2012 Year of the Dragon 5 oz. Silver Proof Coin

Last week, the Perth Mint released the 2012 Year of the Dragon 5 oz. Silver Proof Coin. To the disappointment of many collectors, the coins could not be ordered on the Perth Mint’s website by US customers.

This product is being exclusively distributed within the US by the New York Mint. As covered in a previous post, these exclusive products are created when a distributor approaches the Perth Mint with a product idea. Once approved, a number of coins is negotiated for them to distribute exclusively within their territory. In general, there are no restrictions on these distributors with regards to how the coins are offered.

Depending on the approach taken by the distributor, this may not be the most ideal situation for a potential customer within the exclusive territory.

Many readers expressed their concerns in this post summarizing the Perth mint’s June 2012 releases. Besides the preference of ordering directly from the source, the biggest concerns included the fact that the coins were not yet listed for sale and the possibility that the coins may be offered for sale at a large mark-up to the Perth Mint’s price.

I contacted the Perth Mint to bring these concerns to their attention. Below is the response received:

The Perth Mint’s 5oz coin releases are only available from the New York Mint through direct telephone sales and not via their website.  Their direct sales number is #800-642-9160 and we will be sure to feature this contact number on our website product pages and in marketing materials provided to distributors and media in the future.

Regarding your concerns about pricing, we are unable to comment on the price at which our distributors sell our products.  Not only would we not presume to offer them advice on how to sell in their regions, but under Australian law, we are not permitted to intervene in their pricing policy.   Although we understand your concerns, and those of your readers, our distributors play a vital role in our product distribution worldwide, and many collectors do prefer to purchase our coins from a local supplier, as they benefit from the knowledge and advice they are able to offer.

With regards to the 5oz Dragon release, the New York Mint has not yet received the coins back from being graded, so promotion of this release will not commence until 16 July.  In the interim, I believe the Mint has suggested that customers can call on their sales number (above) and they will capture names and orders for when they arrive.

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  1. Michael says

    Correction. I liked the London 2012 Countdown designs…not the newest skyline design.

    Yeah and the Franklin Mint article is a junk article. Nothing accurate and broad generalizations about all brands mentioned. And makes assumptions about collectors. The current Franklin Mint is not the Joe Segel Franklin Mint that was the world’s largest private mint at the time…producing some of the finest coins, medals, related products. That company is long gone. And we should all know that what the mass public values is not necessarily what we as collectors enjoy purchasing.

  2. Michael says

    There are plenty of “nice” US Mint and Perth Mint bombs in the marketplace…doesn’t mean the quality isn’t there. But going by the article linked…that would make all coins worthless.

    This is getting off topic…but there is a huge following of model cars from FM and others…they have an active secondary market…the article ignores these items.

  3. Frankie says

    I’m not sure the High Relief Dragon is going to be a winner. Prices have come down on fleebay and it’s still available on Talisman for $149.95 + shipping. It’s not that popular right now… Personally, I was a bit disappointed in the design. The coin looks too busy. I much prefer the high relief Kookaburra and most definitely the upcoming Kangaroo which looks much better than the 2010 & 2011 ones. I honestly think the HR Kookaburra will be a winner one day – if you collect these as bullion every year you got to have one to complete your collection. Amd even though they minted 10k of these it won’t be enough to satisfy market demand in the coming years. I bought a few PF70 from ParadiseMint when they sold them for $118 each incl. OGP which was a BARGAIN – they were shipped within a day and arrived 3 days later – with free shipping! That’s my experience with them then…
    Dragons will be the most popular of the Lunar series for sure, but bear in mind we will have another set of dragon coins coming in 12 years. Who cares about the dragon coins from 2000 right now? And soon the interest will shift towards the snake coins – rest assured there will be even more varieties than for the dragons. Collectors will have to decide on what to spend their money on and there will be a few sleepers for sure.
    Well, that’s just my opinion…! 🙂

  4. Samuel says

    Frankie, since the HR lunar will become a series, i think the dragon as the first one will be a winner. the HR bird, i also bought some, like them. btw, i want to buy a 2000 dragon just feel too expensive.

