Lunar Coins | New Coin Releases

Category Archives: Lunar Coins

The Year of the Rooster. How will you remember it?

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2016 Year of the Monkey Lunar Skulls Coin

The second coin in the ongoing “Lunar Skulls” series of coins is now available on pre-order, the 2016 Republic of Palau – $5 Year of the Monkey 1 oz. .999 Silver Coin – it is set to ship mid-February this year. Pre-order yours at First Coin Company – an authorized distributor/dealer of more than 25 mints from around the world.

This young, exciting lunar-themed series of silver coins features a favorite of many collectors: SKULLS – as in skulls of dead animals that form part of the Chinese Lunar calendar (which features 12 animal signs). It kicked off in the latter part of 2014 with the release of the 2015 Ghana – 5 Cedis Year of the Goat 1 oz .999 Silver – the first coin released in the series. It took the market by storm with a fresh, “twisted” and downright badass approach to lunar-themed coins (see image below).

2015 Year of the Goat Skulls Proof Coin

2015 Year of the Goat Skulls Proof Coin – Reverse

2015 Year of the Goat Skulls Proof Coin - Obverse

2015 Year of the Goat Skulls Proof Coin – Obverse

(First Coin in Series)

The latest release, the 2016 Palau – Year of the Monkey Lunar Skulls coin (see image below), is just as badass as its predecessor out of the same series. It features the skull of a monkey on its reverse – Are those shades??? The skull boasts some seriously large fangs – the kind of monkey you don’t wish to meet in the flesh! 

2016 Year of the Monkey Lunar Skulls Proof Coin

2016 Year of the Monkey Lunar Skulls Proof Coin – Reverse

Inscriptions on the reverse include: “1oz .999 Silver,” “Lunar Skulls,” “2016” and “Year of the Monkey.” It also include the Han character used to refer to a monkey or ape, namely 猴. The designer’s signature is absent on this year’s issue. Word is out that SM Mint hired a new designer, but it’s unclear who exactly got the job. It is a bit of a bummer, but certainly not a train smash. I suppose no signature leaves room for a cleaner design, although a signature would have been nice. 

2016 Year of the Monkey Lunar Skulls Proof Coin Obverse

2016 Year of the Monkey Lunar Skulls Proof Coin – Obverse

The obverse of this 2016 silver skull themed coin features the inscriptions “REPUBLIC OF PALAU” and “5$” along a Rainbow’s End theme. Palau, which is an island country consisting of 250 islands, is known as ” The Rainbow’s End” – and with good reason. Palau boasts breathtaking scenery, rich biodiversity and fascinating people and places of historic and other interest… 

https://youtu.be/BkUHfJaP–4

Why buy and/or pre-order the 2016 Palau: Lunar Skulls Year of the Monkey coin?

Here are reasons why I am of the opinion that this 2016 Year of the Monkey coin is an absolute must have:

  • Second Coin in Series: This 2016 Year of the Monkey silver coin is the second coin in the young and upcoming “Lunar Skulls” series.
  • Minted by BH Mayer: This 5 generations old mint, based in Germany, is renowned for minting various modern world coins of high quality. Coins produced by them include the Tokelau Lunars, coins in the multi-awarding winning Tiffany Art series and various other modern world coins – too many to list here.  
  • Higher Quality, Original Mint Capsule: Each coin ships in its original mint capsule. The capsules are said to be of a higher quality this time around.
  • Matching Serial Numbers: Each coin and its corresponding certificate of authenticity (CoA) comes with matching serial numbers. A 2 coin set with matching serial numbers, which include both the proof and BU version, are also available.
  • Serial Numbers Edge of Coin: Unlike with the 2015 issue, the serial numbers are now featured on the edge of the coin. This is to provide for a cleaner design.
  • Different Finishes: A proof and uncirculated (BU) version of the coin will be available again, but with slightly different finishes than the last time around. E.g. the BU version will have more of a BU finish this time around – unlike the matte uncirculated finish of the 2015 issue. Word is out that SM Mint intends to keep the current format and finishes for the remaining releases (10 out of 12 remain).
  • Limited Mintage: No more than 500 proof and 2000 BU coins will be minted and distributed worldwide. In my opinion it is just enough not to crowd the market, but also enough to keep the series going. For a series to be successful (assuming all else are constant), it needs to be affordable and accessible to a relatively large number of collectors. Whether the mintages of future issues will be slightly increased in order to accommodate more collectors stand to be seen. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is the case, provided that the series picks up nicely on the back of the low mintage first and second issue coins now available.
  • Brand New Project Management Team: The Son-Montuno Mint (SM Mint), the main distributor and facilitator of these coins, appointed a brand new, more experienced and professional project management team to assist with the 2016 release. They also decided to issue the 2016 skull coins under the legal authority of the Republic of Palau – instead of the legal authority of Ghana – as was the case in the 2015 release. The Palau-BH Mayer combination is said to be a highly efficient, winning combination.
  • Legal Tender: This 2016 monkey coin is legal tender for 5 US Dollars in the Republic of Palau. The USD is used as official currency in this island nation.
  • Silver Content: Each of these solid silver coins contain 1 oz. of .999 fine silver. This provides value beyond the numismatic or collector’s value of the coin.
  • Perfect Gift: This coin makes the perfect gift for any occasion – it will certainly be the talk of the table (if not the town)!
  • Worldwide Demand: This 2016 skull coin and series enjoy worldwide demand, although I am of the opinion that the broader market is still catching up. This provides a great opportunity to get in before these go mainstream.
  • Lunar Coins: Chinese Lunar calendar themed coins are extremely popular. I expect it to be no different here, especially given the uniqueness of coins in the “Lunar Skulls” series.
  • Skull Coins: The subject of skulls seem to fascinate a great number of collectors, including me. Personally I don’t know exactly why, but it might be a Hollywood thing driven by TV shows such as Bones, The Walking Dead and what not. Who knows for sure?

2016 Year of the Monkey Lunar Skulls Uncirculated Version - Obverse

2016 Year of the Monkey Lunar Skulls Uncirculated Version – Obverse

(You’ve got to love those shades!)

2016 Year of the Monkey Lunar Skulls Uncirculated Version - Reverse

2016 Year of the Monkey Lunar Skulls Uncirculated Version – Reverse

Can the positive momentum which earmarked the release of the first coin be revived?

Yes. I am certain it can be revived. A bit of background first…

The first coin in the series was well-received in the market, but the positive momentum seem to have died down. Despite a mintage limit of 500 proof and 2000 uncirculated (BU) coins – the first coin in the series has surprisingly not sold out yet. I do not for a second think it is a result of the coin being bad (or undesirable to any extent of the imagination).

In my opinion a combination of factors might have played a role, including the following:

  • A rapid increase in prices followed the release of the first coin: Were prices pushed up too far too quickly, outside the reach of most budgets? I can see how prices can be an issue to a portion of the market, but it was never intended to be a pure silver bullion play, especially in terms of the collector issue proof version issued. Prices almost tripled since its release. I am of the opinion that these extremely low mintage coins are fairly priced, especially considering the money, time and effort that went into producing these skull coins.
  • Extended delays experienced in terms of the delivery of the final product: The SM Mint was still a brand new outfit in 2014 when the first coin in the series was released. Like most new outfits, they certainly experienced their fair share of grow pains, especially with the project management team hired at the time. However, when all was said and done, the 2015 Year of the Goat Lunar Skulls coin was delivered – despite all the setbacks and delays. Even better though, as mentioned above, they’ve hired a brand new, more professional and more experienced project management team to assist with the 2016 release – so things are looking up! This came on the back of multiple issues experienced with the previous team. 
  • Did the broader market participate in the release of the first coin?: I highly doubt it. I am of the opinion that there are still many collectors out there who are not aware of its existence and of the existence of the series itself. Hopefully that will change soon.

The above leaves a golden opportunity in my opinion – to acquire both these Lunar Skulls coins; the 2015 Year of the Goat, as well as the 2016 Year of the Monkey, before the market catches on. These lunar coins are for lack of a better choice of words: SERIOUSLY BADASS!

Compare these coins to the average and rather boring alternative lunar coins out there – and it should blow your socks off! In my opinion, these coins are the exact opposite of what is wrong with most lunar coins out there. In fact, these coins offer an ideal opportunity to protest against all the half-assed lunar coins out there. Pre-order yours from First Coin Company while stocks last!