Market Recap 4/8/11

The week started with Silver reaching a fresh 31-year high, over $38/oz. Who knew it would be a sign of things to come? The theme with precious metals this week was new highs. Silver hit first on Monday, thanks in part to the looming U.S. government shutdown, inflation fears (oil rose over $108), a weakening U.S. dollar, and the geopolitical situation in North Africa and the Middle East.

APMEX CEO Michael Haynes appeared on CNBC to talk about the importance of precious metals in your portfolio. He was also introducing our new mobile platform, mobile.apmex.com, which is available on your Android-powered smartphone, Blackberry, or iPhone. China raised their interest rates Tuesday in another effort to combat inflation, something the European Central Bank echoed later in the week. Ben Bernanke continued to downplay inflation, which seemed to increase inflation fears. Radioactive fish were discovered near the Japanese nuclear power plant that continues to have issues, creating fears of radioactive food imports in other countries. These issues drove Gold to a record high (over $1,450/oz.) and Silver to a new 31-year high (over $39/oz.) early in the week.

Matthew West of CNBC pieced together a great article on Gold, explaining the bullish sentiment towards precious metals, as well as why Gold as a hedge is here to stay. The radioactive water leak in Japan was plugged Wednesday, but many tons of contaminated water was being pumped back into the ocean due to a lack of storage space at the facility. The conflict in Libya hit a bump as the Libyan rebels were unhappy with NATO support. There were also possible mistakes made by NATO strikes that hit rebels instead of Moammar Gaddafi’s forces. Gold and Silver closed at new highs yet again, with Gold crossing the $1,460/oz. mark and Silver inching closer to $40/oz. by midweek.

After Moody’s downgraded Portugal’s debt rating Wednesday, reports surfaced that against their best efforts, they will end up requesting a bailout before June. This didn’t come as much of a surprise to investors, as seen by precious metals hardly reacting to the news. The ECB officially raised interest rates by 25 basis points, acting as fresh fuel to the fire of inflation fears. A 7.4-magnitude aftershock rocked Japan, hampering production across the country thanks to power outages. On Thursday, Gold closed lower than Wednesday, however it did hit an intraday record high at $1,466.50. Silver closed at a fresh 31-year high as well.

Friday started with news that Euro-zone finance ministers will hold Portugal to a harder reform to receive a bailout. The U.S. government shutdown deadline is here, and there seems to be no hope in sight to avoid it. Some 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed. The impending shutdown seems to have investors flocking to the safe haven appeal of precious metals, as Gold and Silver were already at new highs in early morning trading. Gold topped $1,470/oz., while Silver strongly broke through the $40/oz. ceiling.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,429.20. The high during the week was on Friday, April 8th, at $1,476.40, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, April 4th, at $1,429.10. Gold ended the week up $47.20 at $1,476.40. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $37.91. Silver reached a high of $41.03 on Friday, April 8th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, April 4th, at $37.81. Silver ended the week up $3.09 at $41.00. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,768.50 and ended the week up $48.00 at $1,816.50. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $775.50 and ended the week up $21.00 at $769.50. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the Austrian Silver Philharmonic bullion coins.

One of the most beautiful Silver coins on the market, the Austrian Silver Philharmonic has begun to attract attention from collectors and investors all over the world. Minted by the Austrian Mint in Vienna, the Austrian Silver Philharmonic coins are .999 pure Silver and are the first Silver bullion coins denominated in Euros. While the Austrian Silver Philharmonics are Silver bullion coins that can serve as investment opportunities, they are also striking additions to any coin collection.

The Silver Austrian Philharmonic coin features the same design as the Gold Vienna Philharmonic, Europe’s leading Gold bullion coin. Like the Gold Philharmonic, the Silver Philharmonic pays tribute to one of Vienna’s most iconic symbols: the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Housed in Vienna’s Golden Hall, the Philharmonic Orchestra is considered one of the finest orchestras in the world. In honor of this prestigious orchestra, the Philharmonic coin’s design features a theme based on Vienna’s musical heritage. The obverse of the Silver Philharmonic coin displays the Great Pipe Organ in Vienna’s Golden Hall. The reverse depicts a medley of selected instruments from the world-famous orchestra. Through these designs, the Silver Philharmonic allows you to commemorate the mastery of classical music in Vienna.

