Lunar Coins

One of the biggest trends in the world of numismatics in recent years is the increasing popularity of lunar year coins. These series are based on the cyclical twelve-year Chinese calendar, or Chinese zodiac. Each year in the cycle is associated with a different animal, providing an array of subjects Each animal or year has certain defining characteristics that are associated with them. Many collectors appreciate not just the variety of designs in individual series, but also the tact that it’s possible to collect a complete set over a little more than a decade. This provides a balance of excitement over new issues with long-term discipline on the part of the collector. As the popularity of these series grows, the question increasingly becomes not which countries and mints are offering lunar series, but rather which ones are not. Keep reading below to learn more about the many exciting lunar themed coin releases from mints all around the world including the Royal Canadian Mint, the Perth Mint, and the Chinese Mint, to name a few.

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  1. 2019 Australia Silver Lunar Year of the Pig 3-Piece Proof Set

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Australian Lunar Coins

Wrapping up its second Lunar Series in 2019, Australia’s Perth Mint has established itself as a leader in terms of Chinese zodiac coins. Every year, the mint strikes Australian lunar coins in gold and silver. It produces both proofs and business strikes in multiple sizes. The designs and production quality both meet the exceptionally high standards of this world-renowned mint and provide collectors with stunning pieces that stand out in any collection.

Chinese Lunar Coins

Not surprisingly, the granddaddy of lunar series comes from the Central Mint of China. Many Chinese men and women continue to pay heed to the Chinese zodiac. The country’s mint has been striking coins to commemorate the lunar calendar since 1981. Their annual offerings include both gold lunar year proofs and silver lunar year proofs. Particularly noteworthy are their fan shaped lunar coins, which pay homage to a symbol of social status in Chinese culture. They also produce colorful artistic coins that are perfect for collectors looking for some variety.

Canadian Lunar Coins

Perhaps no country offers more variety in its lunar issues than Canada. Offerings from the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) include lotus-shaped silver coins, hologram gold coins, and proofs struck with hand polished dies. They also offer a variety in terms of artistic styles. Some of their lunar issues aim for accurate depictions of their subjects, while others take considerable license. Other mints typically offer one or the other, but in the case of the RCM, collectors can get both from the same source.

Additional Lunar Coin Options

More countries are offering lunar coins every year. Some of the other countries and territories offering coins of the Chinese zodiac as of the time of writing include Great Britain, Niue, Palau, the Solomon Islands, and Tokelau. Some private mints, such as PAMP and Sunshine Minting, also offer their own lunar year rounds and bars.

Year of the Dog Coins

2018 was a particularly important year for lunar issues, because it was the Year of the Dog. Man’s best friend unsurprisingly proved an especially popular character as dog lovers of all ages took to issues from around the world. The abundance of series available offered collectors not just a variety of options in terms of artistic vs. realistic renderings of the animal but also different breeds. Whereas collectors with specialized knowledge may be familiar with different breeds of horses or snakes, the popularity of dogs meant that many collectors sought out not just one or two lunar issues in 2018, but as many as they could find. The knock-on effect is that one Year of the Dog coin has introduced many collectors to new series, which will only serve to grow the popularity of this theme over the coming years.