Perth Mint’s Silver Opal Lunar Coins Are Like Nothing We’ve Ever Seen

Posted on December 29, 2021

By Paul Vanguard, for BullionMax.com

Perth Mint (as we've said many times before) strive to stay at the cutting edge of innovation compared to other government mints. (Really, only the Royal Canadian Mint comes close.)

We spent some time talking about the silver lunar coins series. Now, let's take it to the next level…

Meet the opal lunar coin series

Perth Mint gives their amazing series a rather offhand introduction:

the Australian Opal Lunar series that combines intricate design with precious gems

That description simply doesn't do it justice. Take a look at the 2021 Year of the Ox opal lunar coin:

Silver Opal Lunar Coin - Year of the Ox


A different animal for each Chinese zodiac sign? That's not good enough.

A different design for each animal in the 12-coin annual series? We can do better.

How about creating a mosaic of Australian fire opal? That's a winner!

Each 1 oz, "four nine" (0.9999 pure) silver coin also incorporates a completely separate miniature work of art. Shards of genuine Australian opal are painstakingly assembled into an instantly-recognizable silhouette of the year's symbolic animal.

If you know anything about opals, they're most beautiful when you see them in bright light. That's when you unlock the full, vibrant rainbow of hues flickering back and forth across the spectrum.

The folks at Perth Mint know this, so they made a small modification to their packaging. These opal lunar coins ship inside a very nice display case with an LED embedded in the top. When you open the box, the LED turns on and illuminates that stunning opal pattern.

Perth Mint silver opal lunar series coin in presentation box

The opal's glow is so bright at first we thought it was digital. It seemed like a Hollywood special effect. But nope, it's just good old-fashioned gemstone cooked in Mother Nature's oven, plus a generous helping of truly astounding craftsmanship.

It's beautiful. It's jaw-dropping. It's simple and it's genius and we're genuinely annoyed we didn't think of it first.

Hats off, Perth Mint. Respect.

Silver and opal lunar coins are catnip for collectors

It's quite possible the fine folks at Perth Mint have cracked the collector code. Their General Manager of Minted Products, Neil Vance, says:

From my perspective, what makes a good collectable is threefold. First, it is the story; second, the design; and third, the mintage. And I think they're all linked.

A strong story is something that resonates with people's lives or interests. A great design helps create an even stronger emotional bond between the buyer and the coin. And when the product has a low mintage, which adds a feeling of exclusivity, it makes a very compelling purchase proposition.

The silver opal lunar coins series ticks all three boxes.

The story : This one's pretty straight-forward. The Chinese zodiac, like we discussed previously.

The design : Simply stunning (see above).

The mintage : Okay, well, this is a tough decision. It's a risk/reward analysis the mint has to make. If the mintage is too big, the coins are less collectible. Instead of buying them on release day, you might shrug and think, I'll pick one up at the next coin show. (Maybe even cheaper than on release day, because nothing depresses aftermarket value like more supply than demand.) Too small a mintage and you not only seriously annoy collectors, you leave money on the table.

Seems like Perth Mint found the sweet spot with the silver opal lunar coins. Each proof-quality coin is limited to 5,000 pieces. They're virtually impossible to find anywhere, so if you see one you love, don't sleep on it. Some insomniac collector will snatch it right out from under you.

If we do get our hands on any of these breathtaking opal lunar coins, we'll let our subscribers know first . If you want to get on the list, sign up here (bottom of the page).

Silver opal lunar coin series highlights

  • 1 oz of .9999 fine silver
  • Classy display case with a built-in spotlight, illustrated shipper and a numbered certificate of authenticity
  • Mintage limited to 5,000 coins
  • Obverse: Depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley fifth portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II along with face value
  • Reverse: Intricate mosaic of hand-fitted Australian opal. Inscribed with "Year of the Animal," the Chinese character for the animal in question, year of minting, weight and fineness along with Perth Mint's traditional 'P' mint mark

Check out our entire Perth Mint silver products line-up here.


Paul Vanguard is a lifelong precious metals enthusiast and a proud member of the BullionMax team.