The Perth Mint recently released additional collector versions of the 2012 Australian Year of the Dragon Silver coins. The new products were met with high demand and unfortunate ordering problems for some collectors.
The Typeset Collection was limited to 1,500 units and included four one ounce coins. The coins featured proof, gilded, colored, and bullion finishes. The one ounce proof coins were previously offered separately, but had sold out.
Colored Year of the Dragon Coins were offered in one ounce and one-half ounce sizes. The coins were limited to 10,000 of each size and struck in proof quality with red color, representing success, good luck, and prosperity.
The Gilded edition of the 2012 Year of the Dragon Silver Coin was offered in one ounce size and limited to 50,000. The reverse design depicting the dragon is gilded in 24 karat gold.
The gemstone edition was available in one kilo size and limited to a mintage of 5,000 coins. The reverse design is colored in red, and the dragon has a ruby set in one of its eyes.
Ordering limits of one per customer were imposed for the Typeset Collection and and each of the colored versions. A limit of five coins per customer was imposed for the gilded edition.
For several hours after the start of sales on October 4, 2011 at 8:30 AM AWST (October 3, 2011 at 5:30 PM ET), the Perth Mint’s website was slow or frequently timed out, making it extremely difficult to place an order. The problems seemed to abate somewhat after the extremely limited Typeset Collection was sold out on the website.
Three days after the coins were released, the Perth Mint sent an email to some customers apologizing for difficulties or delays that were experienced when ordering coins in recent weeks. The email stated:
We are deeply concerned by reports that some customers have been inconvenienced or disappointed by their experiences and I would like to assure you that we are doing everything possible to rectify the problems as soon as possible.
Demand for our coins is currently running at unprecedented levels and we have been inundated by high levels of web and telephone traffic from clients all around the world. This has put tremendous pressure on our business systems and Customer Service department which have struggled to cope with the number of enquiries and orders.
The email went on to explain that the Perth Mint is presently completely re-developing their collector website, analyzing business-wide information technology, working on improving their phone system, and examining ways to upgrade their customer service department. As they are looking for “efficient, effective and future-proof solutions” that will take some time, they asked for patience and understanding.
Of the recently released 2012 Australian Year of the Dragon Silver Coins, only the one ounce gilded edition and one kilo gemstone edition remain available for ordering on the Perth Mint’s website.