  5. says


    I think the high relief proof has some chance at commanding a decent premium, and I plan on writing about its prospects, but for now, with the coin having only been recently released, premiums are liable to stay fairly low. I’ll probably have something up about it in the next few days as I write my “key releases” posts.

    I think you are off base on the dragon coins from 2000. The premiums on all those coins are actually extremely high. They are hard to find and expensive. In twelve years I think the premiums on many or all of the current dragon releases will rise to match that unless there is a major fall in numismatics as a whole.

  6. Frankie says

    OK, CaptainOverkill, point taken! But there is only so much demand and the more coins are issued the more will fall through the gutter so-to-speak and will be worth closer to issue or bullion price one day.
    But I guess that’s the fun of coin collecting that we don’t really know which coins will appreciate in value in future and when to buy them! 🙂
    Right now I’m debating about buying the 5oz Dragon Proof in Germany or not (am German so can have it delivered there). The premium is high and the mintage not that low…

  7. says


    I’ve given some thought to the five ounce and I think there may be some potential for growth. It’s worth noting that the 2010 high relief kangaroo was sold off in a similar manner, and there is a fair premium on that coin (though it is not sky high like the kilo proofs).

    I do agree to a point about oversaturation of the markets, and I think that most of the “losers” will be the numismatic colored varieties (with some exceptions). I have some confidence in the high relief proof because it’s a unique product that usually receives positive commentary, as opposed to “red dragon vs. purple dragon vs. black dragon vs. yellow dragon” releases.

    Of course, I may be biased since the HRP is one my two favorite dragon releases… 🙂

  8. Nate says

    I think the dragon winners will be the proof set (2 oz, 1 oz, 1/2 oz) and the typeset. The low mintage helps. But also I think the order of release is important. Those products were released early in the schedule so they got a lot of attention. The demand set a high market price for those products and once the market price is established it’s hard to get people to let go of them for less money. Take the 2010 HR kangaroo – there isn’t really good justification for it being worth $200 while the 2011 isn’t even selling out at issue price. But the market has established that it deserves a premium and sellers aren’t willing to part with them for less money.

    The HR dragon and 5 oz dragon have potential. One thing working against them is that they are new to this year’s lunar so one can’t collect a full set. If they are established as an annual product these may end up getting more attention down the road. The HR has more potential I think because it is a unique format and if people are drawn to collecting HR coins as a subset these first release lunars and kooks will catch a bid. The 5 oz dragon sales are suffering from dragon fatigue, a high retail price and poor distribution to the US so it has a lot working against it in the short term but maybe in a few years it will look like a good buy (I’m not counting on it).

    I agree the colored versions aren’t going to be big winners since there are too many of them.

  9. says

    I think the dragon winners will be the proof set (2 oz, 1 oz, 1/2 oz) and the typeset.

    I agree these are winners, but I don’t think it’s THE winner. The key release is going to be the kilo proof, with a mintage of only 500 and a high initial asking price, plus all the issues you described above as bolstering the performance of the three coin proof set. I did some poking around and kilo proofs are going for $3000-$4000 on average.

    but maybe in a few years it will look like a good buy

    Yeah, that’s how I’m thinking of this. The way I’m looking at it is, the distribution issue might cause a lot of people to take a pass on the coins, which might cause premiums to rise on the secondary markets when the small supply of “reasonably priced” proofs sold by international dealers is exhausted.

    There’s also the fact that every standard proof product released has seen significant premium growth. This one might too.

  10. Samuel says

    Nate, the word is that there will be a HR lunar series. so, the dragon will be the first. the problem with the 2010 HR roo is that, there is not dealer sell them for less and no major dealers have them right now. and it was also exclusive for NYM. i remember somebody here said that there are more slabbed roo than in OGP, 3:1 ratio or something. i try to collect all HR silver, not gold, too expensive.

  11. Samuel says

    i bought some those 5oz, 10 oz dragon, color and no color, as bullions. the premium is low even compare with other bullions.

  12. says

    Samuel, I’m talking about the “standard” kilo proof. I have a new post up about it, but you can see the product itself here along with the one ounce proof coin and three coin proof set: http://www.perthmint.com.au/catalogue/australian-lunar-series-ii-2012-year-of-the-dragon-silver-proof-coin-issue.aspx

    They only released 500 of them and because of the high price a lot of “ordinary” collectors likely skipped them. Plus this was early in the release schedule, when a lot of people weren’t yet paying attention, so premiums on them have exploded. I think the percentage gain of the three coin proof set is greater than the kilo proof, but in terms of actual money, you would certainly get more for auctioning off a kilo proof on eBay.

