Australian Silver Koala Coins

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Next to the kangaroo, the koala is another iconic animal of Australia that has become something of a secondary symbol for the country. Cute, seemingly docile and ursine in appearance, the eucalypti-eating marsupial that is so commonly mistaken for being a species of bear appeal to both young people and grown-ups all over the world. Due to its immense popularity both within and outside of Australia, the Perth Mint decided to release a series of gold coins sometime in 2009 – 2010. Prior to the release of the ongoing Gold Koala series however, they had already been minting Silver Koala bullion coins since as early as 2007.

Made of 99.9% fine pure silver and available in 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/10 oz, 5 oz, 10 oz, and 1kg, (with face values of A$1, 50 cents, 10 cents, A$8, A$10, A$30 dollars, respectively) all coins are made in high-relief proof quality and are legal tender.[1] Some versions of the Silver Koala feature selective gilding which renders the koala in gold set against a backdrop of mirror-finished silver. The gilded Silver Koala types incorporates 24-carat pure gold in a selective gilding process that creates a contrasting aesthetic which enhances the beauty of the coin.[2] Despite the addition of gold, the gilded Silver Koalas still maintain a similar face value. Each Silver Koala, regardless of whatever version, changes its reverse design every year, while the obverse design featuring the bust of Queen Elizabeth II with the legend: ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA (sometimes TUVALU), along with its date of mintage and face-value remains constant. The reverse design is inscribed with the weight/denomination of the coin as well as its silver fineness, accompanied by a discreet mintmark to identify it as a proof.

Colored versions of the Silver Koalas also exist, with the first being a highly detailed 1 oz, silver coin featuring a koala sleeping on a eucalyptus branch in selective coloured detail minted as part of a set called the Australian Outback Series (minted 2012).[3] The second colored version came out in the same year; a ½ oz coin featuring two koalas on a tree-branch with borders shaped like a heart. Called the ‘Forever Love’ coin,[4] it was released as part of a Valentine’s Day celebration commemorative coin. Other versions of the Silver Koala now exist, with specially minted limited edition coins being popular. As it is, all Silver Koala yearly mintages follow a certain specified mintage limit of only a set number of coins for that year, making them instant collectors’ items as well as investment material, and with the sheer variety, attempting to collect a whole set of the different versions of a specific year’s release is in itself a challenge.

High-relief versions of the one ounce Silver Koalas also exist, although their most popular coins by far are the gilded versions and the kilo coins. Because of their affordability, they are prime targets for collectors with only middling incomes, as well as numismatists who wish to purchase bullion as investment but don’t’ have the money to invest in gold coins. Due to their sheer variety, Silver Koalas are a favourite among numismatists, as their premium price and their asking price steadily increase by the year as the coins become rarer and rarer. As with all standard Australian Perth Mint bullion the Silver Koalas comes packaged in hard acrylic rounds that protect it from damage.

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