Perth Mint Responds: Colored 2013 Year of the Snake 1 oz. Silver Coins

Last week’s product releases from the Perth Mint included two different colored 2013 Year of the Snake 1 oz. Silver Coins. The first was included in the TypeSet Collection (no longer available), and the second was offered individually as the 1 oz. Silver Coloured Edition (still available).

The coin included in the TypeSet Collection featured a green and yellow snake on a specimen quality coin (frosted table). The coin sold individually was a black and yellow snake on a proof quality coin (mirrored table).

A question from some readers was whether the green and yellow colored coin with specimen finish would remain unique to the TypeSet Collection. Other readers pointed out that last year, Colored Dragon Silver Bullion Coins (i.e. specimen finish) had been available outside of the TypeSet Collection from various sources in large numbers and at low premiums, thus the same might occur for this year. I sent a question to the Perth Mint to determine for sure.

Can you confirm whether the green and yellow snake will remain exclusive to the Typeset collection, or will it be offered in other future products?

Perth Mint Response: No, the green and yellow specimen coin we will be available to the Chinese market.

I sent an additional question related to any other color variations that might be offered for the 2013 Year of the Snake Silver Coins.

Are you able to provide any information on what kinds of different colored Year of the Snake coins will be available this year? Last year, there were 9 different colored 1 oz. silver Year of the Dragon coins, which were offered in at least two different sets and sometimes individually as show specials. Will there be a similar line up of colored Year of the Snake coins offered?

Perth Mint Response: There will only be two colours available this year – green and yellow and black and yellow.

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  1. Louis says

    Thanks for checking on that. I am sure the Chinese market ones will show up in the U.S. eventually.
    I think it was a good move by Perth not to go crazy with colored snakes.

  2. Michael Zielinski says

    I haven’t seen anything, but it seems like the 1 oz silver bullion should be sold out by now. On Sept 12, they indicated that 260,000 out of the 300,000 max had already been shipped.

  3. says

    Thanks for checking on that, Michael.

    This, especially, strikes me as a smart move for them to make given the “blah” performance of the later colored issues: Perth Mint Response: There will only be two colours available this year – green and yellow and black and yellow.


    I think they sold out of the bullion coins a long time ago. Most of them went to dealers right away. I checked Perth Mint Bullion and they don’t seem to have any for sale right now so I’m sure it’s long gone from there.

    My Perth order shipped last week and is due to arrive tomorrow or Wednesday.

  4. G says

    This bodes well for the series.
    It also may spark a future for the colorized dragons.
    The big ? for me is the 2 oz…

  5. Frankie says

    Thanks, Michael, for requesting the info. I can imagine they will release the whole range of colored coins (1/2oz-1kg) like they did with the dragons last year. Some of these mintages will be low for sure – last year’s 10oz colored dragon had a 5k mintage and was sold close to bullion. But mintage doesn’t mean a lot, of course…

    And just for price comparison – I pre-ordered the upcoming 2oz lunar proof set from a German dealer I mentioned in the last post’s comments for $978 delivered. This seems like a reasonable price to me.

  6. Dirk says

    I really don’t believe anything the Perth Mint says. The greed mint will produce anything at anytime if they think it will sell. Look at their track record.

  7. Samuel says

    this does not mean anything, right? u dont know the mintage for the chinese market. like the asian market dragons. they will swim to US. trust me.

    “Perth Mint Response: No, the green and yellow specimen coin we will be available to the Chinese market.”

  8. G says

    Somebody needs to tell the Perth Mint that advertising the the ‘KKK’ line-up of high reliefs –is a horrible mistake. I received that in my inbox today. Michael- please tell your contact there to not promote their coins that way!

  9. G says

    Jeremy- I don’t understand the personal attack. I am sure that Blogger who wrote that on Perth has no idea that there is another KKK. It is their ignorance that I noticed. Do you not understand how promoting that could be a bad business move from a national government??

  10. Jeremy says

    Do you realize that the “KKK” you’re complaining about is a US phenomenon? Not to mention this was/is a ridiculous extremist “poitical” group which has very little to zero influence today! Quit being so knit picky, almost anything and everything has been used by some organization or other and can now have some sort of negative connotation derivative. Enough with the political correctness nonsense!

  11. G says

    I know all about the history of the KKK. The swastika is also a Sanskrit word with a long history of use in Asian religions, but using it to promote a coin in Europe today would be ignorant of its recent use. Promoting a package to sell in the US as a KKK line-up is not a political correctness concern- it’s a reference problem. It’s not PC to understand the framework of your target audience.

  12. Jeremy says

    @G, you could have a point, maybe, we’ll wait and see if this gets enough attention to be addressed. If its done deliberately and is/was used as a ploy that’s one thing. However, if it were done harmlessly without any nefarious intent and was just a means of “catchy” advertising, which I assume it is/was, then all I’d have to say is stay AWAY from the Wanda Sykes commercials!

  13. Two Cents says

    It seems to me that the Perth Mint’s response about future colored Snakes seemed a little evasive. They said, “There will only be two colours available this year.” I must emphasize the words, THIS YEAR.

    If they are not planning on making more colored Snakes next year (perhaps at 2013 ANDA or ANA Shows), or keeping that option open, there would be no reason to add the words “this year” to their response. If they do come out with more colored Snakes NEXT year, they can always say that technically their assertion about THIS year was accurate.

