Australian Gold Kangaroo Coins

gold coin icon Australia flag icon Gold Kangaroos - first minted as Australian Gold Nugget coins in 1986

One special characteristic of these 99.99% pure gold coins is that the design of their reverse side changes every year, always featuring a different kangaroo image. The Australian Gold Kangaroo coins are also known under a different name. The coins displayed various gold nuggets on their reverse during the first few years of mintage so they are also known as Australian Gold Nugget coins. In fact, this name of origin was engraved on the coins until 2007, even though the coins display kangaroo images since 1990 (1989 for proof coins).

The Australian Gold Kangaroos are minted by the Perth Mint in a wide variety of different sizes, from a tiny 1/2 gram all the way up to a world-record 1 tonne. Two finishes - brilliant uncirculated (BU) and proof - are available as is customary for gold bullion coins. Gold Kangaroos are packaged in tubes and boxes by the mint but are usually sold individually.

Annual mintage numbers of these popular gold coins are quite low compared with those of other gold bullion coins. Their annually changing design and low mintage numbers strongly appeal to collectors as well. The coins are fully backed by the Australian government and can be included in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA's).

reverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Australian Gold Kangaroo coin
obverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Australian Gold Kangaroo coin
reverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1/2 gram Australian Mini Roo gold coin

Coin Specifications

Weight Face Value Purity Diameter x Thickness
1 oz AUD $ 100 99.99% 32.1 x 2.8 mm
1/2 oz AUD $ 50 99.99% 25.60 x 2.4 mm
1/4 oz AUD $ 25 99.99% 20.60 x 2 mm
1/10 oz AUD $ 15 99.99% 16 x 1.5 mm
1/20 oz* AUD $ 5 99.99% 14.1 x 1.4 mm
1/2 gram** AUD $ 2 99.99% 11.6 x 0.70 mm

* minted 1990-2011, ** minted since 2010

1/2 gram Australian Mini Roo gold coin 2017 enclosed in assay card 1 tonne Australian Gold Kangaroo coin 2012

Special Red Kangaroo Issues

Weight Face Value Purity Diameter x Thickness
1 tonne* AUD $ 1.000.000 99.99% 80 x 12 cm
1 kg** AUD $ 3.000 99.99% 75.60 x 13.90 mm
10 oz*** AUD $ 1.000 99.99% 59.70 x 7.90 mm
2 oz*** AUD $ 200 99.99% 40.6 x 4 mm

* 1 coin in 2012, ** minted since 1991, *** minted 1991-2009

All Australian Kangaroo/Nugget Coin Designs

Design

The coin's obverse side depicts the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II in profile wearing a royal tiara. The depiction of her majesty is meant to symbolize Australia’s allegiance to the crown and the British Commonwealth. The coin's denomination appears below the royal portrait and her majesty's title and the country’s name are engraved along the left and right edge.

The coin's reverse side depicts an annually changing image of a kangaroo or pair of kangaroos. During the first few years of production, the coins displayed various gold nugget designs on the reverse though. "Australian Kangaroo” - the official name of the coins since 2008 - is engraved along the upper edge of the coins and the year of mintage, gold weight and purity are engraved underneath the image. The mint mark P can be seen on the reverse side as well.

History

The Perth Mint first produced Australian Gold Nugget coins in 1986, albeit only as proof coins. From 1987 on, brilliant uncirculated (BU) coins were minted as well in the four different denominations of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz. Each of the four coin denominations had a different gold nugget design on the reverse side. The nugget design of the brilliant uncirculated coins (that had inherited their design from the 1986 proof coins) remained the same until 1989. However, the four proof denominations of 1987 displayed other gold nuggets than in 1986. The gold nugget design of the proof coins was changed once more in 1988.

