Australian Lunar Silver Coins

Author: Focus on the User | 7 min read
Australian Lunar Silver Coin

The Australian Lunar Silver Coin series, launched by the Perth Mint in 1999, is renowned for its .999 fine silver purity. These coins feature unique designs that change annually, each representing a Chinese zodiac animal corresponding to the lunar calendar year. The series offers a diverse range of coin sizes, including 1/2 oz, 1 oz, 2 oz, 5 oz, 10 oz, and a substantial 1 kg coin. Notably, the diameter of these coins varies from 36.6 mm for the 1 oz variant to 100.6 mm for the 1 kg coin. Beyond their aesthetic and collectible value, these coins hold legal tender status in Australia, with face values ranging from 50 cents for the 1/2 oz coin to 30 AUD for the 1 kg coin, reflecting their significance in both numismatic and investment circles.

History of the Silver Australian Lunar

The Perth Mint pioneered the Australian Lunar Silver Coin series in 1999, drawing inspiration from the Chinese lunar calendar. This launch marked a significant contribution to the global popularity of lunar-themed coins. Over the years, the series has evolved to include colored, gilded, and high relief versions, each adding a unique dimension to the collection. The cultural significance of each zodiac animal design is intricately linked to the corresponding lunar year, enhancing the coins' collectibility. For instance, Chinese coin collectors often seek specific zodiac animals that resonate with their cultural beliefs and personal experiences.


Australian Lunar Silver Coins boast a .999 fine silver purity. They are available in various weights, ranging from the 1/2 oz coin, weighing 15.55 grams with a diameter of 36.6 mm, to the substantial 1 kg coin, weighing 1000 grams with a diameter of 100.6 mm. The obverse of each coin features a depiction of Queen Elizabeth II, with designs updated periodically to reflect her aging. The reverse side showcases the Chinese zodiac animals, changing annually. These coins also exhibit unique aspects such as a reeded edge design for most sizes and distinctive features in special editions, like the proof coins that present frosted designs against a mirrored background.

Top 3 Ways to Invest in Australian Lunar Silver Coins

1. Australian Lunar Silver IRA Rollover

Investors can add Australian Lunar Silver Coins to their Silver IRA, aligning with IRS requirements for precious metals IRAs. These requirements include a fineness of .999 and storage with an approved custodian. The rollover process from traditional IRAs or 401(k)s involves understanding tax implications and adhering to annual contribution limits, which are up to $6,000, or $7,000 for individuals over 50, as of 2023. Notably, only specific years and designs of the Australian Lunar Silver Coin series qualify for IRA inclusion, offering a distinctive choice for retirement portfolios.

2. Purchase Silver Australian Lunars Directly

Purchasing Australian Lunar Silver Coins directly from the Perth Mint or authorized dealers is another viable investment route. The premium over spot price generally ranges from 5% to 15%. Factors influencing pricing include the rarity of the design year (such as the sought-after 2000 Dragon or 2002 Horse), the coin's condition, and prevailing market demand. Secure storage options, including safety deposit boxes or home safes, are crucial, and investors should also consider insurance for their valuable coin collection.

3. Diversify With Other IRA-Approved Silver

Diversification is key in precious metal investments. Australian Lunar Silver Coins can be balanced with other popular IRA-approved silver coins, such as the American Silver Eagle and Canadian Silver Maple Leaf. Each coin series offers unique attributes in terms of design, mintage, and market value. Investors are advised to consider the yearly performance, rarity, and design uniqueness when diversifying their portfolio. Historical market performance data of various silver coins can assist in making informed decisions for IRA investments.

Find Out How to Invest Silver Coins in Your IRA

Silver Australian Lunar Types

Silver Australian Lunar Bullion Coins

The bullion coins in this series range from 1/2 oz to 1 kg, with a standard 36.6 mm diameter for the 1 oz coin. They are valued for their .999 silver purity and the dynamic annual design changes. Notable mintage numbers include the 1999 Rabbit with 300,000 minted and the 2012 Dragon with 500,000 minted. The investment appeal of these coins lies in their liquidity and the balance they offer between collectibility and silver content value.

Silver Australian Lunar Proof Coins

Proof coins are known for their sharper detail, mirrored backgrounds, and frosted design elements. They usually have limited mintage, like the 5,000 typically minted for the 1 oz coins. These coins come with packaging and certification, including display cases and numbered certificates of authenticity. Their higher artistic and manufacturing standards, along with limited availability, make them highly appealing to collectors.

Silver Australian Lunar Colored Coins

Colored coins feature selective coloring on the reverse design, enhancing the iconic animal depiction's visual appeal. Typical mintage for these coins, such as the 1 oz variants, is around 10,000. The coloring process not only adds to the coin's aesthetic but also increases its collectibility and market value. Popular colored editions, like the 2008 Mouse or the 2012 Dragon, are sought after for their enhanced aesthetic appeal and collector interest.

