Australia Coins

When one thinks of the island country, Australia, a few of the defining characteristics that come to mind include the Great Barrier Reef, kangaroos, and the outback, or how it seems like everything that lives there has some crazy means of killing you. What few people talk about however are the incredible numismatic releases that are regularly released from island nation from not one, but two renowned Mints; the Perth Mint and Royal Australian Mint. First established in 1899 due to a massive gold reserve, the legendary Perth Mint is a world leader in modern-day numismatics with a long history of quality and a slew of different coins as diverse as its own ecosystems. Australia’s second premier Mint, the Royal Australian Mint opened in 1965 and strikes all of Australia’s circulating coinage along with stunning collectible coins. From coins featuring Australian flora and fauna to iconic Australian landmarks and historical figures, coins from the land down under are characterized by a wide variety of intricately designed themes combined with technical innovation and a high standard for metal purity. The best part about coins from Australia is that you can keep them in your home and not have to worry about venomous bites or loud squawks. Keep reading below to learn more about what Australian Coins have to offer you and your collection.

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The Perth Mint

The Perth Mint was established in 1899 as a branch of Great Britain’s Royal Mint and would remain so until 1970 when it was transferred to the authority of Western Australia. Due to the booming population growth of Western Australia at the turn of the century, partially due to the uncovering of large gold reserves in the region, the Mint became a place for miners to deposit their hard-earned gold which would then be struck into coins.  In 1957, this renowned Mint set a record for striking the world’s finest gold coin made in 99.9999% pure gold, which today is still the standard to beat.

The Perth Mint is the official bullion producing facility of the Australian country. While they do strike extraordinary collectible coins including proof variants, such as High Relief Proof Silver Kookaburra Coins, they are known for their annual bullion releases that often feature flora and fauna native to the island nation. Some of their most prominent annually occurring silver bullion releases include the Silver Kookaburra, the Silver Koala, the Silver Kangaroo, and most recently, the Silver Emu. Don’t forget about John Mercanti’s famous collaboration with this renowned Mint that produced the Wedge-Tailed Eagle series which marked the first time a former U.S Chief Engraver worked with a foreign Mint to produce a legal tender coin. 

The Perth Mint is also particularly known for their Lunar series that honors the Chinese Zodiac legend. Starting in 1996 with their Lunar Series I, which followed the complete lunar cycle until the next began, and so did a new series, Lunar Series II, which just came to an end in 2019. 2020 kicks off Lunar Series III that will again start with the Year of the Mouse.

Kookaburras and Koalas

The famous Silver Kookaburra Series has been a mainstay of the Perth Mint since its debut in 1990. The collection, which offers a new design every year, has captivated the imaginations of collectors by displaying one of the issuing country’s natural treasures in a variety of ways. So simple yet stunning, the designs make the coin annual favorites among collectors, with many making it a point to get at least one of these relatively low mintage bullion issues every year.

In 2007, a second annual silver series began with the Koala. This better-known Australian animal has proven an excellent way for parents to share their favorite hobby with young children while also captivating collectors of all ages with its one year only designs. While this series has yet to catch the Kookaburra in popularity, the collections adorable designs suggest that it may just be a matter of time until this series gains parity with its older cousin.

The Silver Emu

The Australia Silver Emu coin debuted in 2018. These new Perth Mint coins brought new life – and an exceptional level of scarcity – to bullion. For the first two years of the series, a strict mintage cap of just 30,000 pieces, less than a tenth that of the Kookaburra, was imposed. Still young, this series already promises to be both coveted and elusive.

The Royal Australian Mint

The Royal Australian Mint is the younger of the two production facilities, having been established in 1965 to produce Australia’s circulating coinage, eventually replacing the Melbourne Mint. The Mint has struck over 15 billion coins since it opened. In addition to producing the coinage that Australians use every day, the Mint also releases collector coins with gorgeous finishes and sometimes low mintages. Like the Perth Mint, the Royal Australian Mint annually issues a Kangaroo themed coin and has done so since 1993. Each issue features a different, stylistic portrayal of the hopping marsupial. One of the more unique Australia coin series from the Royal Australian Mint is the Echoes of Australian Fauna series that feature extinct or endangered species from Australia’s past.  Thus far, Australia coins featuring the Tasmanian Tiger and the Lesser Bilby have been released, with more to come. It is both a gorgeous series that features select black nickel faces and gold gilding of the titular endangered Australian animal, while also promoting conservation.

In 2019, the Mint made news when they partnered with the United States Mint for the very first time to create a commemorative two-coin set that would honor the Apollo 11 mission and the successful landing of the first men on the moon, as well as both countries’ involvement in it. Without Australia’s Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, which was integral in broadcasting this pinnacle of human achievement to millions around the world. The set featured one of the United States Mint’s already released Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemoratives paired with a gorgeously designed Royal Australian Mint partially colorized silver coin, which is only available in this set. 

Tuvalu Coins

The island nation of Tuvalu, which is halfway between Australia and Hawaii, frequently issues coins releases, that are actually struck by the Perth Mint. From commemorating Warner Brother’s Porky Pig in full color, particularly appropriate for the 2019 as it was the lunar Year of the Pig, to issuing a colorized silver bar depicting Akaine Kamarik’s painting Prince of Peace, Tuvalu and the Perth Mint have together released a wide array of beautiful coins and bars. 

Tuvalu and the Perth Mint again teamed up, this time with Disney and Marvel, to strike a series of Avengers-themed bullions coins. To date, Hulk, Iron Man, Spiderman, and even Deadpool have appeared on their own fine silver coins. For example, the Tuvalu Black Panther coin features King Ta’chala of Wakanda ready to strike out against villains and injustice. Tuvalu also strikes colorized coins for popular movies such as an 80th anniversary proof for the Wizard of Oz, a 50th anniversary proof for the Planet of the Apes, and a 40th anniversary partially colorized silver proof for Alien.