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Hailing from the Land Down Under, the Gold Kangaroo is a favorite among both collectors and investors. The coin is made from the finest 99.99% purity gold and is available in a huge range of sizes and denominations.
Similar to the Chinese Gold Panda, the coin has a different design for its reverse side each year. It is legal tender in Australia and is backed by the Government of Australian.
The Australian Gold Kangaroo made its debut back in the mid-1980s under the name Australian Gold Nugget. This is still the official name, though it is widely referred to as the Gold Kangaroo. The first edition released in 1986 featured a profile of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse and an Australian gold nugget on the reverse. The series is still issued by Australia’s Gold Corporation (colloquially known as the Perth Mint), an entity fully owned by the government of Western Australia.
All coins in the initial series have a two-tone frosting effect, unique at the time and oft-copied since. Another distinctive feature of the Gold Nuggets is that each coin was individually packed in a hard plastic case.
The following year, the Perth Mint redesigned the reverse of the coin, which has been updated annually ever since. Other gold nuggets were featured on the coin until 1989 when the mint replaced it with a kangaroo, which remains to this day though with a different image every year.
Initially, these coins were made up to one ounce in mass with a face value of $100. However, the Perth Mint introduced the two ounce, ten ounce, and one kilogram coins in 1991. The following year, the face values of the larger coins were reduced in an attempt to keep premiums under control and to make it proportional to the one ounce coin.
The Australian Gold Kangaroo is among the most recognizable coins in the world despite the annually-changing reverse. The obverse of the coin, on the other hand, hasn’t changed since 1986 and the first edition of the Gold Nugget.
The obverse is the same right profile of Queen Elizabeth II. Around the perimeter, the following inscriptions are engraved: “ELIZABETH II” and “AUSTRALIA.” Beneath the queen’s portrait are the face value of the coin and the initials of Ian Rank-Broadley, the coin’s designer.
The reverse sports a kangaroo, a different one each year. The inscription “AUSTRALIAN KANGAROO” sits at the top and the years of minting, weight of the coin, and purity at the bottom. In the case of the Gold Kangaroo, it is .9999 GOLD. The mint mark can also be found on the reverse.
Australian Gold Kangaroos are available in many sizes from 1/20 troy ounce to 1 kilogram. The most common and popular of which is the one troy ounce bullion coin.
The smallest Gold Kangaroo measures 14.10 millimeters in diameter and 1.4 millimeters in thickness. It weighs 1.5552 grams (1/20 ounce) and has a face value of A$5.
Next, there is the 1/10 troy ounce gold coin. It has a diameter of 16.10 millimeters and a thickness of 1.3 millimeters. The coin weighs 3.11 grams and has a face value of A$15.
For every ¼ ounce Gold Kangaroo, you can get A$25 from the Perth Mint. It is 20.10 millimeters across and 1.80 millimeters thick. It weighs 7.78 grams (1/4 troy ounce).
The ½ ounce Kangaroo is worth $50 if you decide to cash it in. The coin has a diameter of 25.10 millimeters and a thickness of 2.2 millimeters. It weighs 15.55 grams.
As mentioned, this is the most popular Australian Gold Kangaroo. It is made available as bullion and proof coins, though the annual proof editions are extremely limited. For example, there are only 500 each of 2017 and 2018 proof editions.
The 1 ounce bullion weight is 31.10 grams (1 troy ounce) and measures 32.10 millimeters in diameter and 2.65 millimeters in thickness, It has a face value of A$100.
The 2 ounce coin is 40.40 millimeters across and 3.35 millimeters thick. It weighs 62.21 grams or 2 troy ounces. Initially, it had a face value of A$500, which was reduced to A$200 in 1992.
This coin made its debut in 1991 with a face value of A$2,500, reduced to A$1,000 the following year. The coin is 59.70 millimeters across and 7.65 millimeters thick. It weighs 311.0 grams (10 ounces).
The biggest and most valuable Australian Gold Kangaroo is a one kilo coin of 74.50 millimeters across and 15.80 millimeters thick. It weighs 1,000 grams or 32.154 troy ounces. The initial 1991 face value of A$10,000 was reset to A$3,000 in 1992.
In 2011, a gigantic one ton coin was released, replacing the Big Canadian Maple Leaf as the biggest and most valuable gold coin in the world.
The coin measures around 80 centimeters in diameter and 12 centimeters in thickness. Unlike the other Gold Kangaroo coins, this one has the kangaroo on the obverse and the Queen’s portrait on the reverse.
The one ton Kangaroo has a face value of A$1,000,000. However, its market value is most recently estimated at A$53 million. Like the rest of the Gold Kangaroos, it is 99.99% pure gold.
If you’re interested in investing in gold coins, the Australian Gold Kangaroo is among the best foreign bullion coins. The older and rarer coins are known to fetch a nice premium.
The uncirculated proof coins often have exclusive features that build up the price. What’s more, they’re struck in extremely limited quantities, making them even more appealing to experienced collectors.
Unlike paper currency, gold holds its value throughout history. If you’re in a position to invest, gold coins are a sound choice.
Whether you’re an investor or a collector, you can’t go wrong with the Australian Gold Kangaroo. Limited edition coins have high premiums, while regular bullion coins are affordable enough for aspiring investors. There’s a reason why precious metals, especially gold, are known as the keeper of wealth.
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