Mouse wins the race to launch Perth Mint's Lunar Series III

Jan 22, 2020

Strong global demand for precious metal coins which honour the ancient Chinese zodiac has inspired The Perth Mint to release its next 12-year series of Australian Lunar coins. 

Since it launched the first ever coin program to honour the animals of the lunar calendar in 1995, The Perth Mint has enjoyed worldwide success from the series. The third consecutive cycle of signature lunar coins now begins with the Year of the Mouse.

According to Chinese mythology, the Jade Emperor’s decision to divide time into cycles of 12 years, with each year ruled by a different animal, created the legend. The deity held a race to determine which animals would be awarded a place in the lunar calendar, and the order in which they would reign was decided by the sequence in which they reached the opposite side of the river.

From the many interpretations of the divine race, the diminutive mouse rode on the ox’s back then cunningly leapt to shore to win first place and commence each lunar cycle.

Those born under the sign of the Chinese lunar mouse in 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, and every twelfth preceding year are said to be intelligent, kind and resourceful. Believed to possess a rich imagination, insightfulness, a strong work ethic and an enterprising nature, they are likely to succeed at any endeavour they pursue.

With gold bullion coins weighing between 1/20oz to 10oz and silver investment issues ranging from 1/2oz to 10 kilograms, investors have the option to buy one or any combination of metals to expand their portfolios. To mark the release of the third Lunar series in 2020, a special 1oz platinum bullion Year of the Mouse coin now completes the suite of metal offerings.

Perth Mint Chief Executive Officer Richard Hayes believes the original oriental artistry and select mintage limits of these Australian coins help to enhance their intrinsic value and appeal.

“Combining quality, choice and originality, The Perth Mint’s Lunar series is one of the most popular in the world.”

— Richard Hayes, The Perth Mint

As the Spring Festival approaches, those with an appreciation for the cultural and spiritual influence of the lunar calendar seek coins to celebrate their own birth year or that of a loved one, or to participate in the custom of gift giving during this time of year.

To meet market demand, the designs on the classic Lunar gold and silver bullion coins are replicated on a range of traditional proof coins and limited edition commemoratives which feature colour, gilding, pure opal, a privy, and interactive elements. There are also high relief coins which enhance the fine details of the designs, a special quadrant coin, a series of individual sets, and a 12-year subscription to collect.

“In many cultures, coins are still believed to be amulets of good luck, health and fortune so we are delighted to offer an extensive range of themed products which celebrate Chinese New Year and impart the festival’s traditional wishes of wellbeing and prosperity,” Mr Hayes said.

Issued as Australian legal tender, the obverse of each Year of the Mouse coin bears the Jody Clark effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and its monetary denomination.

The 2020-dated coins from Australian Lunar Series III are available for purchase instore from The Perth Mint located at 310 Hay Street in East Perth, or by telephoning 1800 098 817 (Australia), +61 8 9421 7218 (International) or visiting the Mint’s online store at Investors and collectors may also purchase this suite of coins from leading coin dealers and Australia Post outlets.

Discover the age-old stories and beliefs which have inspired the designs of Australian Lunar coins at The Perth Mint’s Coin Collector News.

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