  13. Samuel says

    Captain, i did not even notice it. when was it released? i do remember i myself and probably you worked hard to get the other proof dragons, but no luck.

  14. Nate says

    The kilo proof always slips my mind. As you mention, I wasn’t even paying attention to dragons yet by the time it had already released. I’m surprised at the performance because of the high price tag. You don’t see the gold products or kilo gemstone doing well. But a 500 mintage is what really draws collector/investor interest I think. This has definitely been a great buy for those that got it.

    CO, Have the kilo proof releases for previous lunar designs been so popular? Is it going to be worth buying the snake kilo proof release when it comes around? I’m thinking it’s a smart strategy to identify the winners of the dragon release schedule (3-proof set, typeset, kilo proof) and pick those up when the snake is released. Enthusiasm may carry over based on the performance of the dragon issues.

  15. M says

    I like the silver Diamond Jubilee Crown Kilo that Perth shows a video of on YouTube.

    Does anyone know how much NYM charged for the London 2012 Kilo Coins in silver? Royal Mint alone had a price of over $5000 for the silver Kilo.

    With Bullion prices what they are…any set thats in perfect shape with all packaging and papers…that was struck by The Franklin Mint is going to sell in excess of the Issue Price. The last set struck and sold by Franklin Mint was in 2000 and the coins were over an ounce of silver, beautifuly sculpted and struck for $37.50. Today a Silver Eagle from US Mint cost as much as $75 each.

  16. says

    I’m surprised at the performance because of the high price tag. You don’t see the gold products or kilo gemstone doing well. But a 500 mintage is what really draws collector/investor interest I think. This has definitely been a great buy for those that got it.

    I think it must be the low mintage as well. I was very vaguely aware of these coins when they were released, but I (foolishly) dismissed them because of the high premiums. “Sure they’re low mintage, but who is gonna buy these things? They cost too much!” Shows what I know! 🙂

    There is additionally a proof colored kilo variety that went up on Perth’s site sometime last year that I did not even know about until recently. I think this might have been another “exclusivity deal” coin because only 50 of them were sold via website, and of those 50 only Australians could buy them. For anyone else, you had to contact Perth via email. You can see the variety here:

    CO, Have the kilo proof releases for previous lunar designs been so popular? Is it going to be worth buying the snake kilo proof release when it comes around? I’m thinking it’s a smart strategy to identify the winners of the dragon release schedule (3-proof set, typeset, kilo proof) and pick those up when the snake is released.

    Haha, you’ve managed to anticipate something I planned to do a post on in the future, before the snakes are released! In short, I think the snakes will not be as hotly demand as the dragons (particularly after dragon exhaustion). I think the valuable snake products will be the traditional “core” products: the one ounce bullion coin, the three coin proof set, the typeset, and possibly the high relief proof. I think any “colored” snakes or sets like the ten-coin color set will be flops and will eventually sell under Perth’s price for them.

    As for the kilo proof snake, that is a very good question that I’d been wondering about too. I think I will ask Bullion Baron about it. If anyone would know, it would definitely be him.

    I like the silver Diamond Jubilee Crown Kilo that Perth shows a video of on YouTube.

    Yes, I loved the design on that one. Had it come in a smaller denomination, I’d have probably bought one or two. Great coin, too bad it was a kilo. I just did not have the money for it.

  17. G says

    My three year out predictions:
    3 coin set: $2500
    typeset: $1500
    Proof dragon: $500
    Gilded dragon: $200
    High releif: $300
    all the colorized dragons: $200 ish
    bullion dragons: $120
    kilo gemstone: $2300
    red welsh dragons DOL: $850
    chinese DOL: $600

  18. says


    Agree with most of these, though I think you might be a tad aggressive on the values of the three coin set and the typeset. You’re dead on about the rest of the Lunar dragons, though. When you say “bullion dragons” I assume you mean the standard, uncolored one ounce varieties?

