Posted on January 19, 2018
Among the most popular annual releases from the Perth Mint is the Australian Silver Koala. With so many Australian Animal coin releases each year, it’s hard for investors and collectors to pick a favorite. The Silver Koala coin is counted among the best though from the mint alongside the Australian Gold Kangaroo, Australian Silver Kookaburra, and the more recent introduction of the Australian Silver Kangaroo.
For 2018, the Australian Silver Koala is back with yet another new design for the reverse of the coin. You have a lot of choices when you’re buying silver online, but there are few who pass up the value and beauty of the Silver Koala. If you’ve been on the fence about the Koala in the past, there’s been a change this year that enhances the value of the Silver Koala as a part of any numismatists investment portfolio. Learn about the 2018 Australian Silver Koala below!
As with any other release of the Australian Silver Koala, there’s a new reverse design for the 2018 release. This year’s design comes from Natasha Muhl and features the koala as it clutches to the branches of a eucalyptus tree. Three of the koala’s four, clawed feet are clutching the tree for balance as one hand is free to reach for some of the gum leaves on the tree that the koala relies upon for the vast majority of its daily nutritional needs. There’s more to the 2018 Australian Silver Koala though than the introduction of a new design.
For the first time, the Australian Silver Koala now features .9999 pure silver content. Since its introduction in 2007, the Silver Koala coin has been struck using .999 fine silver. The decision of the Perth Mint to increase the silver content falls in line with changes occurring at the mint with its bullion programs since 2016.
For all silver bullion coins from the Perth Mint, the standard release of the coins has featured .999 pure silver content. Among its modern offerings, the Australian Silver Kookaburra was the first. Released in 1990, it has featured .999 silver purity for 28 years now. The Silver Koala has, likewise, contained .999 pure silver since its 2007 introduction. However, when the Perth Mint unveiled the Australian Silver Kangaroo as the latest member of the annual release catalog in 2016, things began to change.
The popularity of the Australian Silver Kangaroo and its .9999 pure silver content led the Perth Mint to consider changes for its other major silver issues. In 2018, both the Australian Silver Kookaburra coin and the Australian Silver Koala were upgraded to feature .9999 pure silver to bring them in line with the popularity of and demand for the Silver Kangaroo coin.
The primary issue of the Silver Koala is the 2018 1 oz Australian Silver Koala. If the upgrade to .9999 pure silver content wasn’t enough to attract investors, and even collectors, the mintage level of the coin is likely to get the job done. The 1 oz Silver Koala has a limited mintage of just 300,000 coins for 2018. The coins are available individually inside of protective plastic capsules, or in bulk orders of 20 coin inside of sealed rolls and boxes of 100 coins that feature a total of five rolls of 20 coins.
Each of the 1 oz Australian Silver Koala coins has a face value of $1 (AUD) backed by Australia’s government. While the 1 oz bullion issue is available with a limited mintage, there is no mintage cap on the other offering in 2018.
The 1 oz silver coin’s larger cousin is the 2018 1 Kilo Australian Silver Koala coin. The 1 kilo coins have the same design elements and metal purity level as the 1 oz coin. The mintage figures of the 1 kilo Silver Koala is different though. The Perth Mint uses an “unlimited mintage” cap for its 1 Kilo coins. What this means is that the mint will strike the 1 Kilo coins to meet the demand of investors throughout the year, but only up until the end of the calendar year of issue for the coin. Once December 2018 rolls around, the Perth Mint will stop coining the 1 Kilo version of the coin.
Each 2018 1 Kilo Silver Koala is available only inside of individual protective capsules. The coins contain 1 Kilo, or 32.15 Troy oz, of .9999 pure silver with a face value of $30 (AUD) backed by the federal government of Australia.
As mentioned above, the reverse of the 2018 Australian Silver Koala coin has a new design. Each year since 2007 has seen the Silver Koala receive a new design for this side of the coin. Other elements of the design on the reverse include the name of the series engraved above, “Australian Koala,” and important identifying marks. The Perth Mint’s “P” mint mark is found to the left of the coin just off the koala’s nose. Below the design field itself is the year of issue, weight, purity, and metal content engraved as “2018 1 Kilo 9999 Silver.”
On the obverse of the coins is the typical profile of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty features on the obverse of all Australian coinage and is captured in this particular design by Ian Rank-Broadley. This is the fourth-generation depiction of the Queen to appear since 1953, and remains the chosen design for Australian coins.
All 2018 Australian Silver Koala Coins are available initially in BU condition. Coins in this condition exhibit no indications of wear and tear on the surfaces of the coin. However, there is always the potential for minor flaws to exist as a result of the coining process. These flaws are limited in scope to breaks in the luster, spotted surfaces, or contact marks.
Originally opened as the third and final Royal Mint location in 1899, today the Perth Mint is the oldest operating mint facility in Australia. The Sydney Mint and Melbourne Mint were part of the Royal Mint system alongside the Perth Mint. The Sydney Mint was the first to close, with Perth and the Melbourne Mint providing coinage capacity to Australia as it underwent the federation process during the 20th century as it moved toward independence from Britain.
In 1965, the nation passed a currency act establishing a new sovereign mint in Canberra to be called the Royal Australian Mint. The Melbourne Mint closed and the Perth Mint transferred ownership and control from Britain to the state government of Western Australia. Today, the Perth Mint is arguably one of the world’s most important minting operations. Its annual silver issues are highly coveted, both for design and metal purity.
The 2018 Australian Silver Koala coins are currently on presale in our online catalog, but you don’t have to wait for January 29th to make your move. Buy the coins now before their gone! JM Bullion uses our blog and social media account to keep our customers in the know on precious metals. Come back each week to catch our latest blog posts on goings-on in the industry and upcoming releases, and follows us on Facebook to get updates or engage in conversation with fellow precious metal enthusiasts.