On October 1 the Perth Mint in Western Australia – a highly-respected global leader in the precious metal industry – launched the 2019 silver Kookaburra coins.
As in the past, these coins will be available in three sizes each with a Reverse Proof finish: 1 oz with a limited mintage of 500,000 coins as well as 10 oz and 1 kilo, which both have unlimited mintages. However, production for the larger coins will close at the end of 2019, and the Mint will declare the final mintage for those coins after that.
Issued since 1990, Kookaburra silver coins feature a different design each year of a laughing kookaburra, the largest of the kingfisher species, that is one of Australia’s most iconic animals and synonymous with the famous Australian outback. The carnivorous animal is known as a laughing kookaburra because its loud call resembles human laughter.
Each coin is legal tender under the Australian Currency Act of 1965 and is carefully struck from .9999 fine silver using the Mint’s advanced coin production technologies that produces some of the finest-quality silver bullion coins in the world. Each coin is then placed in a protective hard plastic capsule to ensure that as it makes its way from Australia to you, it will remain in the same pristine condition in which it was struck.
Kookaburras are part of the roll-out of the 2019 Perth Mint bullion program that began in September with the Year of the Pig coins. After the October release of the Kookaburras will come the Kangaroos in November and the Koalas in January.
The Mint’s Chief Executive Officer Richard Hayes said: “Our Australian bullion coins have always been unique and are keenly sought and trusted globally,” said Mr. Hayes.
“Our bullion coin program has evolved over the last 30 years, allowing investors access to gold, silver and platinum coins in weights ranging from 1/20 ounce to 10 kilograms. Annual design changes and select mintages on certain offerings ensure the range remains fresh and highly desirable. “The legal tender status of each coin guarantees its weight and purity, giving investors worldwide confidence and surety that they are investing in a trusted and enduring asset. This has been paramount to the ongoing success of the program,” continued Mr. Hayes.
Kookaburra coins are one of the most widely collected bullion series in the world that has acquired a numismatic status over the years because the coins are valued well over their precious metal content. Each year the entire mintage typically sells out quickly at the Mint.
The reverse of the 2019 Kookaburra features the animal perched on a tree branch protruding from a gently rippling waterway as the sun sets and with native foliage in the background. Around the top inner rim is an inscription for “AUSTRALIAN KOOKABURRA,” and around the bottom inner rim appear inscriptions for the year, weight, and purity. In the middle of the inner rim is the traditional “P” mintmark for the Perth Mint.
The kookaburra is the dominant design element on the reverse and is shown facing to the left in exquisite detail with each feather delineated and its trademark long beak.
This design is the creation of Perth Mint artist Aleysha Howarth, who has designed coins for the Mint since 2008. She has a deep love of nature that is reflected in the beautiful coin designs she creates.
The obverse, as with other commonwealth coins, features an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, but the new Kookaburras are the first Perth Mint coins that will feature a portrait of the Queen designed by Royal Mint artist Jody Clark.
The design has appeared in a slightly different form on UK coins since 2015. It is based on Clark’s original drawings when he submitted an entry for a design competition at the Royal Mint. As on the previous versions, the Queen is shown facing to the right.
Unlike the version that appears on British coins, on 2019-dated Australian coins the portrait includes the Queen’s shoulders and shows her wearing her Victorian coronation necklace, also known as a diadem.
The new effigy, the fifth to appear on Australian coins, replaces the one designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, which first appeared on the country’s coinage in 1998.
Surrounding the new effigy are inscriptions for “ELIZABETH II” and “AUSTRALIA” around the top inner rim and for the denomination, “ONE DOLLAR,” on the bottom inner rim.