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.Gold Bullion Perth Mint Lunar Series Coins: 
The Most Exquisitely Struck Bullion Coins Available 

Australia's Perth Mint Year 2000 Gold Dragons are the most magnificent bullion coins available, offering both beauty and value. They are part of the Perth Mint's Lunar Series, which is based on the Chinese 12-year lunar calendar. This calendar dates back to 2600 BC, and each year is named after an animal.

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  The dragon, the only mythical animal in the lunar series, is revered by the Chinese. To them, the dragon is the ultimate symbol of wisdom, representing the spirit for advancement. Additionally, the dragon is viewed as the incarnation of power and authority.  In Chinese communities, dragon years are marked by celebrations, festivals, and rising birth rates as parents attempt to confer their offspring with the dragon's characteristics of success, happiness, and prosperity.
Additionally, the year 2000 marks the return of the metal dragon after 60 years. For the children born in the year of the metal dragon, life is beautiful and, supposedly, everything they touch "turns to gold." Also, this is the first time in 3000 years that the Year of the Dragon has coincided with the end of a millennium. The year 1600 was the last time the Year of the Dragon coincided with the end of a century.

. Gold Dragons are exquisitely struck, with near proof quality, and are now probably the most beautiful bullion coins being minted. The coins are encapsulated in perfect-fitting, clear, airtight plastic containers similar to those that protect proof coins.  

Gold Dragons come in four sizes: 1-oz, 1/4-oz, 1/10-oz, and 1/20 oz. Premiums on the fractional-ounce coins are only slightly higher than premiums on comparably sized Gold Eagles, making them attractive to investors who like smaller coins. The 1/20-oz Gold Dragon is basically a jewelry item, carrying a premium of approximately 50% above spot.

Gold Dragons: Bullion Coins with Numismatic Potential

Gold coin investors should always, when the opportunity presents itself, invest in bullion coins that have the potential to attain collector status. Such coins enable investors to profit not only from an increase in the price of gold but also from premium increases. The Year 2000 Australian Gold Dragons are such coins, selling at only a few dollars more than the popular American Gold Eagles.

Gold Dragons have additional numismatic appeal because of limited production. The table below shows the maximum numbers that can be minted. In all likelihood, the caps will not be met. However, because the Perth Mint does not reveal the mintage of any coins it produces, we will not know how many were finally produced. Nevertheless, we do know the limits (shown below) for the Gold Dragons. The table also shows the significance of restricted production.

Coin Mintage Cap Total ozs Total ozs X $300
1-oz 30,000 30,000 $9,000,000
1/4-oz 60,000 15,000 $4,500,000
1/10-oz 80,000 8,000 $2,400,000
1/20-o 100,000 5,000 $1,500,000

Assuming $300 gold, a mere $9 million would buy all the 1-oz Gold Dragons. By comparison, Gold Eagles have unlimited production. In 1999, the U.S. Mint sold 1,491,000 one-ounce Gold Eagles and in 1996 (a bad year) approximately 189,000. Additionally, Gold Dragons are .9999 fine gold, and Asians prefer pure gold.

CMI has been in touch with the Perth Mint and has been told that Gold Dragons are being very well received throughout Asia. The earlier coins in the Lunar Series set the stage, alerting collectors to these desirable coins. CMI expects the Year 2000 Dragon to be a big winner.

Premiums on the fractional-ounce Gold Dragons are only slightly higher than premiums on comparably sized Gold Eagles, making them attractive to investors who like smaller coins. The 1/20-oz Gold Dragon, a jewelry item, carries a premium of approximately 50% above spot.

The Perth Mint introduced the Lunar Series in 1996.  When a series of coins is well received by collectors, the earlier coins command the higher prices. However, because of the uniqueness of the Year 2000 Gold Dragons, CMI believes they will achieve premiums when the Perth Mint stops minting them in December 2000. Already, the Perth Mint has started turning out the Year 2001 "Snake," the next coin in the Lunar Series. Because of the uniqueness of the Gold Dragons, they could easily carry $150 premiums in one to two years.

Many coin dealers promote old US gold coins or obscure European gold coins as having numismatic potential. CMI urges investors to avoid both old U.S. and European gold coins. Old U.S. coins can attain high premiums; however, old U.S. gold coin premiums have shrunk over the last two years, some by as much as $200 each. CMI believes those premiums will fall further and that old U.S. coins will be good investments only when they can be bought near spot. Generally, this means XF/AU grades at spot and MS62/MS63 coins within $30-$40 of spot.

Despite what the promoters say, European coins rarely attain genuine premiums. The coins being promoted are bullion coins and in Europe sell within a few dollars of the value of their gold content. Promoters bring them to the U.S., mark them up 20%-30%, and claim they have numismatic potential. Furthermore, promoters often compare the European coins with old U.S. gold coins, which, at times, do trade with big premiums. However, equating old U.S. gold coins to European coins is misleading, and investors should avoid doing business with firms that do so.

(Click here for a further discussion of the drawbacks of European coins)

Gold Dragons, on the other hand, are genuine bullion coins, which sell at bullion coin prices. Yet, they have excellent numismatic potential. For as long as Gold Dragons can be bought at bullion coin prices, investors should make them their first choice.

CMI anticipates that much of the expected success of the Gold Dragons will come from Chinese people and other Asians who will be drawn to the coin. Demand from the jewelry market for years to come could be huge. Additionally, CMI expects collectors worldwide to make the Dragons, and the other Lunar Series coins, among their favorites. Collectors like to complete sets, to know what they are facing in costs and duration. That is why the Perth Mint Lunar Series stands such a great chance of being more successful than the Singapore and Hong Kong lunar coins.

The Perth series began with the Year of the Rat, which is the first year in the Chinese lunar calendar, and it offers four sizes for all the years. Furthermore, it is likely that the Perth Mint will discontinue its Lunar Series when all twelve years have been minted, making it unique. Finally, it should be noted that the Perth Mint strikes the highest quality coins available. No collector is disappointed when receiving Perth Mint coins.

Year of the Snake gold coins became available in late 2000.  They are priced the same as the Gold Dragons, or at least until the Dragons are sold out.  The maximum 30,000 one-ounce Gold Dragons were minted, and as of February, 2001, less than 6,000 remain at the Perth Mint.  When the 6,000 are sold, 1-oz Gold Dragons will be available only through the secondary market, at which time prices can be expected to rise.

(For a discussion as to why you should buy gold and silver, click here).

 For Prices, call CMI at 1-800-528-1380.  Our hours are 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Mountain Standard Time, Mondays through Fridays.  Our offices are in the middle of the Phoenix, Arizona financial district.

1996 Year of the Rat
1997 Year of the Ox
1998 Year of the Tiger
1999 Year of the Rabbit
2000 Year of the Dragon
2001 Year of the Snake
2002 Year of the Horse
2003 Year of the Goat
2004 Year of the Monkey
2005 Year of the Rooster
2006 Year of the Dog
2007 Year of the Pig


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CMI Gold & Silver, Inc.
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