Gold Kangaroo Coins

Hailing from the Land Down Under, the Gold Kangaroo is a favorite among gold investors. The coin is made from the finest 99.99% purity gold and is available in a  range of sizes and denominations.

Similar to the Chinese Gold Panda, the Perth Mint produces a different design for the coin's reverse side each year. 

Gold Kangaroos are legal tender in Australia, backed by the Government of Australia for their weight and purity.

History of the Australian Gold Kangaroo

Australian gold bullion coins made their debut back in the mid-1980s. The first coin minted was the Australian Gold Nugget.  The first mintage was released in 1986 and 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. Gold nuggets were featured on the coin until 1989 when the mint replaced it with the iconic kangaroo. Australia's beloved mammal became the coin's namesake.

Initially, these coins were made up to one ounce in size with a face value of $100. However, the Perth Mint introduced 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.

Gold Kangaroo Design

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 seen significant change since 1986 and the first issue 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 image each year. The inscription “AUSTRALIAN KANGAROO” sits at the top. The year of minting, the weight of the coin, and the purity are stamped below the image. The mint mark can also be found on the reverse.

Gold Kangaroos are .9999 pure.

Coin Sizes and Specifications

Different Sizes for Kangaroo Gold Coins

Australian Gold Kangaroos are available in sizes ranging from 1/20 troy ounce to 1 kilogram. The most common and popular of which is the one-troy-ounce bullion coin. 

1/20 Ounce

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. 

1/10 Ounce

Next 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.

¼ Ounce

Every ¼-ounce Gold Kangaroo is denominated with 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).

½ Ounce

The ½ ounce Kangaroo carries $50 in face value. The coin has a diameter of 25.10 millimeters and a thickness of 2.2 millimeters. It weighs 15.55 grams.

1 Ounce

The most popular Australian Gold Kangaroo is available in both bullion strike and proof conditions. The proof coins are issued with much smaller mintages. For example, there are only 500 each of the 2017 and 2018 proof editions.

One troy-ounce bullion weight is equivalent to 31.103 grams. Kangaroos measure 32.10 millimeters in diameter and 2.65 millimeters in thickness. They carry a face value of A$100. 

2 Ounce

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.

10 Ounce

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).

One Kilo

The biggest, and most valuable, Australian Gold Kangaroo to be regularly minted is a one-kilo coin. It measures 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.

The One Ton Coin

In 2011, a gigantic one-ton coin was released, replacing the Big Canadian Maple Leaf as the largest 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.

Should You Invest in Gold Kangaroos?

If you’re interested in investing in gold coins, the Australian Gold Kangaroo is among the best options. They are well-recognized, widely traded, and cost-effective.

Uncirculated proof coins are minted with specially polished blanks and die. What’s more, they’re struck in extremely limited quantities, to enhance their appeal with collectors. Proof coins generally carry a bit higher value, though investors should be careful not to overpay.

Unlike paper currency, gold does a very good job of holding its value through time. For anyone in a position to invest, gold coins are a great way to diversify and insulate a portfolio from the dollar and the fragile global financial system. 

The Verdict

Whether you’re an investor or a collector, you can’t go wrong with the Australian Gold Kangaroo. Limited edition coins can carry higher premiums, while the regular bullion strike coins are priced near the gold spot market price. Gold Kangaroos are trusted and highly liquid virtually everywhere - exactly what people need when investing in bullion.