2012 Australian Opal Koala Silver Coin Begins New Series
The Perth Mint of Australia introduces a new coin series featuring nocturnal creatures of the country detailed in pure Australian opal with the release of the 2012 Opal Koala Silver Coin in proof quality.
What creature could be more appropriate for the debut of a new Australian Opal Series than a koala, looked upon by many as perhaps the most iconic creature the country has to offer. Seven additional coins will be released in the series, each depicting a different night loving animal with one additional strike expected in 2012 and the rest scheduled to follow at a rate of two per year.
The Perth Mint has set the Australian Opal Koala Silver Coin maximum mintage at just 8,000. They are currently available for AUS $117.27 (~US $125.50) at The Perth Mint website.
Proof Coin Designs and Specifications
Detailed in pure Australian opal, the reverse design by Perth Mint artist Alesha Howarth showcases the iconic Koala clinging to a gum tree with the leaves of the tree encircling the marsupial. Like future coins in the series, the moon is shown in the reverse design with a new moon used on the Australian Opal Koala Silver Coin. Future strikes will depict the lunar body in a different phase.
Also surrounding koala are leaves and blossoms of the eucalyptus tree as well as a depiction of the Southern Cross — a star group only visible by those in the Southern Hemisphere. Reverse inscriptions include "KOALA" and 1 OZ 999 SILVER."
The opal insert is set in one ounce of .999 fine silver, as indicated by the reverse inscription. The new proof features a diameter of 36.60 mm and a maximum thickness of 4.5 mm.
Australian Opal Koala Silver Coins are issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act of 1965. The coins feature a face value of AUS "1 DOLLAR" as is indicated by an inscription found on the strike.
That inscription is joined on the obverse of the proof coin by the additional wordings of "ELIZABETH II" and "AUSTRALIA." All three inscriptions surround the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England.
Each Australian Opal Koala Silver Coin is placed in a gray display case lined with black material. Making the new series more unique is the inclusion of a light in the display case which turns as opened to represent the moon shining down on the nocturnal creature.
Also included is a numbered certificate of authenticity indicating the maximum mintage of 8,000.
About the Perth Mint
The Perth Mint, wholly-owned by the State Government of Western Australia, is the official issuer of the Australian Federal Government’s Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Program as well responsible for issuing some of the most unique and collectible coins in the world. The Mint opened in 1899 in response to the discovery of rich gold deposits in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. It was Australia’s third branch of Britain’s Royal Mint — the others being the Sydney Mint and the Melbourne Mint (both closed).