If you are looking to purchase the stunning Austrian Silver Philharmonic coins, shop APMEX’s wide selection of Silver Philharmonics. APMEX makes it easy to buy Silver by offering competitive Silver prices on all Silver products and a Satisfaction Guarantee.

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Market Recap 4/1/11

Monday began with Five Things to Watch in the Market this Week. 1) Stocks posted huge gains last week as the volatility index dropped. Will this carry into Monday despite continuing geopolitical risks, more radiation concerns out of Japan and new housing data? 2) What will the latest news be out of Japan? 3) The conflict in Libya and President Obama’s explanation of why and how long we will be there. 4) The New York Times attempt to monetize their online content. 5) Will the housing numbers be as bad as expected and will analysts begin to officially call it a double dip?

The stock market did continue to move up throughout the entire week despite a small pull back on Thursday. There was more bad news coming out of Japan as plutonium was found in the soil at a nuclear plant. President Obama spoke, but with little detail. The conflict in Libya is possibly easing…or at least the news coverage is waning.

Whether or not we say the words double-dip as it applies to the housing recovery or lack thereof, more disturbing data was released this week. The S&P Case-Shiller report showed prices in the top 20 US markets dipped another 3.1% in January. For those unfamiliar with this report, please consider that this is a three month running average, so this data includes October and November when interest rates were at historic lows. “Keeping with the trends set in late 2010, January brings us weakening home prices with no real hope in sight for the near future,” says Standard and Poors’ David M. Blitzer. “The housing market recession is not yet over, and none of the statistics are indicating any form of sustained recovery. At most, we have seen all statistics bounce along their troughs; at worst, the feared double-dip recession may be materializing.”

The above report, falling consumer confidence and even oil prices going up could not dampen the appetite for risks, as the stock market continued to rise. The appetite for risks may be growing, but some analysts are sounding an alarm. JP Morgan is loaning AT&T 20 billion dollars to help finance their purchase of T-Mobile. Moody’s is warning that this could be an early warning sign of another credit bubble as this will encourage other banks to assume too much risks in order to capture the lucrative underwriting fees.

The big news on Friday is that the economy added 216,000 jobs and unemployment falls to 8.8%. This report will be viewed as positive for the equity markets and bearish for Gold and Silver. We should keep in mind that we have still recovered only a fraction of the 8 million jobs lost in the recession and many economists say we need 250,000 – 300,000 in job gains each month to have any measurable impact.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,430.90. The high during the week was on Thursday, March 31st, at $1,440.00, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, March 28th, at $1,410.10. Gold ended the week down $1.70 at $1,429.20. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $37.42. Silver reached a high of $37.98 on Thursday, March 31st, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, March 28th, at $36.44. Silver ended the week up $0.49 at $37.91. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,750.80 and ended the week up $17.70 at $1,768.50. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $752.00 and ended the week up $23.50 at $775.50. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the bullion coins from the Perth Mint.

The Perth Mint is Australia’s oldest currently operating mint. The Perth Mint traces its history to Great Britain’s Royal Mint, which opened the Perth branch of the Royal Mint on June 20, 1899. First established for the purpose of refining Gold and producing British Sovereigns as currency for the British Empire, the Perth Mint remained under British control until 1790. On July 1, 1790, the Perth Mint became a statutory authority of Western Australia. Now, the Perth Mint is owned by the Gold Corporation, a company owned by the Western Australian government. Under the Gold Corporation Act of 1987, the government of Western Australia mandated that the Gold Corporation direct and operate the Perth Mint.

