Australia is one of the world’s hubs for silver bullion production. While the Perth Mint is among the world leaders in the production of silver coins, it is not even the only silver coin producer on the continent. The Royal Australian Mint also produces silver bullion coins for collectors and investors. In the paragraphs below, you can learn more about the silver coins from both the Perth Mint and the Royal Australian Mint.
Lunar-themed silver coin collections can all trace their roots in the modern era to the Perth Mint. In 1996, the Perth Mint launched the first comprehensive lunar-themed collection the world has ever seen. The silver coins from the Perth Mint in this range originated with 1/2 oz, 1 oz, and 1 Kilo silver coins. Over the course of three coin programs, as of 2020, Lunar Series coins from the Perth Mint include bullion weights of 1/2 oz silver, 1 oz silver, 2 oz silver, 5 oz silver, 10 oz silver, 1 Kilo silver, and 10 kilo silver.
The focus of Lunar Series collections from the Perth Mint is on the 12-year cycle of the Zodiac. Unlike other series, the Perth Mint collections launch a new 12-year series on the exact year that the Zodiac resets itself. The Chinese Lunar Calendar, or Zodiac, follows a very specific schedule for its 12-year cycle that starts with the Year of the Mouse and concludes with the Year of the Pig. For the Lunar Series I, Lunar Series II, and Lunar Series III collections, the Perth Mint launches each in the Year of the Mouse and concludes each in the Year of the Pig.
Examples of silver coins you can purchase from Perth Mint Lunar Series include:
The oldest silver bullion coin series from the Perth Mint is the Australian Silver Kookaburra. Introduced in 1990, the Australian Silver Kookaburra is more than just the oldest silver bullion coin series from the mint. It also happens to be the coin that set a trend at the mint. Prior to its release, no coin program had focused on the native wildlife species of the planet. The only previous issue from the Perth Mint with a track record was the Australian Gold Nugget issued starting in 1986. While those coins established a pattern of feature native Australian themes, the focus wasn’t on wildlife and did not offer new images each year.
With the 1990 introduction of the Australian Silver Kookaburra Coins, the Perth Mint laid the foundation for a series of subsequent coins that featured native wildlife species in new reliefs each year. The Australian Kookaburra collection primarily offers 1 oz silver and 1 Kilo silver coins each year. The Silver Kookaburra series of silver coins offers fresh designs on the reverse each year, with the primary 1990 design being the only one that was ever featured again in the series with the 2020 coin recreating the 1990 design on a portion of the obverse design field to mark the 30th anniversary of the collection.
For nearly two decades, the Australian Silver Kookaburra was the major silver bullion coin offered by the Perth Mint. Starting in 2007, the mint expanded its series of silver coins for sale to include the Australian Silver Koala. The koala is one of the most recognizable native species from the Australian continent. One of several unique marsupial species, the koala is often misidentified as the koala bear. Like the coins issued before it, the Australian Silver Koala coins are offered in familiar weights and versions.
BU Australian Silver Koala coins are available each year in 1 oz silver and 1 Kilo silver coins as the primary options. Proof versions of the coins are available from year to year. Following in the footsteps of the Australian Silver Kookaburra, the Australian Silver Koala coins are available with a new depiction of the koala on the reverse of the coins each year.
The kangaroo might be the most visible symbol of Australia, but its presence on Australian coinage had largely been confined to circulation currency. One of the most famous appearances of the kangaroo was on the Copper Penny first issued by the Perth Mint in the 1950s as a circulation form of currency prior to the decimalization movement prior to 1965. The Australian Silver Kangaroo was issued prior to 2016 as proof and high-relief proof coins only. While each of the coins was produced in 1 oz and 1 kilo options, there was little continuity to the series.
In 2016, the Perth Mint joined the Royal Canadian Mint in establishing a regular-issue 1 oz silver bullion coin with .9999 pure silver coin. The Australian Silver Kangaroo coins feature the same reverse design of a leaping kangaroo that was featured on the Australian Copper Penny in the 1950s. Unlike other silver bullion coins from the Perth Mint, the new Australian Silver Kangaroo coins did not feature a new reverse design of the kangaroo each year. In the spirit of the American Silver Eagle, Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, and the British Silver Britannia, the Australian Silver Kangaroo features the same design on the reverse each year.
Introduced in 2014, the Australian Wedge Tail Eagle Silver coins are a truly unique combination of American design and Australian native species. Former US Mint Chief Engraver John Mercanti contributes the designs on the reverse of the Wedge Tail Eagle in this series, with limited mintage figures in the 1 oz silver collection. While the obverse sides of the Australian Wedge Tail Coins feature Queen Elizabeth II in each year, it is the reverse side that delivers the collectible nature in this series.