    Also, the Perth Mints said that the Green/Yellow Snake will be available to the Chinese market. It would seem odd that they would make only one colored Snake for China. It seems more likely that there will be a whole slew of colored Snakes for that market, similar to the colored Dragon set. Again, the Perth Mint can say that technically, they did not say that more colors would not be made for the China, only that “the green and yellow specimen coin will be available to the Chinese market.”

    I expect more colored Snakes to be minted next year. They are money makers, and collectors (though not all) seem to like them … or at least buy them.

  14. says

    Two Cents and others,

    I think we can believe Perth about the color types, because the later dragon colors appear to have sold quite poorly. Remember that the Year of the Dragon represented the pinnacle of the popularity of Perth’s Lunar coins. It is natural to expect a fall-off in demand for the snakes. We’ve seen some weaknesses already in the lineup with the failure of the half ounce proofs, kilo proofs, colored proofs, and high reliefs to sell out quickly. In comparison their dragon counterparts all sold out very soon after release.

    So I don’t think Perth would put the money into producing colored types which depress demand and don’t sell. Demand for the dragon colors was already bad, and I think Perth is unlikely to make snakes which would sell even worse. I think we are more likely to see them attempt to innovate and make new varieties (hologram snake, anyone?) or release things like the Lunar Series II two ounce proof set.

  15. Frankie says

    I agree with you, CO. Even the 1oz proof has weakened lately – I saw auctions going for less than $120 incl. delivery. The problem with most Perth Mint offerings is the already huge mark-up – 1oz of silver for $100 doesn’t allow for much gain on the secondary market, esp. if you bear an additional 10-15% for fleabay/palpay/postage in mind. Personally, I stay away from most of their offerings – so far I only bought the typeset and pre-ordered the 2oz proof set. The typesets have a ‘bit of everything’ which makes them nice to look at.
    The only other releases I will purchase are the colored snakes for the Chinese market as these will be most likely available close to bullion (following a similar example to the colored dragons this year). APMEX & Gainesville have/had them and I’ll keep an eye out for them. I bought all sizes from 1/2oz to 1kg this year, and they are much prettier than the standard bullion, but that’s just my personal opinion.
    By the way, the only dealer still selling the 1oz snake bullion is APMEX – and at a minimum mark-up of $10 per oz. No, thank you.

  16. Samuel says

    i think the colored dragons were inspired by the “9-dragon wall” in china’s forbidden city. actually Niue issued a coin to reflect the wall only for china market. if u can, check ebay for item 221125531701. in the listing, u can see the picture of the actual wall.

    for the snake, u dont have this kind of thing, and it is not a popular animal in asian countries.

  17. Hidalgo says

    The snake silver coins, in general, are not selling well. I was able to successfully place an order for the Snake typeset. However, I cancelled it when I realized that all of the coins could be purchased individually through other means. Plus, there was a foreign transaction fee on my credit card.

    The sets are not selling for a significantly higher price on eBay. When you factor in ebay and Paypal credit card costs, then I could actually sell the typeset at a loss. So I cancelled my order.

  18. Schalk says

    Michael, could you perhaps do an overview of New Zealand Post’s new “Hobbit” coins? Will be appreciated.

  19. says


    You’ve hit on the reason I don’t think non-core products are going to sell well. There’s already skepticism about the long term value of many of them. We’re seeing deflation of the “dragon bubble” here.

    I think in the longer term we could see premiums grow again for the core snakes, but it could take years.

  20. saucexx says

    Perth’s business practices are pushing me to the brink. First it was re minting coins from the 90’s because they hadn’t reached their mintage limits. Then it was the never ending Dragon parade, then it was blacking out US customers from their products and now it’s minting more 2012 HR coins (Dragon-sold out, Koala, Kangaroo and Kookaburra) beyond their original mintage. Just so they can sell yet another “special” set. I’ve already decided to skip the Snakes and the rest of their Lunars and now I feel suckered on their HR offerings. Can you imagine the US mint deciding to mint MORE 2011 anniversary sets this year? Perth’s premiums are too high to put up with the way they treat their customers. I’m seriously thinking about reducing current inventory and eliminating future purchases.

  21. Frankie says

    If the snakes didn’t/don’t/won’t sell that well, just imagine what will happen to the next coins in the lunar cycle:
    None of these will be as appealing as the dragon & snake, even if they are well-designed. I can easily see the Perth Mint releasing 1/2 and 1oz proof sets over the next years as they will be doing with the 2oz ones in November. And none of the current lunar cycle’s coins will be rare until the next cycle starts as they can’t remint those from a previous cycle (but I wouldn’t bet on the Perth Mint not breaking the rules…).
    As a rule of thumb – concentrate on one or two important releases, or “core products” as OC called them, and wait for the rest to drop in price.

  22. saucexx says


    Perth has already proven mintage limits are an illusion with them. Just like the HR set, if they want to mint more they do. Particularly if they think they’re popular. Or if they’ve only sold a portion of prior years mintage, they can crank up the presses and mint more. There is no reason to trust them when it comes to a “final” mintage number. By minting more they are devaluing the ones you already have.

    I find it interesting that when the US mint released the 2012 “S” Proof ASE in the MAH set after it had already been released in the 75th Ann set, people were up in arms. When Perth decides to mint another 1000 HR Dragons AFTER the original 7500 mintage were sold out, there’s very little blow back.

  23. Louis says

    I agree the reaction to the MAH was overblown, but I think there has been quite a bit of blowback about the Perth mintage changes. Read Perth’s blog, for ex.

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