Since its foundation, the Perth Mint has been producing and refining large quantities of Gold and other precious metals. Today, the Perth Mint is still highly involved in the Gold industry and the production of Australian precious metals legal tender. However, the Perth Mint is also involved in manufacturing a wide array of numismatic items for collectors and investors. The coins in the Perth Mint’s numismatic collections feature some of the most dazzling designs in the world. Discover the wonder of Australia with the magnificent Australian Gold and Silver coins produced by the Perth Mint.

APMEX offers a diverse selection of Silver numismatic coins manufactured by the Perth Mint. At APMEX, you can find coins from the following Perth Mint collections: Deadly & Dangerous Coins, Australian Sea Life Coins, Extinct Animal Series Coins, Famous Battles in History, and Discover Australia: The Dreaming Series Coins. These coins bring the Australian animal kingdom and historical events to life. Splashed with brilliant colors and stunning designs, the Perth Mint coins belong in your coin collections. To add these high-quality Silver coins to your coin collection today, shop APMEX’s diverse assortment of Silver products available from the world famous Perth Mint.

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Market Recap 3/11/11

Monday began with much of the same news as where Friday ended. Oil and Gold prices were both moving upward as fighting in Libya intensified over the weekend. Oil rose to a 29 month high and Silver surged past $36 reaching a 31 year high. Silver has been on the move for weeks and is eyeing the $38-$40 range. Also of interest today was the report that hedge funds and Forex dealers have been placing large bets in record amounts against the U.S. Dollar. Their bets say that the Dollar is losing its safe haven appeal and they believe the European banks will soon raise interest rates.

Tuesday came with the surprise announcement that Carl Icahn was returning $1.76 billion dollars to his outside hedge fund investors. In a letter to these investors Mr. Icahn said that he did not want the burden of managing this money through another downturn. On Wednesday, another story took investors by surprise. Pimco’s CEO Bill Gross announced that they were selling all U.S. Treasury Bond Holdings out of their largest fund. This is a clear indication that Mr. Gross does not feel there will be a QE3 and if the Fed quits buying Treasury Bonds, then who will? Mr. Gross stated, “Bond yields and stock prices are resting on an artificial foundation of QE2 credit that may or may not lead to a successful private market handoff and stability in currency and financial markets.” According to Tyler Durden at Zerohedge, if Bill Gross does think there will be a QE3, it might be time to get out of all security classes, which include bonds and equities.

Thursday the strong pull of the equity markets sinking dragged precious metal prices down. On Friday Dennis Gartman, of the Gartman Letter, had some interesting comments on CNBC explaining why Gold was being dragged down. He mused on the unpredictable nature of the markets. The “Day of Rage” in Saudi Arabia was expected to pressure oil prices upwards but the Japanese earthquake sent oil prices lower. In the blink of an eye, we psychologically shifted from the mind set of too little oil supply to too much oil supply. He stated that this earthquake should prove to be the most expensive natural disaster in history and we still wait to see what damage might occur on the U.S. coasts of Hawaii, California and Alaska.

His comments about Gold prices were particularly interesting. He pointed out that Gold is down, when you might suspect events like this would drive prices up. The reason for this is not fundamental, but a matter of liquidity. With the sharp downturn in the stock market yesterday, margin clerks have been overdriven by their need to come up with cash. “It is a margin clerk situation rather than a rational situation” said Mr. Gartman. This may be why precious metal prices are showing signs of bouncing back in morning trading.

The largest news of the week was the earthquake that hit Japan on Friday. The loss of life and damages incurred are still mounting. I would expect this story to be still in the news next week as the world turns their eyes and their prayers to the Japanese people.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,434.10. The high during the week was on Monday, March 7th, at $1,445.70, while the low for the week occurred on Thursday, March 10th, at $1,403.00. Gold ended the week down $13.50 at $1,420.60. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $35.71. Silver reached a high of $36.75 on Monday, March 7th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Friday, March 11th, at $34.05. Silver ended the week up $0.25 at $35.96. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,845.80 and ended the week down $66.80 at $1,779.00. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $814.20 and ended the week down $51.80 at $762.40. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the Platinum American Eagle bullion coins.

