One of the most common and beloved designs on Australian currency is that of the kangaroo. The largest marsupial species in the world, the kangaroo is instantly recognizable with its short arms, long, muscular legs, and its powerful tail. Easily associated with the nation of Australia, the kangaroo is now common on a wide range of Perth Mint bullion coinage, from gold and silver, to the newly introduced platinum bullion coin. Below you can read more about the new Platinum Kangaroo and the broader history of Australian kangaroo coinage from the Perth Mint.
Recent years have seen the Perth Mint expand not only its silver bullion coin programs, but also venture into a broader platinum coining approach. Between 2018 and 2020, there were a number of firsts for Perth Mint platinum. This included the 2020 introduction of a Lunar Series Platinum coin with the launch of its new Lunar Series III collection. However, the coin that made other leaps forward in platinum coining possible was the 2018 Australian Kangaroo 1 oz Platinum Coin.
The 2018 release of the Australian Kangaroo Platinum Coin marked the first-ever release of such a coin and expanded upon the already available Australian Kangaroo Gold Coin and Australian Kangaroo Silver coin. The release of this new version of Australian Kangaroo coinage made the kangaroo series the first major issue from the mint to have gold, silver, and platinum options available to investors. The new Australian Kangaroo Platinum Coin has 1 Troy oz of .9995 pure platinum. Brand-new from the mint, the coins are available in Brilliant Uncirculated condition inside of individual protective plastic capsules, sealed rolls of 20 coins, or boxes that contain five rolls for a total of 100 platinum coins. Each of the coins has a face value of $100 (AUD).
On the reverse of the new Australian Kangaroo Platinum coin, you will find a depiction of the Red Kangaroo species leaping across the design field. This is the same design that has appeared on countless other Australian coins, including select issues of the Australian Kangaroo Gold coin and the annual issues of the Australian Kangaroo Silver coin. The design is accompanied by inscriptions of “Australian Kangaroo” on the top rocker and “1 oz 9995 Platinum” along the bottom rocker, as well as a date mark.
The obverse side of the coins debuted in 2018 with the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty is shown in this particular design in right-profile relief wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara. More recent releases have the Jody Clark portrait of Elizabeth II. This design shows the Queen’s neckline and shoulders in a currency portrait for the first time since 1966 on Australian coins. She is depicted aged 89 in this portrait and wears the George IV State Diadem Crown. This face of the coin includes inscriptions of “Elizabeth II,” “Australia,” and “100 Dollars.”
As mentioned above, the Australian Kangaroo Platinum Coin’s 2018 introduction builds on a history of kangaroo designs on modern bullion coins from the Perth Mint that dates back nearly 30 years. In 1990, the Perth Mint introduced its first kangaroo-themed coin series with the Australian Kangaroo Gold Coin. This gold bullion series was launched in 1986 as the Australian Nugget Gold Series, but was rebranded in 1990 to coincide with the release of the Australian Kookaburra Silver Coin. Both collections marked the start of a theme in Australian bullion coins that focused on depicting the many unique native wildlife species of the Australian continent.
While the Australian Kangaroo Gold Coins are available in 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz gold, 2016 brought the introduction of a new kangaroo series.
The Australian Gold, Australian Silver, and now Australian Platinum Kangaroo coins have all used at one point in time or another the famous image of a leaping red kangaroo as the primary reverse design. The Australian Kangaroo Gold Series changes its reverse design each year and has used this image at least once, while the Australian Kangaroo Silver and Platinum coins use the same image on the reverse each year. That leaping kangaroo shown in left-profile relief with a sunburst around the outer design rim is inspired by a coin design that first appeared in circulation in Australia in 1938.
In 1911, the Perth Mint and other facilities in Australia issued a copper Australian penny. This penny was part of the Australian pound denomination used until 1966 when Australia decimalized its currency. From 1911 to 1936, those pennies were struck with the British monarch’s effigy on the obverse and the denomination on the reverse. In 1938, the production of a new reverse design started. Created by George Kruger Gray, that reverse design depicted the red kangaroo species leaping across the coin’s surface with the Commonwealth star included. This beautiful design is the inspiration for the red kangaroo design found on the Australian Kangaroo Silver and Platinum Coins, and also featured at times on the gold bullion coin. The Copper Kangaroo penny was struck in Australia through 1964.
The Perth mint has a unique background in the history of Australian coining. Now an independent nation in the Commonwealth, Australia was originally a colony of the United Kingdom. The Royal Mint established three colonial branch facilities on the Australian continent in the 19th century: the Sydney Mint, Melbourne Mint, and Perth Mint. The Perth Mint was the final of the three mints to open as it was completed in 1899. However, Australia’s federation movement began in 1901 and would eventually change the trajectory of the Perth Mint’s future.
Perth was initially founded to refine gold from the vast gold reserves discovered in Western Australia, as well as strike British colonial sovereigns and half-sovereigns for the colony.
Through the early-20th century, it would continue with these goals as the Sydney Mint eventually closed and it operated alongside the Melbourne Mint as the only operating mints in the country.
By 1965, independence was taking greater hold in Australia. The Currency Act of 1965 established the new Royal Australian Mint as the sovereign mint of the nation. The Perth Mint remained under the jurisdiction of Great Britain through 1970 and was then transferred to the authority of the state government of Western Australia. Today, it remains the oldest operating mint in Australia and is a global leader in the production of bullion coins.
You can get your hands on the new Australian Kangaroo Platinum Coins with the help of Provident Metals. If you have any questions about purchasing these platinum coins, please feel free to ask. Provident Metals’ customer service is available at 800-313-3315, online using our live chat, and via our email address.