The Perth Mint used the same design on the reverse of the 1 oz silver coins in this collection in 2014 and 2015. The 2016 and 2017 coins also shared a common design element, but from that point onward the mint used new designs each year. The 2018, 2019, and 2020 coins all offer distinctive designs. The mintage figures have been adjusted over the course of the series to reflect its popularity. Like the Australian Silver Kangaroo bullion coins, these items are only available in 1 oz weights in the silver series.
Another wildlife-themed series from the Perth Mint, the Australian Silver Emu happens to be one of the newest collections from the mint in this genre. The Australian Silver Emu coins debuted in 2018 and have limited mintages that, in the early years, have been set at just 30,000 silver coins. Each one features 1 Troy oz of .9999 pure silver and is available in Brilliant Uncirculated condition.
The reverse of the Australian Silver Emu coins changes from one year to the next to depict the native wildlife species in a different setting. As of the 2018 introduction of the coins, the obverse has featured only the sixth-generation right-profile bust of Queen Elizabeth II as created by Jody Clark.
Another new series to feature from the Perth Mint, the Marvel Series of silver bullion coins is a departure from the many of the collections mentioned above as it is limited in both its mintage figures and the length of the release schedule. While the Lunar Series collections turn over every 12 years, so far, and the other wildlife-themed coins are annual releases issued every year, the Marvel Series is an eight-coin collection highlighting the major characters from the Marvel Comic universe that have recently featured in new Marvel Cinematic Universe films.
One unique aspect of this collection is the timing of each design release in the collection. Each one of the superhero-themed designs was issued by the Perth Mint in the order of and in conjunction with a new film coming to the big screen. Each coin had 1 Troy oz of .9999 pure silver and was available in Brilliant Uncirculated condition with a mintage cap of just 50,000 coins. The designs were released in the following order:
Each coin has a pure silver reverse design depicting each of the characters from the Marvel Comic Universe as originally depicted in the comic books and not how each is captured in the feature films. Interestingly, the Perth Mint stuck with the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse of all of the coins in this series. This fifth-generation Australian design was still the norm for obverse imagery in 2017, but in 2018 the mint began to use the new Jody Clark sixth-generation design on most of its silver bullion. The only other holdout was the Lunar Series II collection. The Marvel Series continued with the Broadley design through the 2020 Venom issue.
While you can purchase the coins in bulk allotments as the primary choice, the Perth Mint also offered a small number of coins from the original production run for each design inside of comic-themed cards. These cards sealed the coins in a capsule card individually and feature Certificate of Authenticity information along with full-color artwork matching the design from the reverse face.
One of the most beloved animated series of all-time is The Simpsons. Debuting on The Tracy Ullman Show in 1987 as 30-second animated shorts, the Simpson family eventually became so popular it earned a 30-minute animated series on FOX. More than 30 years later, The Simpsons remains on the airwaves and the Perth Mint honors that remarkable achievement with a series of silver bullion coins for investors.
Most of the designs available come in the 5-coin character series. Each coin has a colorized reverse design with a different member of the Simpson family, 1 Troy oz of .9999 pure silver, and a limited mintage of just 5,000 coins. Designs available in this specific release include:
Other designs available in the broader Simpsons-theme from the Perth Mint included the colorized Duff Beer coin in the shape of a can of beer and the 2020 Krusty the Clown design. The Krusty the Clown coin is the only one that is not colorized. All coins feature Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse is the sixth-generation design from Jody Clark.
The Perth Mint produces a large volume of silver coin programs. It would be impossible to catalog all of its releases over the years, but we can focus in on some of the more popular one-off issues and shorter programs the Perth Mint has released in recent years that struck a chord with investors and collectors:
Released in 2020 and planned to coincide with the release of the anticipated 25th James Bond feature film, a wide range of James Bond silver bullion specimens were produced by the Perth Mint. Though the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the film’s theater debut into 2021, the Perth Mint continued with its production schedule for James Bond silver, offering a coin collection and several silver foils.
The Perth Mint first offered Tuvalu James Bond Series silver coins, all of which were 1 Troy oz .9999 pure silver coins. The first release featured designs from Joseph Caroff:
Building on the release of its James Bond silver coins, the Perth Mint released another Tuvalu silver series. This time, silver bullion coins took a backseat to the release of silver foils. Each silver foil includes 5 Grams of .999 pure silver and does not have an assigned face value. The obverse has its original, brilliant silver finish with the 007 logo included. The reverse side of each silver foil has a beautiful photo-quality, full-color design depicting the theatrical movie poster issued for advertising purposes to theaters around the world. These designs represents the five films in which Daniel Craig has depicted Bond, including his final turn in the role in No Time To Die. Designs include:
Each of the silver foils is limited in mintage to just 1,000 foils in all. The foils are housed in clear Perspex cases and shipped inside of presentation boxes. The foil’s Perspex case can be mounted directly to the wall for display or left upright in the base of the presentation box for display on shelves or desktops.
