Monday, September 3, 2012

2013 Lunar Snake Bullion Launch & Proof Release

For more information about Lunar Series coin releases checkout my Lunar Coin Series blog:

Today, September 3rd marked the release of the bullion Lunar Series Coins from Perth Mint as well as the Kookaburra:

2013 Australian Lunar – Year of the Snake Gold Bullion Coin Series
2013 Australian Lunar – Year of the Snake Silver Bullion Coin Series
2013 Australian Kookaburra Silver Bullion Coin Series

You can checkout some video's of the coins posted today on the Perth Mint Blog (Link) or pictures of all 2013 bullion designs posted previously on my blog in this post.

I attended the launch event this morning from 8am at the Perth Mint. Several dozen of us were let in early and guided toward the back of the Mint where a makeshift presentation room was setup with chairs and a projector.

Ed Harbuz (CEO of Perth Mint) welcomed us briefly after which Ron Currie took over and played a marketing video showcasing the new bullion series coin designs. Ron then discussed the releases and opened up the room to questions. 

A couple of prickly questions were asked regarding privy coins, reminting Kookaburras and mintage limits, which Ron addressed. Bron Suchecki, also present, briefly addressed the room regarding one of his previous interviews on the potential for Perth Mint's (and other global Mints) struggle to keep up with demand if we have a public mania phase to this bull market.

A few interesting facts which Ron mentioned during his presentation:

- Perth Mint received expressions of interest for the purchase of 1.2m 1oz Silver Lunar Snake coins (for a mintage of 300,000).
- Perth Mint has gone from minting only 1.5 million coins per year a few years ago to around 5 million today.
- Perth Mint exports roughly 85-90% of their output, bringing in valuable revenue to Australia, with profits going to WA Government

Following the Q&A there was a lucky door prize with all attendees in the draw to win a very special boxed Lunar Snake coin which was only otherwise distributed to dealers in Frankfurt as part of Perth Mint promotional exercises. The lucky winner was Captain Kookaburra, thank his lucky feathers!

We were then able to move on to the bullion counters to purchase the bullion series coins released on the day (strict limits applied to the 1oz Gold/Silver Snakes). Following an unruly dash to get to the counters (not really) we were able to handover our plastic fiat notes of no intrinsic value in return for Perth Mint Gold & Silver coins.

A little while later we moved back into the presentation room which had been rearranged for an auction of some fine Silver coins and bars. A Silver Lunar Snake (purchased only moments prior) sold for $46. A 1990 Kookaburra sold for $47. A couple of 5oz Silver Scottsdale bars sold for only a couple of dollars over spot price ($330?). I won 2x 1975 (World Trade) Silver Dragon rounds for $75. There may have been a couple of other items which escape my memory.

After the auction a few of us went on the Perth Mint tour, hearing some history of the WA Gold rush, the Perth Mint and large nugget discoveries. We got to wander a room of Gold bars, coins and nuggets, worth millions of dollars including the 1 tonne Gold Kangaroo (which although impressive in size, is unfortunately rather uninspiring in finish, the way the Gold has been hammered out makes it look more like plastic in most parts!). Also being able handle a 400oz Gold bar (worth around $660,000) is pretty cool. We saw a bar being poured in a demonstration on how they used to produce the Gold bars and were able to peek into the minting room where they were carefully producing some of the latest 2013 bullion releases.

It was also great to catch up with a few people and put some more faces to online handles.

Thanks to those involved at Perth Mint for hosting the launch & Ben from Silver Stackers for organising the event.

I'll be heading into the Perth Mint again tomorrow morning for the release of the Perth Mint Lunar Proof Coins (as previously mentioned on Silver Lunar here). I think if there is any coins which will appreciate quickly in value it will be the 2013 Snake Silver Proof 1oz Coin (Mintage: 5,000) & 2013 Snake Silver Proof Three-Coin Set (Mintage: 1,000).

They will go on sale in a few hours on the Perth Mint website, keep an eye out on the Latest Releases page (found here: Link).

I will probably post a few more photos down the track, but in the meantime here is a photo of the bullion Silver coin from my phone camera:

Perth Mint 2013 Silver Lunar Snake 1oz Coin (Real photo, no computer rendering)

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  1. Glad ya had a good time at the Launch. That Gold snake looks awesome. I have a 10oz Silver snake on the way, that'll have to do I guess:(

    1. Thanks :) If you mean the photo in the post (?), it's the Silver bullion coin, but bit of a golden hue coming from the hotel room desk lamp.

    2. LOL ah it is. I guess reading the caption helps:)

  2. Hi Baron,

    I found your writeup on the trip very interesting. I wish I could have gone to this event! I am very impressed with the demand for the one ounce snake coins being so high even in the post-"dragon mania" situation.

    Thanks for posting that snake picture. I can't say enough nice things about the design of the silver bullion coins, they actually look better in your picture than in Perth's promotional pictures!

    I also read your followup post. I also only got the three coin set. I didn't feel there was a need to buy a standalone proof since one is going to be in the three coin set and there will be another one in the typeset when it comes. What interested me was the failure of the kilo proof coins to ever hit "unavailable." It seems like your suggestion to be cautious of their performance was on the money.

    I have to admit the rush for the three coin sets and the standalone proof coins caught me off guard. I knew they would sell out, but not as fast as they did. I thought perhaps demand would cool some in the aftermath of "dragon mania" but I guess not!

    A question about the door prize you mentioned. Is it just a nicely packaged one ounce bullion snake, or something?

    1. It's been pointed out that a single German dealer was allocated 240 of the 3 coin sets, so if such unbalanced distribution was prevalent for the other 760 sets then it's no wonder they sold out at Perth Mint so quick, they probably had very few to sell direct.

      I agree the Silver coin design is a stunner, I am not so impressed by the Gold design, but it's ok. I didn't buy any of the Gold bullion snakes.

      I didn't get a good look at the door prize, but I assume it's the same as this Dragon version:

      Just a bullion coin in very limited edition packaging...