The Perth Mint
Known for its exotic wildlife and its incredible deposits of gold nuggets, Western Australia is also home to one of the world's most respected and prolific state mints, the Perth Mint. The mint sprung up in the wake of the Western Australia Gold Rush, which shared many similarities to the California Gold Rush, but occurred about 50 years later. Today, the mint is well-known all over the world for its series of gold and silver coins featuring native animal species such as the koala, kangaroo, kookaburra, and platypus. Perth Mint has also earned a reputation in the South Pacific for the high quality of its Lunar series coins, making its products among the most popular in the globe!
(1987-1989 / 1989-present)
The Gold Kangaroo series of coins remain one of the defining products of the Perth Mint. These coins were originally known as the Gold Nugget series, picturing an Australian gold nugget for the first three years of production, but they began featuring a new design of the Red Kangaroo annually since 1989. Each coin is struck from .9999 fine gold, making them a remarkable 99.99% pure!
After more than two decades of minting its Gold Kangaroo series coins, the Perth Mint finally introduced a Silver Kangaroo series for 2016! Collectors have longed for a silver version of the popular bullion coin, but the mint went one step further by using a unique design for the Silver Kangaroo, designed by Dr. Stuart Devlin. Each of these .9999 fine silver coins weighs 1 troy ounce.
Silver Koala (2007-present)
Following the success of the Platinum Koala series, the Perth Mint issued a promotional silver version of the Koala bullion coin in 1991. The idea was not put into annual production until 2007, when the Silver Koala series was officially introduced. These .999 fine silver coins feature the same cute koala design each year as their platinum cousins.
Silver Kookaburra (1990-present)
Many outside of Australia are not familiar with the kookaburra, a small songbird that is native to the country. This little bird is a distinctive part of the bush, and is even prevalent in Australian folklore. It is fitting that the kookaburra has been featured on a series of silver bullion coins since 1990, recently celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Gold Lunar New Year (1996-present)
As Australia sought to expand its commercial partnerships with its South Asian neighbors in the Pacific, the idea of a bullion coin series that celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year began to take hold. Since their introduction in 1996, the Perth Mint’s Lunar series of gold coins has captivated collectors and investors around the world, offering a culturally distinct design that also has attractive aesthetics.
Silver Lunar New Year (1999-present)
Piggybacking on the success of the Gold Lunar coins, the Perth Mint decided to add silver varieties of the Lunar designs to its catalog in 1999. Not only does the Lunar theme appeal to buyers all across the globe, but it also adds a degree of collectability to the coins due to their more intricate designs. Further, it is always seen as auspicious to honor the Lunar New Year with gifts of gold and silver!
Since 1988, the Perth Mint has annually minted the Platinum Koala bullion coin, which features a new image of the adorable koala each year. This series is noteworthy as the world’s first widely traded platinum coin, later followed by the American Platinum Eagle in 1997. In addition to fractional sizes, the .9995 fine platinum coin is produced in 1-ounce, 2-ounce, 10-ounce, and 1-kilo sizes.
Fitting the theme of the Kangaroo, Koala, and Kookaburra series, the Perth Mint decided to again expand into platinum coins in 2011 with the Platinum Platypus. These 99.95% pure platinum coins feature the unmistakable platypus, a duck-billed mammal found only on the island of Australia. Like the country’s other distinctive native animal species, the platypus is a good representative of the exotic wildlife of the Land Down Under.
About The Perth Mint
The Perth Mint was established in 1899 as the third branch of the Royal Mint in Australia in order to process the massive amounts of gold coming from the Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie goldfields of Western Australia. Charged with refining and converting this wealth into coins for the United Kingdom, the Perth Mint produced over 106 million Gold Sovereigns to circulate through the British Empire before Britain went off the gold standard in 1931. While still refining the gold from Western Australia into ingots, the Perth Mint began producing Australian coins for circulation in 1940.
In 1970, ownership passed from the Royal Mint to the state government of Western Australia. The Perth Mint was set up as an independent entity with authorization to produce Australian legal tender bullion coins in 1987. It immediately began minting the Australian Gold Nugget coin - the first gold coin struck in Australia since 1931. Today, the Perth Mint is known throughout the world for the quality of its gold, silver, and platinum coins and bars. One reason for the astonishing popularity of Perth Mint precious metal coins is the fact that the reverse on all their major series changes each year, adding greatly to their collectible value.