This inaugural issue of the Series I 12-Coin series has a mintage of 12,869 coins adding collectibility to its Silver content!
The Rabbit features a rabbit sitting on his haunches looking upward with tall grass, design by Jovan Radanovich. The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the monetary denomination are shown on the obverse.
In plastic capsule.
The Silver Perth Lunar Series I features a different animal every year, starting with the rabbit coin in 1999 followed by the dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, pig, mouse, ox and tiger. The obverse features the profile of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as captured by Raphael Maklouf. The Perth Mint also produced a Gold Lunar series featuring the same animal as the Silver coins, however, the 2006 Silver Year of the Dog coin is unique from its Gold counterpart: the Silver features a German shepherd whereas the Gold coin depicts a beagle.
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.
Established in 1899, the Perth Mint predates the federation of Australia by two years. The mint was initially established for two reasons: to refine the vast amounts of Gold flooding in from various areas of Western Australia and to produce Gold sovereigns and half sovereigns to be used throughout Great Britain. Although Australia became an independent nation in 1901, the Perth Mint remained under the authority 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.