    I think you’re too aggressive on the DoLs though. I’m anticipating $350-$500 per release. I think if any of them gets as high as $800, it will be the Chinese DoL, but I don’t think it’s terribly likely.

  19. Samuel says

    i only agree the frist 3 which were difficult to get. others, will be flat at current level, if not down.

  20. Nate says

    I actually wonder if the dragon mania will have legs. All the releases have been caught in the rising tide this year. When the year of the dragon fades and there aren’t any more releases to create a buzz will collectors still remember the excitement of 2012? I think it’s possible that aftermarket interest in the next few years will remain steady but what would be the catalyst for more gains?

    Except for the real winners that we’ve mentioned (typeset, proof set, kilo, HR), what will bring collectors back to keep purchasing these dragons? I don’t think anyone’s going to see a new year of the rooster design a few years from now, get all excited about lunars and then go back to hunt down the dragon coins. To me, the year of the dragon could represent the peak in lunar series coin aftermarket demand. We might not see the same excitement until 12 years from now.

    G, CO – I like the DoL series but I’m not convinced that it’s a long-term winner. What makes you guys think it’ll see strong demand/gains over the next couple of years?

  21. G says

    I hear you, I hear you. I expect to be wrong on some of these and way under on a couple. For some reason, I just have a feeling that when series 2 of the dragons of legend comes our or something, people will have a hard time finding the early ones. My main reason for the DOL is that I think it’s pretty similar to the deadly dangerous series and I just think 4 years out, that redback spider went to 2000 and the octopus to 600. You can find them for 1200-1500 and 300-700 now, and I just think the same thing will be happening. Of course, with inflation, it might feel like those prices are flat 🙂

  22. says


    I think dragon-mania will hold its legs. Excepting the 25th anniversary set, no other coin series I can think of released over 2011-2012 has generated so much excitement from the collecting community. The posts on Perth’s products in general usually generate lots of comment traffic. Furthermore, many premiums on “core” dragon products are already quite high. I do not think “dragon-mania” will fade away so quickly. Even before dragon-mania hit, the 2000 Lunar dragons commanded ridiculous premiums, and I can’t help but think that many 2012 dragons will eventually command equally ridiculous premiums.

    That being said, I don’t think it will hold up as much for all the dragon products. In particular, I feel I can safely predict that the ten coin set is actually going to lose value as opposed to gaining it. The rule of thumb for the Lunar coins in general is that after they go out of stock, premiums go up. I do not think I have heard of any Lunar coins actually declining in value after Perth strikes them. That being said, Perth has also never pushed a Lunar series so aggressively either and I think it’s going to backfire for a few dragon releases. But even with those negatives in mind, it’s worth noting that almost every dragon release has sold out really quickly.

    With that being said, I think even the solo colored coins will appreciate a little. I just don’t think they’ll be stratospheric premiums like you’ll see on the “core” products such as the three coin proof set or the typeset.

    G, CO – I like the DoL series but I’m not convinced that it’s a long-term winner. What makes you guys think it’ll see strong demand/gains over the next couple of years?

    There’s a couple of things going on with it. First, it got a boost from dragon-mania this year. Second, the artwork on the coins is absolutely fantastic. It is A grade stuff, even by Perth’s already high standards. Third, it’s relatively low mintage and has had some really fast sellouts. The Chinese dragon in particular sold out at warp speed on Perth’s website. I think the DoL is going to be a long term winner and could see some major price appreciation down the road.

    I have to say I don’t know what to make of this five ounce Chinese DoL that is coming next month though.

  23. Schalk says

    Another coin series that created a lot of interest is the Mongolian Antique coins. They are still going strong.

  24. CW says

    I don’t know a single young collector who would want a colorized coin and certainly not a one for a massive premium. Talk about over-saturating the market. I am fast losing respect for Perth Mint. They seem very shady with all these exclusive deals, restriking old years, etc.

  25. G says

    People said the same thing about the Deadly and Dangerous series and watch how fast it sells out in year 7 next month- also, little known fact: like the 5 ounce proof, the Deadly and Dangerous series had a random, commissioned Russian Version of the Red Back spider coin last year (I picked one up to ‘complete’ my set- I can’t afford the Red Back 06 now). So- there is a precedent for a series being popular like the DOL having a random 5 ounce proof thrown in- they did it last year with the russian versions of the redback. did it hurt the price of the original DandD series coins? Nope, if anything, it helped create more market, but that’s just my opinion. I think the DOL series is an absolute home run. Mintage at 5000, beautiful coins, and a large market for dragon coins- perfect year to release them. It’s mongolian hedghogish.

