The gold nugget and the kangaroo – absolutely Australian
Numerous names are today used to describe the Australian Gold Kangaroo coin:
* Australian Nugget
* Australian Kangaroo
* Australian Gold Nugget
* Australian Gold Kangaroo
The reason for the multiple names is because from 1986 to 1989 the main motif of the coin displayed a gold nugget, hence the original name of the coin. The depicted gold nugget was meant to be a symbol of Australia’s history of having produced some of the largest alluvial gold nuggets in the world, one of them being “The Welcome Stranger”, with a refined weight of a remarkable 2,315 troy ounces, or 72 kilos. Although a gold nugget was pictured on the Australian Nugget gold coin for several years, in 1989 it was replaced with a more widely recognised symbol of Australia: the kangaroo. In addition to changing the motif, the name of the coin was likewise changed from Australian Nugget to Australian Kangaroo; all the other specifications of the coin stayed essentially the same. Since the kangaroo is endemic to Australia, it made the association of the gold coin that much more obvious. Besides being depicted on the Australian Kangaroo gold coin, the kangaroo appears as an emblem on Australia’s coats of arms. In fact, the kangaroo is deemed to be the unofficial symbol of Australia.
The Australian Gold Kangaroo coin is the world's largest gold coin
In 1991 the Perth Mint introduced the Australian Gold Kangaroo one kilo coin. This was the first time a government mint had issued such a heavy legal tender gold coin. In contrast to the lighter Gold Kangaroo coins where the main kangaroo motif varies each year, the one kilo Gold Kangaroo coin’s main motif that depicts a Red Australian kangaroo has not changed since 1991. To this day, some 23,600 pieces of the one kilo Red Australian Gold Kangaroo coins have been sold. In addition, the Perth Mint in 2011 made another huge leap forward by being the first mint in the world to create a one ton Red Australian Kangaroo coin. The coin was made of solid 24 karat gold and was at the time valued at over A$ 50 million. The giant Australian Gold Kangaroo coin would break the previous record as the most valuable gold coin ever to be produced. The previous record for the most valuable gold coin was held by the Royal Canadian Mint’s 100 kilogramme Canadian Maple Leaf gold coin.
The Perth Mint
The Perth Mint is a world distinguished mint and precious metals refiner that is located in the City of Perth, in Western Australia. The Perth Mint was founded in 1896 by Britain’s Royal Mint in response to the newly discovered gold deposits in Western Australia. Perth Mint’s task was to refine gold ore from the mines and to strike sovereign gold coins from the refined bullion. Between 1899 and 1931 the Pert Mint produced a considerable amount of gold sovereigns which were distributed in Australia and throughout the British Empire to be used as circulating currency. British control over Perth Mint was relinquished in 1971 to the Government of Western Australia which then assumed ownership of the mint. Today, the Perth Mint is hailed for the exceptional quality of its world class investment bullion coins like the Kookaburra and Koala silver coins, and the Lunar Series. The Perth Mint has been a member of the London Gold Market (predecessor of the LBMA) since 1934. The swan design, which is the Mint’s official assay stamp registered with the LBMA, is recognised internationally and was inspired by the Mint’s location in Perth, where the main river, the Swan, runs through the city.