Today, January 5, the Perth Mint released the 2016 Australian Opal Lunar Series “Year of the Monkey” 1 oz. Silver Proof Coin, which costs $104.54 AUD ($75.43 USD) and has a mintage limited to 5,000 pieces. It measures 36.6 mm in diameter and is composed of an ounce of silver that is 99.9% pure. Natasha Muhl served as the designer.
The reverse design includes an image of a monkey rendered in pure Australian opal. A small peach, also depicted in the opal area of the design, symbolizes longevity and immortality. Surrounding the opal center are peach blossoms depicted in silver, with the inscriptions YEAR OF THE MONKEY, 2016, 1 oz 999 SILVER, and the Mint’s “P” mint mark curving inside the rim.
The obverse features Ian Rank-Broadley’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, with ELIZABETH II, AUSTRALIA, and 1 DOLLAR inscribed along the rim. When opened, the coin’s display case shines a light on the reverse to highlight the colors of the opal inset. A certificate of authenticity is also included in the packaging.
Referencing Chinese astrology, the Year of the Monkey pertains to those whose year of birth forms part of a twelve-year cycle that includes 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, and, of course, 2016. People born in the Year of the Monkey are said to be intelligent, optimistic, and ambitious, according to a Mint press release.
For more information on the 2016 Australian Opal Lunar Series “Year of the Monkey” 1 oz. Silver Proof Coin, please visit the Perth Mint’s Web site.