Silver coins issued by government mints have long been a great way to start coin collecting as well as to get into precious metal investing without the big cost outlay that comes with higher-priced metals like gold or palladium. No surprise and because there has been such a demand from both a numismatic perspective as well as speculation, governments have responded and also made a bit of revenue along the way for the state coffers. The Australian Perth Mint’s issue of the Perth Mint Silver Koala is a great example, showing off the skill and beauty included in the Australian Silver Bullion Coin Program.
The Coin Description and Details
The Perth Mint Silver Koala is made with the highest quality content of silver rated at .999. Weighing with 32.15 troy ounces per coin, the Silver Koala has been a high demand coin for a while now because it has such a strong eye appeal as well as finish in manufacturing.
Technically, the Silver Koala Coin can function as an official Australian denomination, but that would be selling the coin short. Most purchasing of the coin has been for its attraction and collectability and the unique finish the coins included. Many note the coins gleam quite brilliantly when placed beneath the light for viewing.
The Silver Koala motif utilizes one of Australia’s most beloved animals and shows the koala making its way across a thin eucalyptus tree branch in a characteristically delicate fashion. At the top of the coin, an all-caps inscription reads, “AUSTRALIAN KOALA”. Alternatively, at the bottom of the same coin side beneath the Koala is another all-caps inscription that reads, “2016 1 KILO 999 SILVER” in smaller lettering as well as the Perth Mint’s signature “P” mintmark. The alternate side of the Silver Koala coin displays a portrait of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The entire coin design and detail were produced by the world-renowned illustrator, Ian Rank-Broadley. The Queen is profiled facing right and the border of the Queen’s side of the coin is detailed with the denomination.
Why the Koala?
Of all the animals native to Australia, the Koala is one of the most internationally recognized. It might have had something to do with the Qantas Airline commercials in the 1970s and 80s, but the little tree-loving mammal has grown synonymous with Australia as a country over the decades since. As an animal, the marsupial often sleeps upwards of 20 hours each day. They inhabit Australia’s eucalyptus woodlands, primarily consuming eucalyptus leaves for sustenance. Their idiosyncratic appearance is immediately recognized throughout the world. The unique physical characteristics of koalas also make tree-dwelling quite easy. Koalas can grip branches with ease thanks to their incredibly sharp claws, and their opposable digits empower them to grab eucalyptus leaves with precision. Koalas are known to sit on tree branches for hours at a time as the thick fur on their backsides makes it quite easy to spend extended periods of time on rough surfaces. Most notably, they look like living teddy bears, which makes Koalas universally lovable.
In recent years Koalas have been harmed and reduced in population due to numerous wildfires in Australia, making it vividly apparent how the very environment that sustains the marsupials and can become their greatest enemy aside from development. Eucalyptus trees are packed with natural tree oil that is explosively flammable during wildfires and burns rapidly. Thousands of Koalas are killed by fires every year as a result. Protection groups and rescue organizations have been working overtime to save injured Koalas all over the country, making their symbology on the Perth Silver Koala coin that much more important today than ever.
Annual Release and Distribution
The Perth Mint releases the Silver Koala Coins on a yearly basis. The first Silver Koala Coins were issued in 2007, and the series has continued ever since. Generally limited to one ounce and one kilogram, the runs are short. Overall, the Mint production has so far totaled 300,000 annually of the one-ounce size Silver Koala Coins. This low production has made every issuance of the silver coin collectible, which was intentional.
The collectability value was increased further by the choice of manufacturer. The Perth Mint being responsible for the creation of the Silver Koala Coins is a testament to their value and legitimacy within numismatic circles. The Mint is regularly recognized as one of the world’s most trusted and respected Sovereign Mints in operation today, and coin collectors globally clamor for Perth Mint coins as they are of the highest quality and tend to hold their value across posterity. This has been proven in practice; countless coins produced by the Perth Mint have increased in value as the months and years have gone by.
Being made of 1 troy ounce of pure silver the accurate value of a Silver Koala coin starts with the spot price for silver. Keep in mind, however, this is what the market pays for a troy ounce of silver in terms of trading and speculation. What a personal seller or buyer might actually get or pay for a coin depends on a lot of other factors as well.
To start off, each Silver Koala Coin is fully backed by the Australian government. They represent a legal tender value of $30. Right now, in 2021, that value is probably a higher price than the spot value of silver, which has been hovering in the $20s for a bit.
Silver in general has been going through a rollercoaster of a ride. In the mid-2000s a spot ounce of silver generally was worth between $10 and low $20s (USD). However, during the big Recession years from 2009 to 2013 silver skyrocketed. The precious metal reached an amazing high of almost $50 per troy ounce in Spring 2011. From that point silver had a long, slow drop working its way back down to the low $20 range again by 2014. The metal has held around $20 since, peaking a bit again in 2020 with the COVID economic instability and locking in a price range of $25 when the year closed.
The numismatic value of the Silver Koala has also varied due to its collectability and rarity as well as condition. Pricewise, coins range in price value anywhere from $30 to as much as $80. The higher end of the spectrum tends to be Koala coins that have been graded and slabbed in protective cases with expert certification on their quality, condition, and appraisal. The lower end of the price spectrum, no surprise, tend to be coins that are first free-standing (i.e. no case) and never touched, then uncirculated but in brilliant condition, then circulated, and then finally any old condition period. It’s important to remember this numismatic value is completely separate from silver spot metal value, and collectability pricing is driven by an entirely different market. As a result, anyone who is investing in silver Koala coins for the purpose of profit needs to think ahead first which market the coin will eventually be sold to again. Obviously, if just for the metal value, the silver spot price is the best gauge to work with. If to the numismatic market, then the multiple factors of the coin’s condition will oftentimes determine the viable buyers, which can be far trickier in application.
Given the above, you will be hard pressed to find a coin collector who picks up a Silver Koala Coin only to immediately sell it for cash or use it as a form of currency. Some pick up Silver Koala Coins as a means of enhancing their coin collection or bullion portfolio, and others believe the Silver Koalas will dramatically increase in value as time progresses and the age of the coin, becoming even rarer the farther one gets away from the date of issuance.
Buying or Selling Silver Koala Coins in New Zealand
Whether as a gift, an investment, or as a collection coin, a Perth Mint Silver Koala Coin would make the perfect addition to anyone’s library of coins. MyGold is proud to carry an array of Perth Mint Silver Koala Coins for your selection with multiple years provided with an extensive inventory and competitive pricing.