth Mint continues with their penchant for innovative packaging and display options for this issue. The Australian Masked Owl coin comes complete with a unique case that holds a small light to represent the rising moon illuminating the coin’s opalescent central device.
Here are the coin’s specifications:
|Silver Content||Denomination||Fineness||Weight||Diameter||Thickness||Maximum Mintage|
|1 Troy oz||1 AUD||.999||31.135 g||36.6 mm||4.5 mm||8,000|
These coins will officially be available for sale on September 2, 2014. They come securely housed in the Perth Mint’s stylish display case, along with an individually numbered Certificate of Authenticity and themed shipping box.
For more information on these Year of the Goat and Opal Masked Owl coins, as well as other precious metal and collectible products offered by the Perth Mint, visit their website at perthmint.com.au.