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Silver Perth Koalas
Australian Silver Koala Coins
The cute koalas and other Aussie animals featured on special limited edition silver coins from Australia’s Perth Mint make them an attractive proposition for investors around the world. The Koala Series is one of three lines of silver bullion coins produced by the Perth Mint every year. Along with the Lunar and Kookaburra series of coins, the coins that make up the Koala Series have become instant collectibles. The first silver Koala Series coin was released in 2007, although the Perth Mint created its first Koala coin, a platinum collectible, to commemorate Australia’s Bicentennial in 1988.
Each Koala Series coin celebrates Australia’s natural heritage and one of its most famous furry residents. All silver Koala Series coins are made from high quality 99.99 percent pure silver. Most are plain silver, but some varieties are enhanced with 24-carat gold gilding or colored elements.
As the standard Koala Series coins are produced on a mint-to-order basis, the number of koala coins produced each year typically depends on demand. However, some Koala Series coins, such as those with gilded accents, are produced in strictly limited quantities. Each Koala Series coin design is only manufactured within the calendar year it’s introduced.
Perth Mint History
The Perth Mint, based in the Western Australian capital, is considered one of the world’s most esteemed creators of gold, silver, and platinum coins. It was one of three branches of the Royal Mint of London established in Australia during the 19th Century to turn the gold from local deposits into half-sovereigns and sovereigns for the British Empire. Its sister facilities in Sydney and Melbourne closed their doors, making the Perth Mint Australia’s oldest operating mint.
The mint operated under British rule until 1970, when it became part of the Government of Western Australia. It made much of Australia’s lower-denomination coin currency until the 1980s, when it commenced creating platinum, gold, and silver Australian legal tender coins designed to appeal to collectors and investors around the world.
Koala Coin Design
The reverse side of all coins in the Koala Series features the image of a koala, one of Australia’s most beloved creatures. A new koala design is introduced every year. The 2014 Koala Series coin features the detailed face of a koala illustrated by renowned coin designer Michael Guilfoyle. Previous Koala Series coin releases feature images of koalas in trees, koalas on the ground, and mother koalas with their babies.
Each Koala Series coin design is available in a range of sizes from ½ ounce up to the large one kilogram pieces. This diverse variety of sizes helps makes these attractive coins accessible to investors and collectors with a range of budgets.
The Perth Mint also paid tribute to local wildlife with its Saltwater Crocodile coins. The reverse side of these coins featured the image of the croc Bindi, one of the most popular residents at Australia Zoo and a favorite of the park’s late founder, Steve Irwin.
In addition to the detailed illustrations, the reverse side of these coins feature the name of the creature depicted, the Perth Mint’s “P” mintmark, and the year of manufacturer.
As the Koala Series’ coins and other associated coins are Australian legal tender, the obverse side features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the coin’s legal value, and its year of manufacture.
It’s worth noting that while these collectible coins are legal tender in Australia under the Australian Currency Act 1965, they are not typically used as currency. Instead new coins are sold not for their face value, but the current price of silver. Older Koala Series coins have the power to sell for substantially more than the price of silver as they become rarer, particularly if a relatively small number of the coins were minted in a particular year.
Each smaller coin in the Koala Series is originally sold in sealed cardboard boxes containing 100 coins. Each coin is encapsulated within a plastic coin holder with 20 coins shrink wrapped in plastic forming “rolls.” The larger one kilogram Koala Series coins are presented in transparent plastic hard cases. This protective packaging slows down the tarnishing process by keeping oxygen from the coin. Vintage Koala Series coins that are still in their original packaging tend to command higher prices than those without these features.
You needn’t travel to the land “down under” to get your hands on these collectible silver coins. Silver.com has an assortment of these limited-edition silver koala coins which are all sold in brilliant, uncirculated condition with their original packaging.