The Perth Mint has produced a large number of different silver coins over the years, but one of the most enigmatic and representative of Australia itself is the koala coin. With Queen Elizabeth II on one side and a furry little marsupial on the other, this is a coin that expresses the Great British empire better than almost any other could. This rare coin has only been minted for a few years, but already its popularity has begun to soar all over the world because of its annually changing design and excellent aesthetic.
The First Silver Koala
The first of the silver koala coins came about in 2007. With one of the earliest designs featuring a koala moving up a tree branch while nibbling on some eucalyptus, this coin was well enough designed to capture the attention of numerous collectors. While the coin's design was to be legal tender of $1 Australian, the amount of silver that each kind of coin contains is more than enough to make the intrinsic value of the silver koala coin far more than its face value. While the first of the silver koala was released in the one ounce size range, the list of different sizes has expanded considerably.
While in 2007 there was only the one ounce size of silver koala, in 2008 the Mint came out with three additional sizes, and each size has its own denomination. There are now four kinds of silver koala coins being minted in Perth: the $30 kilo size, the $10 10 ounce size, the $1 single ounce size and the $.50 half ounce size.
Each silver koala features a different kind of koala designed by a different artist. With each additional year, there is an additional set of minted coins that is generally limited. For example, the shimmering backgrounds of the 2009 half ounce silver koala coins are rare because there were only 15,334 of these minted in that year. Beyond that, the half ounce silver koala minted in 2008 only totaled 13,944 individual coins. While the sizes are different, each year features a unified design across every size minted. Since every year's design is separate and distinct from one another, it is easy to tell them apart.
For example, the 2007 version features a koala clinging almost clumsily to its tree branch. By contrast, the 2008 silver koala features a mother with her baby on her back. The 2009 version of this coin features a slightly pudgy koala that is sitting downright leisurely on its branch. Other versions include the 2010 coin, which features a koala munching on some gum leaves, and the 2011 version of the coin's depiction of a small family playing together.
The silver koala series of coins is a great addition to most any collection. While it is fairly new, its mintings were fairly small in number and extremely popular even in their first few years. This is a coin that is almost certain to be treasured by collectors over the long term.