Coin of the Month: Perth Mint Silver Koala

If you’re a kid with a coin collection that involves a lot of animals, you’ll want to be sure to add the Silver Koala from Australia’s Perth Mint to your collection. This coins features the oh-so-cute koala, a native of Australia, and is within a kid-sized budget.

About the Koala

While often called Koala Bears, koalas are actually marsupials, like kangaroos. Marsupials are a type of mammal that has a pouch to carry their young in after birth.  These animals are herbivores, which means that they only eat vegetation – mostly leaves from the eucalyptus tree. Koalas are very low energy animals. It’s hard to believe, but they sleep for nearly 20 hours a day! The four remaining hours are mostly spent collecting and eating food.

Koalas are an important symbol in Australia, often appearing as a mascot. The koala also has its own limited edition coin, the Silver Koala. The Australian Perth Mint has issued these coins every year since 2007 as part of their silver bullion program. If you work hard, you might be able to find a coin from each year from initial issue, which will make your collection more valuable.

Silver Koala Coin Design

The Silver Koala coin comes in a variety of sizes: 1/10th oz, 1/2 oz, 1 ounce, 5 oz, 10oz, and a 1 kilo size. These are fairly affordable coins for young collectors. The design changes year to year.

Obverse: The front of the coin features a profile of Queen Elizabeth II, who is the symbolic head of state for Australia, part of the Commonwealth of Nations.  Inscribed around the coin are the words “Elizabeth II,” “Australia,” and the denomination of the coin.

Reverse: The back of the coin features a different rendition of the koala each year. The 2016 coin features the koala climbing with all four paws across a tree branch, with eucalyptus leaves hanging overhead. The depiction is surrounded by the words “Australian Kola,” as well as the year of mintage, the weight of the coin, and the marking “999 Silver,” which means that the coin is made of .999% pure silver.

These coins can be used as money in Australia but, as Brilliant Uncirculated special edition coins, are worth far more than their face value.

Other Silver Coins with Animals

The Perth Mint, founded in 1899, is one of the most respected Sovereign Mints in the world. Besides the Silver Koala, it also produces The Silver Kookaburra, Silver Kangaroo and Silver Platypus, as well as the Perth Lunar Series, which features animal designs derived from the Chinese New Year calendar.  If you’re into animal coins, the Perth Mint isn’t the only place to look. You may also want to consider the Chinese Silver Panda and the Armenian’s Noah’s Ark

The Silver Koala is a great addition to both coin collections and coin investment portfolios. Their annually changing design increases their value as collectibles, while their high silver content is valuable in and of itself.

Keep reading to learn more about what makes a coin valuable.