  26. says


    What are premiums like for the random five ounce proof from the Deadly and Dangerous series? Did it develop into a secondary market success as your post implies? I’m not quite sure how to gauge the desirability of the five ounce DoL, so any input you have would be welcomed.

  27. Nate says

    I haven’t followed Deadly & Dangerous much. As far as I can tell the red back spider is the only one that’s seeing big premiums. The 2007 great white and 2008 octopus are fetching $150-$180 in auctions and the 2009-2011 issues aren’t getting much more than $100 if that. That doesn’t to me like a whole series that’s a big ‘hit’ – it’s really just the red back spider that took off. Whatever reason collectors latched on to that one and drove up prices is something that escapes me. It seems pretty arbitrary.

  28. Rolling Thunder says

    CO & G
    I don’t think there were any 5 oz Deadly & Dangerous coins – just the 2011 re-mint of the Red Back Spider.

    The Deadly & Dangerous series was/is based on a set of 2006 Australian Stamps – “Deadly Australians” – there were 7 stamps – thus far six ‘Deadly & Dangerous coins based on six stamps – the 7th stamp and most likely the 7th Deadly and Dangerous coin – Yellow-bellied Sea Snake – my best guess anyway!

    Random thought – US Mint might help out the Post Office by a partnership to sell coins – like exists in many other countries – Canada, Australia, New Zealand – probably NOT

  29. Sam Baker says

    By the way, CO thanks for your recent blogs. I love them (in a gloomy doomy way of course)!

  30. G says

    Nate- premiums are a bit more than that. Sometimes you can pick off a great deal on eBay but in general here’s the prices:
    Red back: $1750
    Octopus: $375-800
    Shark: $225-400
    Brown snake: $160-250
    Alligator: $160-250
    Jellyfish: $150-225
    Russian feedback: was 175-250 last year, now 400-800.

    All were released at $100ish

    Don’t miss out!

  31. Nate says

    Apmex is not an unreasonable starting point but I always go by eBay completed sales numbers to establish ‘market price’ (which may be different from ‘retail price’). If you were to sell, you wouldn’t be getting Apmex prices.

    Often the hardest thing for me to swallow about collecting is the big spread between buy and sell prices. I got into coins primarily as an investment but I’ve become a collector the more I’ve read and looked at them. Even when collecting I think in terms of investment (realized return = sales price – buy price – fees). In the stock market you can actively buy and sell things because there’s almost no spread between buy/sell with the amount of activity there is in trading today. With coins, if you were to buy/sell the same coin on the same day with spot prices at the same level you’d lose maybe 10% due to the fees associated with selling and the spread between retail prices and wholesale prices.

  32. G says

    Nate- I’m with you- I’ve been following the buy/sell prices on these on ebay for a while- apmex is actually a good deal on this series. In fact, I’ve seen them go for 20-50 bucks over apmex prices pretty regularly. I only put Apmex on here, so that people get an idea: this series is very hard to find, and at most there are only a few for sale on ebay at a time, if any. Here’s the current ebay auctions: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=deadly+and+dangerous&_sacat=11116&_odkw=deadly+and+dangerous+perth&_osacat=0

    Looking back at completed sales, you can find an octopus that sold for 225 in early April, and one on may 14 that sold for 175 buy it now, and then one that sold the next day for 330. There are so few of these, if you catch an auction at the right time, you can save 100-200 bucks, but my general prices are pretty right on, and most of the apmex prices are good- yes, a couple of sharks sold for a shade under 200 with shipping last week, but that’s rare, and again, is a reason to keep your eyes on ebay 🙂

  33. Samuel says

    G, thanks for the analysis. to be honest, if you did not mention it, i wont spend even $80 to buy them. i will keep an eye on them for the new release and apmex has about 300 jelly fishes. i like the wooden box though.

