Gold coins are arguably the most valuable assets that investors and collectors look for when purchasing precious metals. Gold is, literally, the standard of the industry. Countless mints around the globe, both sovereign and private, produce gold bullion options for numismatists and collectors alike. Listed here today are some of the most prominent and popular gold coin programs from the Perth Mint, Australia’s oldest operating mint facility. You’ll find each one available for purchase today online from JM Bullion.
The nation of Australia has two major minting facilities that produce gold coins for investors and collectors. The state-owned Perth Mint has a greater international profile courtesy of its popular annual-release bullion coins, and the sought-after Lunar Series coins. In addition to the ground-breaking collection of Lunar Series designs in gold, you’ll find the popular annual-release coins of the Australian Gold Kangaroo, Australian Gold Kookaburra, and Australian Gold Koala available for purchase as well.
During British colonial rule of Australia, vast resources of gold and silver were discovered on the continent, particularly in the Outback and western stretches of the continent. In order to profit from this discovery and export the precious metals around the globe, the Royal Mint of London established a mint system in the country to process, refine, and distribute the gold and silver throughout the empire.
The Sydney Mint was the first facility in the system to open, in 1855, and the first to close in 1926. The Melbourne Mint was the second to open, in 1872, and closed in 1967. The Perth Mint was the third and final Royal Mint facility to open in Australia, commencing operations in 1899. Today it enjoys status as the oldest operating facility in Australia and the South Pacific.
Australia’s Perth Mint has quickly established itself as one of the world’s finest precious metal refiners and coin producers. The mint was first founded in 1899, just two years before Australia’s federation as a commonwealth of independent states in 1901. As of 2000, the Perth Mint has refined and produced 3.25% of mankind’s total gold production. As of 1970, the facility is a state-owned entity of the government in Western Australia. While it is not affiliated with the Royal Australian Mint, the federal government’s official facility, its coins are considered legal tender under the Currency Act of 1965.
The Perth Mint first introduced a koala coin in 2007 with the release of a Silver Koala coin. The gold and silver program share a few common traits. First and foremost, the design motif always focuses on the koala and its primary dietary source, the eucalyptus leaf. However, the specific design used each year changes to add value to and interest in the coin program. Although the design sets change each year, you can always expect to see either a single koala or an adult and youth, along with eucalyptus.
Perth Mint Gold Koala coins were introduced a year later in 2008, and the gold coins are only struck in proof versions, unlike the silver program which features both a bullion and proof version. The Gold Koala is also available in fewer weights. While the Silver Koala is struck in 1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, 1/10 oz, and larger 10 oz and 1 Kilo coins, the Gold Koala is only produced in 2 oz, 1 oz high-relief proof, 1/10 oz, and 1/25 oz by the Perth Mint.
As alluded to above, the Perth Mint alters the design elements featured on the reverse of its Gold Koala coins with each passing year. The design is shared with that of the silver versions of the coin and always focus on depicting the koala in its native environment. For example, the 2016 Gold Koalas depicted an adult koala as it walked on all fours along the branch of a eucalyptus tree. Steadily moving along, the koala puts one foot in front of the other in a linear path as it walks along. Engravings on this side always include the name of the coin series, the “P” mint mark, and the coin’s date mark, weight, purity, and metal content.
Engravings on the reverse side of the coin always feature the phrase “Australian Koala” above the design field, with the year of minting, weight, purity, and metal content engraved below. On the obverse side of all coins in the program, regardless of year of minting, is the image of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Ian Rank-Broadley.
The face value of Perth Mint Gold Koala coins is based upon the weight of the individual coin in question. All coins are struck using .9999 pure gold, and the face value for each weight is as follows:
Each of the coins has a face value that is representative of the fractional weight of the coin itself, with only the 1/10 oz coin lacking a direct correlation to the weight.
The Gold Kangaroo coin actually has its roots in a coin known as the Australian Gold Nugget. First released in 1987, these gold coins featured the image of a gold nugget on the reverse side. In 1989, this coin’s reverse design was altered to represent the continent’s beloved kangaroo. Following adoption of the kangaroo motif on this coin program, the Perth Mint began following another popular rule used in its other bullion coin programs: rotating designs.
Each year, the Perth Mint releases a gold bullion Australian Kangaroo coin in .9999 pure gold with an all-new design on the reverse side of the coin. The motif always remains the same, capturing the kangaroo in its natural habitat. However, the specific design changes from year to year, with different artists and Perth Mint engravers contributing to the design sets used on the coins.
As with other Perth Mint animal-themed coins, the reverse side of these coins changes on a yearly basis. The reverse always features the same motif, that of the kangaroo in the Outback, but the specific features are added to keep collectors on their toes with each new release of the Australian Gold Kangaroo.
On the obverse of each coin you’ll find the image of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty’s effigy is featured on the obverse of Australian coinage each year, with the designs updated at regular intervals to reflect the Queen’s age on the throne. The most recent is the sixth-generation effigy from Jody Clark.
