The Chinese Zodiac is an astrological system that rotates through a twelve year lunar cycle. Each of these years is associated
with an animal arranged in order from the rat through to the pig. An ancient folk story states that the order was established
by a race between the animals that was orchestrated by the Jade Emperor of China. It is believed that each of these animals
is associated with a set of characteristics that may serve as an astrological guide to understand the events that occur in
the year as well as the personalities of those born in the year. The Royal Australian
Mint regularly produces coins celebrating the beginning of a new Chinese Lunar Year.
This five hundred dollar piece was issued in 2012 to celebrate the beginning of the Lunar Year of the Dragon. It is referred
to by the Royal Australian Mint as a "Lucky Dragon" coin and is part
of an exclusive set that was created for a private international program. The set includes three silver coins (One, Ten,
and Thirty Dollars) and three gold coins (Hundred, Five-Hundred, and Three-thousand Dollars). The
reverse features a Chinese dragon with the coins composition "5 oz.9999 GOLD" in the
obverse contains the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II with the
"ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2012" and the denomination "500 DOLLARS".
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