Australian Gold Lunar Ox 1 oz Series 1 – 1997
The Australian Gold Lunar Ox 1 oz Series 1 coin is the second coin in The Perth Mint’s Lunar Series. The obverse of the Australian Gold Lunar Ox 1 oz Series 1 carries the effigy of a young Queen Elizabeth, the third official likeness of the Queen released by Buckingham Palace during her reign. The same effigy graces the obverses of the 1996 Mouse and the 1998 Tiger. In 1999, Australia adopted a more mature image of the Queen, one that Buckingham Palace had released in late 1997. This change resulted in the first three coins in the Lunar Series (the Mouse, the Ox, and the Tiger) carrying a young version of Queen Elizabeth, while the remaining nine coins carry a mature likeness.
Production of the Australian Gold Lunar Ox 1 oz Series 1 will be limited to 30,000, as is the case for all the one-ounce gold coins of the Lunar Series. All the gold coins in the Lunar Series are minted of .9999 fine gold, and each coin comes individually encapsulated in plastic protective capsules. For mintage caps and specifications of both the Lunar Series gold coins and the Lunar Series silver coins, click here. The popularity of the Lunar Series is growing, as evidenced by the year 2000 one-ounce Gold Dragons and the year 2002 one-ounce Gold Horses having reached their 30,000-coin production limits.
Year of the Ox Traits
People born in the Year of the Ox are patient, taciturn, and inspire confidence. They tend, however, to be eccentric and bigoted. Ox people anger easily and have fierce tempers. Although they speak little, when they do they are quite eloquent. Ox people are mentally and physically alert. Generally easy-going, they can be remarkably stubborn, and they hate to fail or be opposed. They are most compatible with Snake, Rooster, and Mouse people.
Besides, 1997, other Ox years include 2009, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925, 1913, and 1901.
Limited Production Coins
Another reason for the Australian Gold Lunar Ox 1 oz Series 1 coins’ popularity is that they are limited production coins. In contrast, Gold Eagles, which are the world’s best-selling 22-karat gold coins, and Gold Maple Leafs, the world’s best-selling 24-karat gold coins, are unlimited production coins. The Australian Gold Lunar Ox 1 oz Series 1 coins are limited to 30,000 coins for each year and clearly have become collector favorites.
The Year 2000 1-ounce Gold Dragons, the 2001 Gold Snake and the 2002 1-ounce Gold Horses have reached their productions caps and are no longer being produced, so availability is limited to the secondary market and these coins carry premiums over the coins within the series that have not reached the 30,000-coin production cap.
Another feature that makes the Australian Gold Lunar Ox 1 oz Series 1 so popular is that The Perth Mint can produce back-dated coins until the production cap is met. This means that the earlier coins are still available and can be purchased near bullion coin prices, permitting collectors who learn of the series late to acquire the earlier coins at bullion coin prices. The policy of minting coins from earlier years is unique to The Perth Mint and for only the Lunar Series coins.
Somehow, 30,000 became a magical number for the 1-ounce gold coins in the Lunar Series. The number is large enough for broad investor interest but small enough that at attainment of production caps, they pick up premiums.
Shortly after the year 2000 1-ounce Dragons reached their production cap in the summer of 2001, they picked up premiums in the secondary market. The year 2002 1-ounce Gold Horses reached the production cap in the spring of 2005 and also picked up premiums in the secondary market. However, the 1-ounce Gold Dragon carries the highest premium, the dragon essentially being China’s icon. The year 2001 1-ounce Gold Snakes has also hit the production cap and may experience a likewise increase in premium.
Queen Elizabeth II Matures
By law, the Lunar Series coins have to display the image of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. When the series started in 1996, the official likeness of the Queen was younger. In 1999, however, Buckingham Palace changed the official likeness to a mature Queen, which is carried forward into the Lunar II series.
The change resulted in the first three years’ coins (1996, 1997, and 1998) having the image of the younger Queen Elizabeth and with the later coins having the mature image. In years to come, after the Series has closed, this uniqueness could stimulate greater interest in the Series in Great Britain and those countries that used to be part of the British Empire.
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