First issued in 1997, the Platinum American Eagle Coin is the official platinum bullion coin of the United States. The Platinum American Eagle is the first and only investment-grade platinum coin from the United States Mint. Part of a precious metals portfolio backed by the United States Mint, the Platinum Eagle is unique in that it is the only platinum bullion coin guaranteed by the government for its weight, content, and .9995 purity.

Since their release, the Platinum Eagle Coins have featured the same basic design. Displaying a portrait of the Statue of Liberty, the obverse of the Platinum American Eagle pays tribute to this symbol of freedom and opportunity recognized by people all over the world. The reverse of the Platinum Eagle illustrates an eagle that signifies American pride and security. Available in 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz denominations, the Platinum Eagles appeal to both collectors and investors alike for the patriotic design and platinum value of the coins. Eligible for precious metals IRA accounts, Platinum American Eagles can potentially enhance any investment portfolio.

APMEX offers a wide selection of Platinum American Eagle Coins that can complement your platinum coin collection or help you set up an investment plan that will never lose all of its value.

 

Market Recap 2/11/11

Our first story this week was the disclosure that the NASDAQ had been hacked. Yet another blow to investor confidence at a time they thought it might be safe to go back into the water. The Egyptian crisis stayed top of mind, but no headlines had been made this week…yet.

On Tuesday, inflation concerns began to surface. China raised interest rates for the second time in six weeks, which normally suppresses precious metal prices. Today, however, it had an opposite effect as it triggered fears that inflation might not be far behind in other emerging markets as well as the US. Representative Paul Ryan further fanned the inflation fears while appearing on CNBC. He is upset with the Federal Reserve Bank for missing their opportunity to curb future inflation, by not taking appropriate measures now. Precious metal prices surged on the day.

JP Morgan announced this week that they would begin allowing gold as collateral for trading. This should not only give gold prices a boost, it would also set a floor for spot gold. Silver once again crossed the $30 barrier, perhaps on the news that China had imported 4X more silver in 2010 as they did in 2009.

All week long, the continued turmoil in Egypt grabbed worldwide attention. Last week’s violence was settling down, but not gone. Things looked to be calming down. The markets clearly had decided that everything would turn out alright. On Thursday, it was reported that Mubarak would step down, but then later he announced he would not. The markets continued to discount this event. Then on Friday, President Mubarak did step down turning the government over to the military. Stocks rejoiced and precious metals went down. Everything is fine in Egypt! Or is it? Jon Alterman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies points out “Egypt isn’t moving toward a democracy, it’s moved into martial law and where it goes now is subject to debate”. In other words, this is only the end of the beginning. Now the action really starts.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,349.60. The high during the week was on Friday, February 11th, at $1,369.70, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, February 7th, at $1,344.10. Gold ended the week up $7.60 at $1,357.20. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $29.18. Silver reached a high of $30.29 on Friday, February 11th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, February 11th, at $29.01. Silver ended the week up $0.75 at $29.93. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,848.20 and ended the week down $44.20 at $1,804.00. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $817.00 and ended the week down $1.30 at $815.70. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the Gold Austrian 100 Corona Coins.

Because of the history behind them, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins are some of the most interesting coins in the world. For example, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins were among some of the first gold bullion coins available upon the enactment of an executive order on December 31, 1974, that re-entitled Americans to own gold bullion. In addition to their availability at the time of the 1974 order, the Austrian Corona Gold Coins are also fascinating because they are re-strikes, which are official reproductions of coins that were originally minted for circulation. Issued from 1908 to 1914, the Austrian 100 Gold Coins first featured their date of issue. However, after the death of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph, the gold coins were produced as commemorative pieces and were dated 1915.

