The Australian Silver Koala was first produced in 2007 by Perth Mint of Australia. The Silver Koala followed other coins produced by the Perth Mint, like the Silver Kookaburra and the Australian Lunar series. The Koala was chosen because it is native to Australia and because the rare and endangered Koala holds a special significance to Australians as well as to the rest of the world. The Silver Koala is one of the most well-known collectibles and is becoming popular all around the world. The coin has a face value of one Australian dollar, although the market value is much higher than that due to the value of the silver used to produce the coin.
Design and Appearance
The obverse side, like the Silver Kangaroo, carries the picture of Queen Elizabeth II. On that same side are inscriptions reading, “Elizabeth II”, “Australia”, the date, and “One Dollar.” The reverse side has a picture of a koala, but the significance lies in the fact that the actual image of the koala changes yearly. 2009’s coin depicts a koala clinging to a tree branch. The reverse side also boasts a unique shimmer effect that was developed by Perth Mint.
Each year there are a few varieties of Silver Koalas, including the standard all-silver Koala as well as a gilded Koala which has a gold leafing applied to the Koala portion on the reverse of the coin. The gilded Koala is more expensive due to its rarity and the use of the more expensive gold metal.
Manufacture and Distribution
Unlike the Australian Silver Kangaroo, which is produced by the Royal Australian Mint, the Silver Koala is produced by the Perth Mint of Australia. The Perth Mint is a corporation established by the Gold Corporation Act of 1987, which is owned by Western Australia. The Perth Mint, as opposed the the Royal Australian Mint, produces only uncirculating coins. Customers can purchase Silver Koalas directly from the Perth Mint’s website, www.perthmint.com.au, or on the secondary market from the majority of silver retail websites and shops.
Silver Koalas are shipped with an illustrated presentation card to verify their authenticity as well as complement the coin’s value to collectors. Gilded Silver Koalas are packaged with extra attention, as each coin comes with a black display case and a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. The Gilded Silver Koala also is shipped in an illustrated box with an image of two koalas. This extra attention to detail, along with the value of the gold used in each coin and the limited production each year, explains why the Gilded Silver Koala routinely sells for much more than the normal Silver Koala.
Weight and Purity
Each Australian Silver Koala contains 99.9% pure silver. The Koala can be had in sizes that range under an ounce all the way up to a kilo. The most common variety of this particular coin weighs in at exactly one ounce, but there is no shortage of additional sizes available, including 1/10 oz. The gilded version of the coin weighs one Troy ounce and contains 99.9% pure silver excluding the gold gilding, which is 24k.
Buy Australian Silver Koalas
The Australian Koala is readily available at trustworthy online precious metals bullion websites, including directly from the Perth Mint. The coin is sold in a number of different conditions, including graded and proof coins all the way down to coins in raw form. Buying this coins on the internet is very easy to do and there is plenty of different ways to make a purchase whenever you are ready to buy some Koalas for your portfolio. The cheapest method for buying Silver Koalas is to go to a reseller of silver coins and buy an older version of the Koala, as the 2007-2009 versions sell for much less than the 2010-2011 versions.
Due to the Koala’s rarity and its demand from collectors, the coin usually sells well above the spot price of silver. For example, at the time of this writing the Perth Mint is selling 2011 1-ounce silver Koalas at roughly $22 over the current spot price of silver. Fortunately, Silver Koalas hold their value well and sell for well over spot price, even on the secondary market. The outlook for Silver Koala value is good, as the coin will maintain its rarity even if the Perth Mint continues to produce Silver Koalas and Gilded Silver Koalas every year.