The 2001 Australian Gold Lunar Snake was the third and final one-ounce gold coin in Series I to reach the mintage cap of 30,000, preceded by the 2000 Dragon and the 2002 Horse. The other nine coins were taken out of mintage at the end of the series, but the Perth Mint is free to restrike any of those years.
Lunar Series coins are produced in step with the Chinese lunar calendar, featuring the animal of the corresponding year on the reverse and bearing the date of the equivalent Gregorian year. The snake is the sixth, and portrays a communicator of great skill who says little. Coupled with the snake’s stalwart morality and great wisdom are boundless empathy and tenacity. Beneath the snake’s thin guise of tranquility, however, boils a cauldron of passion that can erupt at a moment’s notice.
The snake on the reverse of the Series I coin is curled around a branch within the beaded border typical of the series. The Chinese character for snake is in the lower right field and the date is inscribed vertically on the right. Across the bottom is the weight followed by “9999 GOLD.”
A bust of Queen Elizabeth II is depicted on the obverse with the inscriptions “ELIZABETH II” and “AUSTRALIA” left to right across the top. The face value is inscribed below.
Sales of the 2013 one-ounce Series II Gold Australian Lunar Snake lagged in the wake of the extraordinarily popular Dragons, but they quickly sold out nonetheless.
On the reverse of the second series, a snake slithers past bamboo shoots on its right. The Chinese character for snake is in the left field below the snake’s head and “Year of the Snake” is inscribed across the bottom. The weight, “9999 GOLD,” and the date are placed on the bottom of the obverse before the face value.
The sold-out Australian Gold Lunar Snakes are destined to grow in numismatic demand, adding considerable potential value to their gold bullion content and tempering fluctuations in the spot price of gold.
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