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The Platinum Koala: The Bullion Coin From Australia You Should Know

May 02, 2012368 view(s)

The Platinum Koala of Australia is a platinum bullion coin that was minted by the Perth Mint up until 2000, when it was replaced by the Platinum Platypus as the nation's standard issue coin. It is a legal form of tender in the country and one of the more well known of the platinum coins the nation has produced to date.

It was not until 1987 that the Australian government authorized the production of coins in both platinum and silver, but within two years, the Platinum Koala had become a hot commodity among collectors of precious metals, being traded all around the world. It sold very well and two years after being introduced, its sizes grew to include two ounces, 10 ounces and one kilogram.  At that time, the one kilogram Platinum Koala coins were the heaviest of all bullion coins produced around the world.

Very small runs of the Koala platinum bullion coins were produced each year in Australia and typically there were not more than 3,500 coins in all. For collectors of precious metals, diversifying is very important to help their portfolio hold its value if the market changes and this is why Platinum Koala coins are such a smart idea for so many collectors.

The design of the Platinum Koala has also helped its appeal. The Koala is an iconic animal that is only found in the coastal regions of eastern and southern Australia. On the reverse of the coin is Queen Elizabeth II and in many of the coins the initials JB are seen. These stand for James Brown, the coin's designer, but Darryl Bellotti, Miranda Cornell and Raphael Maklouf are all designers who have worked on the Platinum Koala's design at one time or another.

Each year, coins weighing between one-twentieth of an ounce to one kilogram were minted with face values ranging between $5 and $3,000 in Australian currency. Over 18 tonnes of platinum has been used to mint these coins and the vast majority of that has been sold to overseas buyers.

Australia also plans to mint more coins in platinum that will bear national animals such as the echidna, the saltwater crocodile, the kangaroo, the wombat, the brolga and the frill necked lizard.

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