Minted in Vienna Austria, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coin is .900 fine gold (21.6 karat gold) and contains 0.9802 troy ounces of gold. Designed by Stephan Schwartz, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coin pays tribute to Austrian nationalism and pride. The obverse of the Austrian Corona Gold Coin displays a portrait of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I, who ruled from 1848 to 1916. The reverse features the Austrian Coat of Arms, depicting a double eagle and a crown. Moreover, the edges of the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins include the lettering Vnitus Viribvs, which means “the unified strength,” a well-known motto attributed to Franz Joseph I.

No longer minted, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins are some of the lowest-premium gold bullion coins available on the world coin market. Appealing to both collectors and investors alike, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins have begun to attract attention for both their unique history and low-premium gold status.

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Market Recap 2/4/11

Monday began with the news of rioting in Egypt and this news story continued to dominate throughout the week. At first, demonstrations were forceful, but without violence. Protestors and news reporters could walk about Cairo’s Tahrir Square without fear of attack. This all changed Wednesday, when supporters of President Mubarak (widely believed to be paid thugs), systematically infiltrated the square and injected violence into the equation. Even news reporters came under attack causing them to go into hiding and broadcast from hidden locations. Thursday evening, there were no live broadcasts from Tahrir Square.

On Monday, President Obama began to walk the tightrope between the US need for Egyptian support in the Middle East and President’s Mubarak dictatorial regime that is clearly contrary to US values. Staying as far away as possible from asking President Mubarak to step down, President Obama expressed concerns as to how President Mubarak treated his people. By Friday, The US became much more open about the need for a transition. Although still not publically calling for President Mubarak to step down, there is much speculation this has in fact occurred behind the scenes. The US has clearly called for a transition of power and this transition needs to happen soon.

One would think that the Egyptian crisis would have driven precious metal prices up sharply, but it did not. It was as if the market was ignoring the news. Stocks went up, oil went up, but precious metal prices languished. Then on Thursday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke came out saying that although the economy is showing signs of improvement, it is still needs life support from the Fed QE2 program. He further stated that, “There will not be full recovery until there is job creation”. Within 20 minutes precious metal prices rose significantly to where they are now. By the way, Friday’s job report was very disappointing, but the stock market can still depend on the Fed. We are still kicking the can down the road, and there will be a price to be paid.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,339.60. The high during the week was on Friday, February 4th, at $1,361.00, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, January 31st, at $1,323.60. Gold ended the week up $10.00 at $1,349.60. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $28.03. Silver reached a high of $29.29 on Friday, February 4th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, January 31st, at $27.52. Silver ended the week up $1.15 at $29.18. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,797.20 and ended the week up $51.00 at $1,848.20. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $818.00 and ended the week down $1.00 at $817.00. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the 2011 “Year of the Rabbit” Silver Lunar coins from the Perth Mint.

The most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, the Chinese New Year, also known as the Chinese Lunar New Year, has become a much-celebrated event not only in China, but also in countries all around the world. Beginning on the first day of the first month of the traditional Chinese calendar, the festival of the New Year is a centuries-old celebration that includes red decorations, gifts (Gold is a favorite), food, clothing, and corporate family preparations for luck and good fortune in the upcoming year.

This year, 2011, is the Year of the Rabbit in the traditional Chinese calendar. According to Chinese tradition, the Year of the Rabbit will be a welcome change after the year of the fierce Tiger in 2010. The emblem of longevity in Chinese mythology, the Rabbit represents grace and kindness and will usher in a period of peacefulness and wise counsel in 2011.

In order to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, APMEX offers Year of the Rabbit Lunar Coins that commemorate this annual event in the Chinese calendar. First, the Lunar Coins are a great addition to any coin collection since the theme of the coin’s design draws its inspiration from China’s ancient Lunar Calendar, whose stories indicate that the twelve animals in the calendar have a profound influence over those born under their “rule”. Offered in both Gold and Silver, the Year of the Rabbit Lunar Coins commemorate the Rabbit’s place in the lunar calendar.

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