Commonly referred to as the Mother-and-Baby coins, the Next Generation Series is an impressive piedfort series that offers 2 oz silver coins. Each specimen is an Australian release with a face value in Australian Dollars (AUD). The program launched in 2018 with the Koala Mother and Baby. Each of the designs is limited to 75,000 silver coins only with 2 Troy oz of .9999 pure silver. The obverse of the 2018 debut coin had the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty used on Australian coins from 1999 to 2018/2019. Her Majesty is featured with the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara on her head and a radial line design in the background field. While the background design element persisted, in 2019 the new Jody Clark effigy of the Queen debuted on the coins. This design includes the Queen’s full neckline and shoulders as she now wears the George IV State Diadem Crown.
The piedfort term refers to the unique blank used in production. These 2 oz silver coins do not use a larger blank diameter, but rather use a thicker blank. The diameter is the same as that of a traditional 1 oz silver coin, but is twice as thick. The designs on the reverse of the coins in this collection include:
Issued in 2017 as a follow-up collection to the Tuvalu Norse Gods Series, the Perth Mint released a 2 oz antique series of Tuvalu Norse Goddess coins. The new three-coin series featured wooden display boxes and illustrated shippers for each coin, with the individual designs limited to 2,000 issues only and a numbered Certificate of Authenticity available with each coin. The coins have 2 Troy oz of .9999 pure silver content with high-relief designs and an antique polish creating brilliant visuals with the appearance of old-world coinage. The obverse side of each coin comes with the famous Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. The reverse fields offer the following design elements (in order):
Continuing its focus on the gods of Norse mythology, the Perth Mint is out with a new collection of Norse-themed designs starting in 2020. Entitled the Gods of Olympus, this exciting new series features 1 oz silver coins with .9999 pure silver content in Brilliant Uncirculated condition. The coins are offered in protective plastic capsules with a limited mintage, to date, of 13,500 per coin design. The obverse of the coins comes with the latest Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in the design field. On the reverse, the designs include:
Like many other mints around the world, the Royal Australian Mint has its own collection of lunar-themed silver coins. The coins in the Royal Australian Mint release are 1 Troy oz silver specimens with .999 pure silver content and a limited mintage per design of only 50,000 silver coins. Like other programs, the RAM Lunar Series uses new designs for each of the animals in the 12-year cycle of the Zodiac. All of the coins feature the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. This design is the Jody Clark design that began to appear on Australian coins in the 2019 date mark. The coins have a unique element on the obverse that includes a Zodiac wheel, with the 12 o’clock position featuring the animal depicted for that matching date mark. For example, in 2020 the mouse is at the top of the wheel directly above the Queen. Reverse designs include:
The Perth Mint doesn’t hold all the glory when it comes to Australian silver bullion coins. The Royal Australian Mint, the sovereign mint of the federal government, recently introduced an exciting new collection of triangular bullion coins known as the Shipwreck Series. The four-coin collection offers two different images of a famous shipwreck to have occurred off the coast of Australia on triangular bullion coins that boast 1 Troy oz of .999 pure silver and ship with special-made triangular capsules.
For each coin, the reverse side showcases the ship honored in the design as it was originally built, sailing on the waters in better days before it met its fate. When the coin is rearranged so you can read the inscriptions on this face, the ship is depicted as it can now be found, upside down. The obverse of each features a bust of Queen Elizabeth II in a small circular seal in the top corner of the design while the remainder of the field is dedicated to capturing the chaos of the shipwreck as it played out during the ship’s sinking. Designs available in the series to date include:
The Perth Mint may not be the official sovereign mint of Australia, but it is the oldest operating mint in the country and has an international reputation for the production of high-quality gold and silver bullion. The Perth Mint was built in 1899 as the third and final Royal Mint branch location in Australia, but unlike the Sydney Mint and Melbourne Mint, it would never fulfill its role as a major branch location for the Royal Mint of England because the federation process in Australian began in 1901. The mint did produce gold sovereigns and half-sovereigns for use in Australia through 1931 before transitioning to produce gold bullion bars. The Currency Act of 1965 authorized construction of the new Royal Australian Mint as a sovereign national mint for Australia and bestowed legal tender status on the coins produced at the Perth Mint. As of 1970, the Perth Mint is a wholly-owned entity of the government of the state of Western Australia.
Opened in 1965, the Royal Australian Mint is located in the federal capital city of Canberra and is the first mint on the Australian continent that was never a branch of the Royal Mint of England. It is also the only mint in Australia with the power to issue Australian legal tender circulation currency. The Royal Australian Mint has the capacity to produce two million coins per day and has or previously did issue coins for a number of Asian and South Pacific nations, including New Zealand (1969 only), Tonga, Western Samoa, Fiji, Malaysia, Thailand, and even Israel.
JM Bullion is committed to carrying a wide range of bullion products for our customers, including the wide variety of beautiful coins from the Australian mints mentioned above. Please feel free to contact us with any questions at 800-276-6508. You can also chat with us live online or send us an email with your inquiries.