Silver Australian Lunar Gilded Coins

Gilded coins showcase selective 24-karat gold plating on key design elements, usually the zodiac animal on the reverse. Common mintage figures for these variants, like the 1 oz coins, are around 50,000. The numismatic value of these coins is enhanced due to the gold embellishment and their limited production, often leading to higher collector demand. They also include premium packaging and presentation, often with a display case and a certificate of authenticity.

Silver Australian Lunar High Relief Coins

The high relief coins are known for their pronounced three-dimensional effect, achieved through a special minting process. Common mintage numbers for these coins, such as the 1 oz variants, are around 7,500. These coins are particularly attractive to collectors due to their intricate designs and enhanced level of detail. The specialized minting technique and limited mintage contribute to their premium pricing.

Silver Australian Lunar Privy Mark Coins

Privy mark coins feature a small, distinctive mark on the coin's reverse, often commemorating significant events or anniversaries. Examples include special editions like the Berlin Coin Show edition. The added collectibility and uniqueness stem from their limited production and special marking. These coins offer a niche appeal to collectors, and the privy mark often enhances the coin's overall design and market value.

Silver Australian Lunar Weight Variations

The Australian Lunar Silver Coin series features a diverse range of weight options, catering to different preferences in the collector and investor communities. These include 1/2 oz, 1 oz, 2 oz, 5 oz, 10 oz, and the substantial 1 kg coins, each offering unique aspects in terms of size, design detail, and investment value.

1/2 oz Silver Australian Lunar

The 1/2 oz coin, with a diameter of 36.6 mm and .999 silver purity, has a legal tender value of 50 cents. This size is particularly accessible, offering a lower price point compared to larger weights. The design details remain consistent across sizes, allowing collectors to appreciate the artistry in a more affordable format. This size is often seen as an entry point for new Lunar coin collectors.

1 oz Silver Australian Lunar

The 1 oz variant has a standard diameter of 45.6 mm, .999 silver purity, and a legal tender value of 1 AUD. It is the most popular and widely traded size in the lunar coin series. The 1 oz coin strikes a balance between affordability, collectibility, and investment potential, making it a versatile choice for both investors and collectors. The annual design changes and the wide array of finishes available add to its appeal.

2 oz Silver Australian Lunar

The 2 oz coin offers a larger diameter of 55.6 mm and .999 silver purity, providing a more substantial silver content for investors. Its enhanced detail and larger canvas for the zodiac design make it appealing to collectors seeking more prominent display pieces. The 2 oz size fits into the broader market as a middle ground between collectibility and investment.

5 oz Silver Australian Lunar

With a diameter of 65.6 mm and .999 silver purity, the 5 oz variant caters to those seeking substantial silver content accumulation. The coin's detailed design work is made more impressive by the larger surface area. It holds a market position that appeals to both serious collectors and investors looking for larger denominations.

10 oz Silver Australian Lunar

The 10 oz coin features a large diameter of 85.6 mm and .999 silver purity, representing a significant investment in silver content. Its impressive display and detailed design are attractive to those seeking standout pieces in their collection. This coin's market dynamics include relative scarcity and appeal in both the collector and investor communities.

1 kg Silver Australian Lunar

The 1 kg coin, the largest in the series, boasts a diameter of 100.6 mm and .999 silver purity, with a legal tender value of 30 AUD. Its massive size allows for an exceptional level of detail, making it a centerpiece in many collections. The rarity, limited mintage, and significant investment value due to the large amount of silver make it particularly notable among larger investors and collectors.

Investing in Silver Australian Lunar Coins

Collectibility and Design Appeal

The collectibility of Australian Lunar Silver Coins is influenced by factors such as the intricate and annually changing zodiac designs and the variety of finishes, including bullion, proof, colored, gilded, and high relief. Certain years, like the 2000 Dragon and 2002 Horse, are especially popular due to high demand and premium pricing in the collector's market. The series attracts a wide audience, including numismatists and those interested in Chinese cultural themes.

Precious Metal Content

The .999 fine silver purity of these coins, combined with the various weight options, contributes to their intrinsic value. An examination of the historical performance of silver as an investment provides context for the coins' potential value growth under different market conditions. The balance between numismatic and bullion value in these coins makes them appealing to both collectors and investors.

Limited Mintage and Rarity

Specific mintage numbers for editions such as proof and colored versions, which often have lower mintage caps (e.g., 5,000 for 1 oz proof coins), enhance their value. Mintage limits, rarity, and demand for particular designs or years (such as the 1999 Rabbit or 2012 Dragon) affect market value and collectibility. The Perth Mint determines mintage based on market demand and the series' prestige.

Market Demand and Resale Value

Factors influencing market demand for Australian Lunar Silver Coins include design uniqueness, silver content, and overall trends in precious metals. Resale values vary, with special editions or rare years commanding higher prices in the secondary market. Insights on optimal selling strategies and platforms can maximize returns, including auctions, online marketplaces, and coin dealers.

