The 1-oz Gold
Dragons became the first coin of the Perth Mint's Lunar Series to reach the production cap of 30,000 coins. However, for several reasons, the Year 2000 Dragon was the cornerstone of the Lunar Series even before selling out.
The year 2000 was celebrated worldwide as the first year of the new millennium, although actually it was the last year of the old millennium. Regardless, coins dated 2000 are the first of the 2000 series, which will run 1,000 years, and this makes all year 2000 coins unique.
Although the dragon is considered China's icon, this mythical creature is immensely popular throughout Asia. As more Asians learn about the Gold Dragons, many are likely to purchase them as mementos or to be turned into jewelry. It should be noted that any coin used for jewelry purposes loses its collector value as a coin. Therefore, jewelry demand for Lunar Series coins will reduce the number available to coin collectors.
The Lunar Series is scheduled to run through 2007, which means it will be promoted another six years, introducing millions more collectors to the Series. Because of the Perth Mint's policy of minting coins until the production cap is met, collectors wanting the complete Series will be able to buy them at small mark-ups over spot. However, when the production limit is reached, as with the Dragon, the coins will be available only in the secondary market. All the Lunar Series coins that reach their caps should see higher prices because of premium increases in the secondary market.
Finally, China will host the 2008 Summer Olympics. This will introduce the entire world to the China's culture, its history, and the things Chinese people hold in esteem, including the Lunar Calendar and the dragon. Demand for Perth Mint Lunar Series coins for jewelry alone could drive prices higher.
Other Dragon Years are 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928, 1916, and 1904.