  34. TheCoinKeeper says

    I would rather buy the straight bullion 5oz dragon for less than $200, than the proof. It’s overpriced. You could buy two 5 oz bullion dragons for less than they’re asking for the proof. When silver heads up, I just don’t see this proof beating that.

  35. says


    Thanks, nice to know someone’s reading it! 🙂


    You’re correct on metal content value. It’s highly unlikely raw metal value will ever rise to match the current price.

    However, I picked it up for reasons other than metal value. First, I’ve been trying to collect the silver dragons in general. This five ounce proof is really the only reasonably priced example of a “standard” dragon proof that is on the market right now.

    The second reason to get it is if you believe numismatic premiums on these coins will increase. The jury is still out on this, because of the continued distribution problem to the US. It’s worth noting, however, that the 2010 high relief kangaroo’s has gained in value since its release under similar circumstances. So, there could be a similar outcome for the five ounce proof. Of course, a situation could also arise where the New York Mint is unable to sell the coins which would destroy premiums, but we may not know how successful they are or aren’t since all orders will be taken by phone.

  36. Nate says

    Ohhhh, exciting purchase, Captain – I hope the premiums go up in line with the rest of the dragon proofs for you, though the higher mintage for the 5 oz is going to be a real hurdle. Where did you end up picking one up?

    I’ve been enjoying the blog too – looking forward to the next installments.

  37. says


    I went ahead and found a seller on eBay and bought a couple days ago. Most normal dealers such as Downies seem to have been prevented from selling these to the US. I realize there’s a 50/50 chance I won’t see much “return” on this particular coin, but I really wanted to have at least one decent proof example (regardless of size) and didn’t want to play $250-$300 for the one ounce variety.

  38. says

    OT…I keep looking at APMEX for the 2012 1 oz Silver Niue $2 Great White Shark coin to be in stock. They have had it listed for several months now…I look forward to getting one as it looks pretty cool with the Shark’s bite marks through the coin.

    Also, I noticed APMEX, for about the fifth time, has raised the price of the Nuie, New Zealand, Titantic coin to $169.99….it started out at $79.99. They have 47 left in their inventory.

  39. says

    I got that too Steve. It’s a nice coin and I might pick one up given the relatively low price. Perth has been releasing a lot of nice stuff lately.

  40. says

    CO..see my post on mintnewsblog in the June 8th post “San Francisco Set Orders Reach 85,341” at 8:36 6/14

    What is your opinion…or anyone else’s

  41. Tallon says

    Before anyone goes to eBay or APMEX and spends $150. on the D&D Box Jellyfish, be advised Euro Collections has it listed at $112. (plus shipping).

  42. M says

    Keep in mind Perth Mint as a manufacturer is free to accept commisions from any dealer and in return create an exclusive option for them…as with the Dragon and NYM. As long as it doesn’t flop and get discounted there should be no problem with maintaining the price. My only concern is 1) does it look nice 2) would I want to keep it? With that said I consider these items to be premium luxury items and hence expensive…I walk into the room with that expectation. Same as if I were to walk in a jewelry store and by a fine piece. Even at NYM full retail..the margins are no different that a common non-essential houshold item bought at a store….or say the margin when you pay for features on your cell phone. Everyone is in the game to make money.

  43. Louis says

    I received a flawless example yesterday from Europe. Hands down the best looking dragon I have, and I have basically everything except the kilo coins. I don’t know how these will do in value terms, but they are truly impressive to look at. Superb coin.

  44. M says

    AMS (New York Mint, GovMint, First Federal) released their 5 oz Dragon today. I got a postcard with the picture of the real coin. I checked up on the pricing.

    2500 First Releases PR69 $695 PR70 $795 NGC
    Label First 500 Struck PR69 $895 PR70 $1195 NGC

  45. Kip Caven says

    I talked to the new york mint and they want $899 for a first strike ms70 5 oz year of the dragon………from what im reading this would NOT be a wise decision to get this coin……..
    Am I right? anyone?
    for $899 I can get FOUR of the 5 oz park quarters……………
    I would love to hear some opinions about this……

  46. Occam's Tool says

    Well, I bought this coin (Silver dragon, PF-70) along with a 5 Oz Koala first strike PF 70 through the New York Mint for $1500.00 plus shipping and handling. Not terrible, I thought.

    I like PF70s of everything I get.

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