Silver Australian Lunar Coins For Retirement

Investing in Australian Lunar Silver Coins for retirement can be a strategic decision, offering stability and potential long-term appreciation of silver. These coins meet specific requirements for inclusion in Silver IRA rollovers, including a .999 fineness and storage in approved facilities. When adding these precious metals to retirement accounts, it's important to consider potential tax benefits and implications. Australian Lunar Silver Coins represent a unique blend of cultural significance and investment value, making them a compelling choice for diversifying retirement portfolios.

Other Australian Coins

The Perth Mint offers a variety of other notable coin series, each with its unique appeal and investment value.

Australian Gold Kangaroo

The Australian Gold Kangaroo coins, known for their .9999 gold purity, are available in sizes ranging from 1/10 oz to 1 kg. These coins feature unique annual kangaroo designs, evolving from the original Gold Nugget series in 1989. Their legal tender values vary from 15 AUD for the 1/10 oz to 3,000 AUD for the 1 kg coin. The series is popular among gold investors for its yearly design changes and investment-grade gold content.

Australian Silver Kookaburra

The Australian Silver Kookaburra coins, introduced in 1990, are celebrated for their .999 silver purity and sizes ranging from 1 oz to 1 kg. Each year brings a new design featuring the kookaburra bird, making them a favorite among collectors. These coins are one of the Perth Mint's flagship silver bullion products, with specific design years, like the original 1990 issue and anniversary editions, being particularly sought after.

Australian Platinum Platypus

The Australian Platinum Platypus coins, introduced in 2011, feature .9995 platinum purity and a standard 1 oz weight. Each year, the coins showcase a new platypus-themed design, marking the Perth Mint's foray into platinum products. With a legal tender value of 100 AUD, these coins have secured a position in the global platinum bullion market, appealing to a diverse range of precious metal investors.

Australian Gold Koala

The Australian Gold Koala series offers coins with .9999 gold purity and various weights, each year featuring a new koala bear design. These coins complement the popular Silver Koala series, appealing for their artistic designs and high-quality gold content. The coins' legal tender values and their role in diversifying gold investment portfolios enhance their appeal.

Australian Silver Kangaroo

Introduced in 2015, the Australian Silver Kangaroo coin is the Perth Mint's first .9999 fine silver bullion coin. It primarily comes in a 1 oz weight and features iconic kangaroo imagery. Its legal tender status (1 AUD) and growing popularity among silver investors underline its significance in international silver markets.

Australian Gold Lunar Series

The Australian Gold Lunar Series mirrors the silver series, offering .9999 gold purity and zodiac-themed designs. Specific years and designs are particularly sought after for their artistic representation and limited mintage. These coins blend cultural significance with investment-grade gold, also bearing legal tender values.

Similar IRA-Approved Coins

Investors looking for silver IRA-approved coins have a variety of options, each offering unique features and benefits. These coins are renowned for their purity, legal tender status, and cultural significance, making them attractive for diversification in silver IRA portfolios.

American Silver Eagle

The American Silver Eagle, minted by the U.S. Mint since 1986, is comprised of one troy ounce of .999 fine silver. It has a face value of 1 U.S. Dollar and features Adolph A. Weinman's 'Walking Liberty' design on the obverse and John Mercanti's heraldic eagle on the reverse. This coin is a primary choice for silver IRA investments due to its legal tender status, government guarantee of purity and weight, and its widespread recognition in the silver market.

Canadian Silver Maple Leaf

The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, first issued in 1988 by the Royal Canadian Mint, contains one troy ounce of .9999 fine silver. It holds a legal tender value of 5 Canadian Dollars, the highest face value of any one-ounce government-issued silver bullion coin. Known for its security features, this coin is popular for silver IRAs due to its high purity and the strong backing of the Canadian government.

Austrian Silver Philharmonic

Introduced in 2008 by the Austrian Mint, the Austrian Silver Philharmonic is made of one troy ounce of .999 fine silver. It carries a face value of 1.50 Euros and features a design showcasing instruments from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. This coin is favored for inclusion in silver IRA portfolios due to its cultural significance, legal tender status in Austria, and high silver purity.

British Silver Britannia

The Royal Mint of the United Kingdom issues the Silver Britannia, first released in 1997, consisting of one troy ounce of .999 fine silver. The coin has a nominal face value of 2 British Pounds and is renowned for its depiction of Britannia. Noted for its design and security features, the Britannia is a favored option for investors looking to diversify their silver IRA holdings.

Discover How to Effortlessly Rollover Silver Into Your IRA

Our free eBook covers everything you need to know before you start diverisfying your retirement with silver.

Was this resource helpful? Share it with your friends!

Disclaimer: Content on this website is not intended to be used as financial advice. It is not to be used as a recommendation to buy, sell, or trade an asset that requires a licensed broker. Consult a financial advisor.

Speak With An Expert, Learn More About Diversifying IRA With Silver