The Perth Mint was established as a branch of the British Royal Mint in London in 1899 with an aim to refine gold from the newly discovered goldfields in Western Australia and strike it into sovereign coinage for the Empire.
This first branch was opened by Sir John Forrest and, at that time, gold finders would bring their precious metal to the mint to have it refined into coins to use as currency. From the mint's opening in 1899 to 1931, it had struck over 106 million gold sovereigns and roughly 735,000 half-sovereigns, all which were used as currency. After 1931, Britain abandoned the gold standard, but the Mint continued to produce gold bars. During World War II, however, the Perth Mint was required to supply the whole of Australia with its coinage, although base metals rather than gold and silver were used instead.
It wasn't until 1970 that ownership of the mint transferred to the Government of Western Australia, who established the parent company Gold Corporation to manage operations both within the state and globally. The Perth Mint now acts as both a treasury and a refinery, refining more than 94% of Australia's newly mined gold and remaining the first choice for gold jewelry refining in a number of Asian markets. In 2011, the Mint created the worldâ€™s heaviest and most valuable gold coin on record with a face value of $1 million and comprised of 1,012 kilograms of 99.99 pure gold. It features the design of a red kangaroo surrounded by rays of sunshine and was designed by Stuart Devlin, official goldsmith and jeweler to the Queen.
Each of these uncirculated coins is struck by The Perth Mint from 1oz of .999 fine silver and comes in proof quality. The date and design of this coin are dependent on availability, but each year portrays different original artistry of an Australian koala that depicts the animalâ€™s natural beauty. On the reverse of each coin is a portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the Ian Rank-Broadley likeness that has come to be so well-known. The reverse also depicts that coin's monetary denomination, making it legal tender in Australia.
Features of the 1 oz Silver Koala: â€¢ Minted by The Perth Mint â€¢ Face value of $1 â€¢ Uncirculated condition â€¢ Contains 1 oz of .999 fine silver â€¢ Sovereign coins backed by the Australian government â€¢ Thickness: 2.98mm â€¢ Diameter: 40.6mm â€¢ Obverse: design differs depending on year â€¢ Reverse: features engraving of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the coinâ€™s monetary denomination
The Silver Koala coin is one of several ongoing popular series from The Perth Mint others of which include the Australian Kookaburra series and the Lunar series.