1996 1/10 oz Gold Lunar Year of the Rat (Series I)

1996 1/10 oz Gold Lunar Year of the Rat (Series I)

The first release of the Series I 12-Coin Lunar series has the lowest mintage of only 3,792 coins minted of the 1/10 oz size. These coins are steadily increasing in value!

Coin Highlights:

  • Contains 1/10 oz of .9999 Gold.
  • Each coin comes in a plastic capsule.
  • Obverse: The Raphael Maklouf effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, purity of .9999 fine Gold and the monetary denomination.
  • Reverse: Features a rat climbing on rocks along with the Chinese character for ‘Rat’, designed by Tony Dean.
  • Sovereign coin backed by the Australian government.

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The Gold Perth Lunar Series I is a beautiful collection featuring every animal from the Chinese Lunar Calendar and was in production from 1996 until 2007. The coins were minted in a wide array of sizes including 1/20 oz, 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz, 1 oz, 2 oz, 10 oz and 1 kilo and contain .999 fine Gold.

The Gold Perth Series I features a different animal every year, starting with the mouse in 1996 then followed by the ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. The obverse features the profile of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as captured by Raphael Maklouf. The Perth Mint also produced a Silver Lunar series featuring the same animal as the Gold coins, however, the 2006 Gold Year of the Dog coin is unique from its Silver counterpart: the Gold features a beagle whereas the Silver coin depicts a German shepherd.

The Lunar Series is based on the ancient 12-year Chinese lunar calendar, which dates back to 2,600 B.C. The Lunar Calendar is steeped in tradition and symbolism. Based on the appearance of the moon, the Lunar Calendar associates a different animal with each year in the 12-year cycle. These animals are said to have a profound influence on the personalities of people born under their rule.

The Perth Mint was established in 1899, two years before the federation of Australia in 1901. Initially, the mint was established to refine the large amounts of Gold coming in from deposits in Western Australia including Coolgardie, Kalgoorlie and Murchison. The mint also produced Gold sovereigns and half sovereigns to be circulated throughout Britain. Although Australia became an independent nation in 1901, the Perth Mint remained under the purview of the British crown until 1970. Following a 1987 State Act of Parliament, Gold Corporation, a company entirely owned by the Government of Western Australia, was established and mandated to operate the Perth Mint to market their Gold, Silver and Platinum Australian coins overseas.

The Perth Mint is also known for its outstanding quality and industry-leading creations. In 1957, the mint produced a 13 oz proof “plate” of .999999 fine Gold, the highest purity ever achieved. In 2011, they created the world’s largest, heaviest and most valuable Gold coin, containing .9999 fine Gold and weighing 2,231 pounds, that was worth $53.5 million (AUD) at the time of minting.

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