Without question, the Kookaburra Series is longest-running silver coin from the Perth Mint, which is also available each year in a gold bullion option, as well. A unique bird species native to the continent of Australia, the kookaburra has appeared on a proof silver coin since 1990. The collector’s value of the Australian Gold Kookaburra coin comes from its changing design. Each year, the Perth Mint selects a new design for the coin, always highlighting the kookaburra in its natural habitat.
On the reverse side of each coin is the image of the kookaburra, surrounded by engravings that include “Australian Kookaburra” and the coin’s weight, purity, and metal content. The obverse always features Queen Elizabeth II’s right-profile portrait, along with her name, the nation of issue, and face value of the coin in AUD.
Regardless of the series that your Perth Mint Gold Lunar Coin comes from, there are a number of similarities that exist across the versions and series. First and foremost, all coins are struck using .9999 pure gold and carry status as legal tender coins in the nation of Australia. When it comes to the bullion version of these coins, the Perth Mint has always struck the Lunar Series I and Lunar Series II in the following weights:
On occasion, the Perth Mint has struck higher weight coins in 2 oz, 10 oz, and 1 Kilogram. Generally speaking though, this is reserved for special-edition coins and/or proof coins. Production of these higher weight coins does not take place regularly.
The face value of each of the coins is listed in Australian Dollars (AUD), and starts at $100 for the 1 oz coin. Each of the fractional-weight coins has a face value representative of its fractional value. As such, the values for the fractional weights are $50 (½ oz), $25 (¼ oz), $10 (1/10 oz), and $5 (1/20 oz).
The Perth Mint Gold Lunar coins in proof were restricted in production to a much greater degree than the bullion version. Beginning with the Lunar Series II, the mint expanded the program to include proof coins. The proof coins are only struck in 1 oz, ¼ oz, and 1/10 oz weights.
In 2020, several mints around the globe began to issue commemorative James Bond-themed gold bullion products to honor the upcoming release of a 25th major feature film in the Bond franchise. Alongside the Royal Mint of England, the Perth Mint in Western Australia was a leader in this design field. Eon Productions, which holds the rights to make official James Bond films, has released a total of 24 films prior to the release of No Time To Die as the 25th in the franchise. The new film is memorable as it marks the fifth film since the reboot of the series in 2006, and is also the fifth-and-final appearance for Daniel Craig as James Bond. An entire generation of Bond fans know only Craig in this role, so the upcoming release is special to many around the world.
The Perth Mint has a variety of designs it is planning, but the initial release stuck to classic imagery from the series. Its first release included the visuals from the opening sequences of all films. The reverse field has the gun barrel design with the “007” emblem at the center. In the opening montage of any Bond film, the gun barrel moves around the field of view until it centers in on the silhouette of Bond, who then turns and fires his gun as the 007 logo zooms into view after Bond fires his weapon.
The Perth Mint is often considered a pioneer of some of the most unique and distinctive forms of gold bullion. This is particularly true when it comes to gold bullion coins. During its Lunar Series II program (2008-2019), the Perth Mint introduced the concept of rectangular bullion coins with proof silver issues. However, in 2018, the Perth Mint delivered the first-ever legal-tender bullion coins in rectangular forms. The first of these coins was the Australian Rectangular Dragon Gold Series.
This collection has legal-tender status and is available in both gold and silver. The design of the dragon on the reverse changes each year to capture the dragon in a slightly different design with unique background elements representing the dragon in each release.
Beginning with the 2019 date mark, the Perth Mint celebrated 30 years of The Simpsons on television sets around the globe with the release of a wide range of celebratory Simpsons-themed coins. Many of the releases were available in silver, with colorized proofs and BU versions released in silver. The Perth Mint also released BU gold coins in its Simpsons range, starting with a Homer Simpson coin. This initial design in the series comes with a depiction of Homer, the patriarch of the Simpson family, uttering his classic line “D’oh!” with the “o” formed by a donut that has a bite taken out of it. The background field is filled with sprinkles.
One of the newer bullion collections from the Perth Mint is the Australian Wedge Tail Eagle coin. With designs from John Mercanti, former Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, the series has proven to be one of the best-sellers at the Perth Mint. Introduced in 2014 as a 1 oz silver coin, the investment-grade range of Wedge Tail Eagle coins gained a gold bullion option in 2016. The 1/10 oz Australian Gold Wedge Tail Eagle is the primary choice for investors in this series. The reverse face of the coin changes on a regular basis, though early date marks did not necessarily change each year. For example, repeat designs were used in 2014 and 2015, as well as 2016 and 2017. Since 2018, a new reverse design has been used with each release of the Australian Gold Wedge Tail Eagle.
Please feel free to contact JM Bullion with any inquiries about the gold coin listed here from the Perth Mint. You can reach our team members on the phone at 800-276-6508, on the web using our live chat, and via our email address. You can find detailed information regarding payment methods on our Payment FAQ page, and don’t hesitate to ask further questions about payment options if you have them after reading the FAQ page.