Australian Silver Kangaroo Coins

Australian Silver Kangaroos are a very desirable coin for collecting, thanks to their reliable purity and silver content (their usefulness as a bullion coin) as well as their beauty and collectible character. They have been designed purely with the collector in mind, with each year bearing different artwork, and issues consisting of a mix of frosted uncirculated coins and proofs. Some years have substituted gilding for frosting.

It is possible to buy Australian Silver Kangaroos directly from the Royal Australian Mint website. The shopping pages are similar to those on shopping sites like Amazon and millions of others – add items to your cart, then check out with a credit card. The website also lists Australian sources for these coins. Outside the continent, you will need to find a reputable dealer who carries Kangaroos.

Properties of the Australian Silver Kangaroo

The Australian Silver Kangaroo is, in keeping with international standards, a one troy ounce silver bullion coin – a measure which is likely to remain timeless even in the event of a complete triumph by the metric system (in metric terms, the Kangaroo weighs in at 31.1 grams). Its diameter is 1.5 inches (40 mm) like most of its argent kin across the world, and its thickness about 0.12 inches (2.85 mm). The edges of the coin are reeded, in the same manner as American quarters.

The silver fineness of the Australian Silver Kangaroo is 99.9% pure silver, making it the equal of the vast majority of the world’s coins and inferior in purity only to Canadian Silver Maple Leaves. All Silver Kangaroos have a $1 Australian nominal face value, though they are obviously worth considerably more on both metallurgical and numismatic grounds. The coins have been in production from 1993 to the present day, with annual mintages ranging from 8,000 to nearly 73,000 uncirculated coins, plus additional proofs.

The obverse of all Australian Silver Kangaroos depicts the profile of Queen Elizabeth II, looking rather smug and facing to the right. The image has remained the same since 1993, and is an effigy by Raphael Maklouf. The coins all bear the inscriptions “Elizabeth II” and “Australia” with the year following it, wreathed about the edge, on the obverse.

The reverse of the Australian Silver Kangaroo is where the creativity of the mint officials and their artists comes to the fore. Each year shows a different image. Among the many depictions of kangaroos that have appeared over the years, there are half-stylized, half-realistic silhouettes of a jumping kangaroo (sometimes rendered as a tiny figure against a flat horizon and a setting sun), highly detailed and naturalistic images of one or more kangaroos, or sometimes wallabies, and the almost cubist creations of Aborigine artists. The legend “One Dollar” always appears on the coins, but there may also be “One ounce fine silver”, “1 ounce fine silver”, or “1 ounce of fine silver”, depending on year.

Australian Silver Kangaroos are released in two forms – uncirculated, with frosting, and proofs. The frosting is sometimes on the figure of the kangaroo, and sometimes on the background. A frosted background is referred to as “reverse frosting”, with the position of the frosting depending on what is deemed most aesthetically pleasing with each individual design.

History of the Australian Silver Kangaroo

The island continent of Australia has a highly distinctive set of wildlife dwelling in its varied habitats, from the sturdy, comical wombats to the high-leaping kangaroos. It is these latter beasts which are perhaps the best known living emblem of Australia. Standing upright much of the time on a pair of powerful hind legs adapted for leaping, raising their young, or “joeys”, in a marsupial pouch, and moving across the southern hemisphere grasslands and scrub with leaps of up to thirty feet (9 meters), kangaroos are a pleasant, unique part of the landscape which are well known around the world.

There are actually four species of kangaroos – and many more if the other varieties of “macropods” are counted, since there are somewhat more than four dozen types – but most people are familiar with the red kangaroo, the largest of their leaping clan. Australia has included the kangaroo in many symbolic depictions of their country, including its official armorial achievement.

Australia is a relative latecomer to the big business of minting and selling silver bullion coins to the eager collectors of the world, but the government of the southern nation eventually decided to cash in on this highly lucrative market as well. When this decision was reached, it was only natural that the kangaroo should be chosen as the image on the coin’s reverse, and that it should be named the Australian Silver Kangaroo.

In following the mintage practices of the other nations of the world which have issued their own government guaranteed bullion coinage, and placing a unique local animal or bit of plant life on the reverse, the Australians have made use of the example provided by the United States (bison, bald eagles) and Canada (maple leaves, grizzly bears, and timber wolves). This has proven to be a successful strategy thus far, and Australian Silver Kangaroos are considered to be highly collectible, beyond the price of one troy ounce of silver.

The first coins were struck in 1993. There was no particular reason for their striking beyond profit – that is, they were not minted to fund a specific project or government plan, but were simply created as a business decision in response to the success of other silver bullion coins and collectible coins, both domestic and foreign. The Royal Australian Mint was founded in the late 1960s, but served only practical minting purposes for decades following its first introduction.

The Australian Silver Kangaroo has been a highly successful program, part in thanks to the limited mintage of each year’s coins, and provides the Australian government with an income stream that will not be resented in a way that higher taxes in the same amount would. Therefore, it is likely that these coins will be produced into the foreseeable future, as long as the silver stock holds up and people continue their fascination with numismatics and bullion coins.

>> Click Here To Buy Silver Online <<