The Platinum Koala is an Australian platinum bullion coin minted by the Perth Mint and is the most famous series of platinum coins of Australia. The Platinum Koala is notionally legal tender, that is a legal means of payment (in Australia).
On 18 June 1987, the Australian Government approved the minting of platinum and silver coins. This decision was made based on the success of gold coins issued a year earlier. The minting of the coin began in September 1988 in Perth and in 1989 the Platinum Koala arguably became the world’s "largest selling and first international tradeable investment coin". For marketing purposes, 2 ounce, 10 ounce and 1 kilogram coins of silver, gold and platinum were introduced in 1991; the 1 kg coins were the world's heaviest bullion coins at the time. Together with the American Platinum Eagle, the Platinum Koala is one of the very few series of platinum coins which are still being produced. Minting of 1/10 and 1/2 oz 2010 coins has been announced and will not exceed 2,500 and 1000 pieces, respectively. However, it will be enriched with the new 1/10 and 1/2 oz animal-related platinum coins depicting platypus, frill-necked lizard, saltwater crocodile, wombat, echidna, brolga, dolphin and kangaroo. All these coins have coloured backgrounds.
The obverse depicts the Queen of Australia, Elizabeth II, and the reverse contains an image of a koala. The initials JB of the reverse face designer James Brown are present on most coins. Other designers of the coin include Raphael Maklouf (1990, 1991, 1996, 1998), Miranda Cornell (1998) and Darryl Bellotti (2010). The annual series contain coins weighing from 1/20 ounce to 1 kilogram.
|Weight||1/20 oz||1/10 oz||1/4 oz||1/2 oz||1 oz||2 oz||10 oz||1 kg|
|Face value, $||5||10||25||50||100||200||1,000||3,000|
|Thickness, mm||1.32||1.40||1.90||2.03||2.7||3.8||7.9||13.9 |
|Diameter, mm ||14.1||16.1||20.1||25.1||32.1||40.60||60.30||75.30|
The Platinum Koala never reached the popularity of the American Platinum Eagle, mostly because it has not been advertised in the US. Like most investment platinum coins, Platinum Koalas are sealed in a protective plastic case. The coins are sold at prices that reflect the current price of platinum, and not at the face value printed on the coin. Since November 1986, Perth Mint has used more than 18 tonnes of platinum for minting. About 85% of them were sold abroad making the Gold Corporation (owner of the Mint) one of Australia's top 30 export earners.
- "Welcome to the Platinum Coins". Perth Mint. Retrieved 2008-09-07.
- "Platinum Koala bullion coins from Australia". Northwest Territorial Mint. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- Michael Tracey
- "Perth Mint Coins". Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- "1990 Twentieth Ounce Platinum $5 Koala on Tree Trunk". Retrieved 2008-09-12.
- "1997 Kilogram Platinum $3,000 Koala". Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- "1996 Ten Ounce Platinum $1,000 Koala". Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- "1998 Two Ounce Platinum $200 Koala on Fallen Log". Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- "Australian Koalas". 24carat.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- "Australian Koala Decimal Platinum Bullion Coins". Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- "Australian Platinum Koalas Bullion Coins". 7 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- "The Perth Mint". Retrieved 2009-10-07.