Coin of the Month: Perth Lunar Series

When it comes to coin designs, few coins get much cooler than the Perth Mint Lunar Series II coins. These Australian coins are minted each year with a different design, which is based on the ancient Chinese Lunar Calendar. The Lunar Calendar marks each lunar year with a specific animal; the animal that rules that year is thought to influence human personality.

This is the second time that the Perth Mint, the official mint of Australia, has produced this series. This time they started in the year 2008 with the Year of the Mouse. These coins can be purchased in silver or gold in variety of denominations – there’s one for every investor!

Learn more about these fascinating coins below.


Obverse: The front of the Lunar Series coin features the image of Queen Elizabeth II. That’s because Australia is part of the Commonwealth of Nations that recognizes the British Royals as their symbolic figureheads.

The front is inscribed with the name of the Queen, the year of mint and “Australia.”  It’s also inscribed with the weight and denomination of the coin, as well as its fineness, which is either .9999 gold or .9999 silver. Though worth more than their face value, these coins can be used as money in Australia.

Reverse: The back of the coin features the animal ruling the year of the coin’s production.

  • 2008: Year of the Mouse
  • 2009: Year of the Ox
  • 2010: Year of the Tiger
  • 2011: Year of the Rabbit
  • 2012: Year of the Dragon
  • 2013: Year of the Snake
  • 2014: Year of the Horse
  • 2015: Year of the Goat
  • 2016: Year of the Monkey

Each coin is inscribed at the bottom with the “Year of the ____,” or whatever animal is on the coin, as well as with the Chinese symbol that stands for that animal.

Why You Should Own Lunar Series Coins

The Lunar series is great for young coin investors and collectors for a number of reasons:

  1. The varied denominations mean that you can find a coin within your budget.
  2. The fact that animals appear on a coin for only one year means that the number of each coin minted is relatively scarce compared to other coins, making them highly collectible.
  3. You have the opportunity to collect the whole series.
  4. The coin’s purity and reputability make it a good investment.
  5. You can buy the coin from your birth year and learn about what the Chinese Zodiac has to say about the animal ruling the year of your birth.

The Perth Lunar Series II offers a world-class coin collecting opportunity for young collectors and investors. You can learn more about the ins and outs of being a coin collector, as well as other popular collectible coins, by reading more on our Kids Coin Corner blog.

For starters, read about the Australian Kangaroo coin or the Australian Kookaburra coin.