Another coin series from the Land Down Under is sure to put a fauna-loving numismatic’s collection go wild. The Australian Koala Coins are released every year by the Perth Mint of Western Australia. Wildlife coins are no longer new to the Perth Mint clientele.
After the Kookaburra Coin rave, the furry and lovable Aussie marsupial gets a chance to be struck on the reverse side of the bullion. The Koala coins range from one twentieth of an ounce to a kilogram.
Australia’s Iconic Marsupial
The cuddly animal, endemic to Australia, is often mistaken for a bear – called popularly the koala bear – but in taxonomy, the Australian koala is actually a marsupial residing on trees.
The Koala Coins are produced exclusively by Perth Mint, Australia’s oldest running mint and official circulator of the Australian Federal Government’s Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Program. Founded in 1899, Perth Mint is sustained by the State Government of Western Australia. Its century-old “P” trademark appears on all of its minted coins and other prized numismatic items.
Australian Koala Coins
Adorable koalas are shown on the reverse and an Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II is struck on the obverse side of the coin. However, Perth Mint makes a new koala design annually when it gives a notice to the new mintage.
Thus, the production of the former koala coin ceases. From the time of its first issue, the Koala bullions have been very popular in the coin market for its excellent craftsmanship.
The Australian Koalas are .999 fine and like other numismatic pieces, they sell according to their metal content and not their face value. The coins weigh from one twentieth of an ounce up to one kilogram (it is one of the largest government-issued coins in the world) and vary in thickness and diameter. The Koala bullions can be purchased from coin dealers worldwide such as those accredited by the PNG and other respected associations.
Platinum Australian Koala Coins
The platinum koala coins were first produced in 1988 when Australia was then one of the first nations to issue ounce-denominated platinum coins. The Platinum Koala Coin is packaged in a special plastic capsule or sometimes in rich suede presentation boxes.
The smallest Platinum Koala bullion at Aus$5 face value weighs 1/20 of an ounce with a diameter of 14.10 mm, while the biggest at Aus $ 3000 face value is one kilogram and spans 73.30 mm.
Australian Silver Koala Coins
The Silver Koala Bullions were first issued in 2007 with a design of a cuddly koala hugging a branch of a gum tree. It has a distinct “shimmer” background and the “P” mintmark.
The pure silver Koala bullion designs by the Australian aborigine artist Darryl Bellotti.
Australian Koala Gilded Silver Coins
A new series of Koala coins were introduced in 2008. This time, the one-ounce Aus$1 fine silver coin has a precise 24-carat gold gilding on the mother koala carrying its joey while they rest on the branch of a gum tree.
Gold Proof Koala Coins
Year 2008 also heralded the first of the annual gold proof koala series. It carried the same design as the gilded silver coin of the same year issue.
Koala Coins and other wildlife coins are available from respectable coin dealers and from Perth Mint in a mint-to-order basis. Their manufacturer’s website also posts the notice of the new issues and designs of their themed coin series.