Tell us a little bit about the history of the Perth Mint.
The Perth Mint was established in 1899 as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint to refine the gold from Western Australia’s eastern goldfields, and to turn it into sovereigns and half sovereigns for use throughout the Empire.
The Mint continued under British control until 1970, when ownership was transferred to the Government of Western Australia.
In the mid-1980s, following a major redevelopment initiated by the State Government, The Perth Mint became the home of the Australian Precious Metals Coin Program. By agreement with the Commonwealth Government, the Mint manufactures and markets an extensive range of legal tender gold, silver and platinum coins to investors and collectors worldwide.
Operated by Gold Corporation, The Perth Mint is committed to adding value to, and creating demand, for Australian precious metals in a worldwide market.
In addition to producing the world’s widest range of precious metal minted products, The Perth Mint operates Australia’s only precious metals refinery. It also offers a variety of investment options and storage facilities, and hosts a multi-award winning attraction which welcomes more than 80,000 visitors each year.
Can you please tell us more about the design for the Lunar Horse?
The Perth Mint has a dedicated team of six talented designers who together work with sculptors, engravers and engineers to create the intricate designs of our Australian Lunar Coin Program.
In 2014, the reverse designs of the gold coins depict a horse galloping in a stylised scene of mountains and clouds, which represents the highland regions of China. The horse symbolises freedom and reinforces the energetic characteristics of this spirited animal.
The design featured on the reverse of the silver coins depicts two horses standing in a Chinese landscape inspired by traditional Chinese painting styles. The two animals standing together represent the creature’s social nature and companionship.
What makes the Lunar Series special and collectable?
The Australian Lunar Series II is the most sought-after annual coin program released by The Perth Mint, with a number of the more popular issues selling out soon after they are released.
This result is due to the consistent high quality of our bullion coins, coupled with annual design changes and select mintages, which combine to create potential for numismatic appreciation above each coin’s investment value.
What can we expect in terms of a design next year
In 2015, we will unveil exciting new designs in celebration of the Year of the Goat. Here at the Mint, we work for more than one year in advance to perfect our Lunar design, and I can tell you that our designers are currently finalising a range of options for both the gold and silver issues.
The Lunar goat is renowned for peace, health and success; as such, our 2015 coins will reflect these attributes in our designs.
What can the winner look forward to during their trip to Perth?
A visit to The Perth Mint! As one of Western Australia’s leading tourist attractions, The Perth Mint offers a combination of unique exhibitions and demonstrations themed on gold.
The winner can enjoy a guided heritage walk, a traditional gold pour and view the Australian Kangaroo one tonne pure gold coin, recognised by Guinness World Records as the largest coin in the world. For more information, go to http://www.perthmint.com.au/visit
Other popular Perth attractions include unspoilt white beaches, Kings Park, the Bell Tower, Perth Zoo, and Caversham Wildlife Park where visitors can see kangaroos, koalas, kookaburras and wombats.