The minting of the Platinum Koala coin began in 1988 in Perth, following the large success of Australia’s gold coins in the previous year. By 1989, the Platinum Koala was the world’s best selling international tradeable investment coin. The coin was first produced in 1/20 oz, 1/10 oz, ¼ oz, ½ oz, and 1 oz weight denominations; in 1991, 2 oz, 10 oz, and 1 kg coins were introduced. Along with the American Platinum Eagle, the Platinum Koala is one of the few platinum coin series that is still being minted. There are also silver and gold versions of the Australian Koala.
These popular coins feature a profile image of Queen Elizabeth on the obverse side. Along the edge of the coin, it says “ELIZABETH II,” “AUSTRALIA,” and “50 DOLLARS.” The reverse shows yearly changing images of koalas. The reverse side also has “THE AUSTRALIAN KOALA” pressed around the edge on the left. On the right edge, the coin displays the weight as well as “.9995 PURE PLATINUM.” The mint year is located on the bottom. The coin designer’s initials, which have varied throughout years, may also be found on the reverse.
The Perth Mint, which produces Australia’s official bullion coins, issues Platinum Koala coins. Hence, these coins have a face value and are considered legal tender in the country. As per usual with bullion coins, the actual value of the coin is based on its precious metal content rather than face value. However, in some cases, other factors like rarity can also affect the market value of a bullion coin. For example, the mintage numbers of the 1/10 oz and 1/20 oz coins has been limited to 2,500 and 1,000, respectively, since 2010.
All coins from the Platinum Koala series consist of 99.95 pure platinum.
Platinum is one of the scarcest precious metals in the world. For example, more than ten times more gold is mined every year. Normally, platinum prices are higher than gold due to its roles as both a precious and an industrial metal. Economic downturns can drive the price of platinum below that of gold; yet, this doesn’t tend to hold for long. Investors and collectors who want to diversify their precious metal holdings should to consider the Australian Platinum Koala coin if they want to add a high-value metal to their portfolio. Platinum Koalas are also eligible for a precious metals IRA in the US.