Opened in 1899 in response to the discovery of gold deposits in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie, the Perth Mint was the third Australian branch of the British Royal Mint. The other two facilities have since closed, giving this mint a unique link to its country’s past. The mint stands today as one of the world’s most respected producers of precious metals coins. Its rich history includes the production of nearly six nine proof gold in 1957, which remains an exceptional standard over sixty years later. Britain retained jurisdiction over the Mint until 1970, when it was transferred to the Government of Western Australia. The manufacturer’s modern era began in 1987, when it was tasked with creating gold, silver, and platinum Australian legal tender. Today, the mint also produces a variety of proof quality coins.
Coins struck at the Perth Mint bear a “P” mint mark that collectors throughout the world have come to associate with outstanding quality and stunning beauty. Even outside of Australia, collectors eagerly anticipate new releases from this mint and anxiously await the opportunity to hold those coins in their hands. Take a look through the options that we have to offer from this icon of modern minting.
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The mint’s marquis bullion series is its Gold Nugget. Although still technically considered the Australian Gold Nugget, the series has featured kangaroo designs since the 1989 proof edition. Dating back to 1987, the series was introduced in part by Bob Hawke, the Prime Minister of Australia. On the first day of the series, the mint sold a whopping 155,000 ounces of gold. One of the unique elements of this series is that the designs on the 2 oz., 10 oz., and kilo coins remain the same every year, while the designs of the 1 oz. and fractional coins change annually.
Not to be overshadowed, two of the mint’s silver series, the Koala and the Kookaburra, are among the most highly anticipated releases anywhere in the world every year. The Kookaburra, or “kook,” as it is affectionately known, was first released in 1990, while the younger Koala was first issued in 2007. The designs on these coins change annually, offering a unique depiction of the creatures – one beautiful and the other cute and cuddly – every year. While the designs and quality of the coins would be sufficient to make them attractive to collectors in and of themselves, the low mintage limits relative to other world issues makes them all the more enticing. The mint also started a Silver Kangaroo series in 2016, the design of which is the same every year. Platinum collectors have had different options over the year. As of 2018, the mint is issuing an annual Platinum Kangaroo. The Koala and the Platypus were issued previously.
While the designs on these series change annually, they retain their subjects from one year to the next. The same cannot be said of the mint’s iconic Lunar Series. The mint issues gold and silver bullion as well as proof coins to mark the years of the Chinese lunar calendar, which runs in twelve-year cycles. The series offers disciplined and dedicated collectors the opportunity to acquire complete collections over time, as opposed to the ongoing nature of other series. Collectors throughout the world admire the unique designs that appear on these coins every year. Issues include Chinese characters for the animal that marks the year. In 2019, the Perth Mint wraps up Lunar Series II with the Year of the Pig.
Piedforts, proofs, and similar variations are common throughout the series, but a unique set struck a chord with collectors in 2012. 2012 was the Year of the Dragon, a particularly significant creature in Chinese mythology. To celebrate the occasion, the mint issued 2,500 sets of ten coins, each of which featured the dragon depicted in a unique color. With so few sets issued, these sets and the individual coins that have since become separated, continue to be prized by the collectors who have them, and highly sought after by those still looking to participate in this unique release.
The Perth Mint’s bullion series serve as the foundation of their work, but their productivity and influence extend far beyond that. Collectors with wide ranges of interests can find coins that are uniquely suited to them. Movies are a popular theme, and in this regard, the mint is a world leader. In recent years, the mint has issued or minted series that celebrate such icons of the silver screen as Black Panther, Star Trek, and Ghost Busters. Along similar lines, the mint offers collectors some unique opportunities to share their favorite hobby with their children. Their Disney Princess, Mickey Mouse, and Loony Toons coins all bring delight to the eyes of children, as well as adults who are brought back to their childhoods at first glance.