Coin of the Month: The Australian Gold Kangaroo

Kangaroos are everywhere in their native country of Australia. With over 30 million kangaroos on the continent, it’s no surprise that they’re the unofficial symbol of Australia. They appear on everything—from the design of the Royal Australian Air Force to one of their most popular bullion coins, the Australian Gold Kangaroo.

The Gold Kangaroo is a great choice for young investors and collectors. Here’s what you need to know about the gold coin:

History of the Kangaroo

The Gold Kangaroo coin may also be referred to as the Australian Gold Nugget. That’s because when the coin was first minted in 1986, it featured a picture of various gold nuggets found in Australia. Of course, no nugget is as photogenic or as well known as the kangaroo, so in 1989 the design was changed to feature the Australian Red Kangaroo.

Like the Chinese Silver Panda coin, which features a different rendition of the giant panda each year, the Gold Kangaroo features a different design of the kangaroo from year to year. Because the design changes each year, the coin has a higher investment potential than coins that carry the same design from year to year.

Values of the Kangaroo

The coin is produced by the Australian government’s Perth Mint and is 99.9% pure gold. It comes in several different sizes:

  • 1 troy oz, with a face value of $100 Australian Dollars (AUD)
  • 1/2 troy oz, with a face value of $50.00 AUD
  • 1/4 troy oz, with a face value of $25.00 AUD
  • 1/10th troy oz, with a face value of $15.00 AUD

You’ll have to pay more than face value to add a Kangaroo to your coin collection though. The $15 Kangaroo is the best bet for a kid-size budget.

The Kangaroo’s Design

Regardless of the size of coin, each Gold Kangaroo has the same reeded edges and the design.

  • Obverse/Front: The front design features Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, wearing her sovereign crown. She’s pictured because Australia is part of the Commonwealth of Nations whose Constitutional Monarch is Queen Elizabeth. The front of the coin is inscribed with “Elizabeth II” and “Australia,” as well as the dollar amount the coin represents.
  • Reverse/Back: The back of the coin features a different design of the red kangaroo each year. The reverse is inscribed with “Australian Kangaroo,” as well as the year of issue, and the measure of gold. This years’ coin (2015) features a kangaroo poised in a jumping position, with the moon behind it.

The Australian Gold Kangaroo can be used as legal tender in Australia and is a bullion coin, which means that it is considered an investable coin. It’s is a great choice for anyone looking for a good investment and a fun way to add some interest to their coin collection.