The 1989 proof edition of the coins was the first with a kangaroo image on the reverse which was then also used on the 1990 BU coin. This first ever "Red Kangaroo" design was from then on used repeatedly on the 1 kg, 10 oz and 2 oz denominations of the coins as well as on the 25th Anniversary coin in 2014. The kangaroo design has changed every year since then always featuring a different kangaroo image. The 1/20 oz coin was added in 1990. The three largest denominations of the coins (1 kg, 10 oz and 2 oz) were introduced in 1991. Even though the coins displayed kangaroo images since 1990 (proof coins since 1989), they were still officially labeled as Australian Nugget coins until 2007. Unlike the denominations between 1 oz and 1/20 oz that feature a different kangaroo image on their reverse sides every year, the three larger coins (1 kg, 10 oz, 2 oz) display the same "Red Kangaroo" design every year.

In 1992, the face value of the 1 kg coin was lowered from AUD $ 10.000 to AUD $ 3.000 whereas the face value of the 10 oz coin was lowered from AUD $ 2.500 to AUD $ 1.000 and the face value of the 2 oz coin from AUD $ 500 to AUD $ 200. The 10 oz and 2 oz gold coins were last minted in 2009 and the 1/20 oz coins in 2011. The 1/2 gram Gold Miniature Kangaroo “Mini Roo” coins are produced since 2010.

The Perth Mint produced a one tonne Australian Gold Kangaroo coin in October 2011 with a face value of AUD $ 1 million. However, the massive coin bears the date of 2012 when it was issued. It bears the "Red Kangaroo" design and measures approximately 80 centimeters in diameter and is about 12 centimeters thick.

A special 25th anniversary edition of the coins was issued in 2014. These coins also feature the "Red Kangaroo" design and are dated 1989 - 2014.

Mintages

The official mintages of the various Australian Gold Kangaroo coins were published here by the Perth Mint online.

The mintage record of Australian Gold Kangaroos was in 2013 when 341,417 coins of the 1 oz denomination were sold. Of the other denominations, the 1 kg coin is generally produced with the lowest mintages. Only 61 such coins with the Red Kangaroo design were minted in 2002.

reverse side of the 2016 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Australian Silver Kangaroo coin
obverse side of the 2016 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Australian Silver Kangaroo coin

Australian Silver Kangaroos

A silver version of the Perth Mint's popular Australian Kangaroo coins exists since 2015. The limited number of coins that were minted that year were 99.9% pure. Since 2016, the Australian Silver Kangaroos are 99.99% pure. The brilliant uncirculated version of the coins is only minted in the 1 oz size. Proof coins of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz exist as part of a set but the 1/4 oz proof coins are also available individually. Whereas the Australian Gold Kangaroo coins depict a different kangaroo image on their reverse side every year, the Silver Kangaroos depict the same "Red Kangaroo" design every year.

The Australian Silver Kangaroo page gives more information about the coins and allows you to compare current prices.

Special Australian Gold Kangaroo Editions and Sets

2001 Australian Gold Nugget/Kangaroo 5 coin proof set

Gold Nugget/Kangaroo proof sets

total gold weight: 1.9 oz

The proof sets are issued annually since 1986. The design of the proof coins differs from the bullion coins. Between 1986-1988, the sets contained 4 coins (1 oz,1/2 oz,1/4 oz,1/10 oz). Since the addition of the 1/20 oz proof coin in 1989, the sets contain 5 coins. A commemorative medallion is sometimes included as well.

1990 Australia family of precious metals 3 coin proof set

3 coin precious metals proof set 1990

total gold weight: 1 oz

total silver weight: 1 oz

total platinum weight: 1 oz

This unique set includes 3 different precious metal proof coins from 1990, the 1 oz Australian Gold Nugget / Kangaroo, the 1 oz Australian Silver Kookaburra and the 1 oz Australian Platinum Koala.

3-Coin Tribute to Freedom proof set 2002

"Tribute to Freedom" proof sets 2002

total gold weight: 0.5 or 1.5 oz

total silver weight: 1 oz

The Perth Mint issued these sets in 2002 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Liberty Bell's casting and the 225th anniversary of the adoption of the American flag. Two different "Tribute to Freedom" sets exist. A 3-coin set that was issued 499 times includes the proof 1 oz and 1/2 oz Gold Kangaroo (with the Liberty Bell privy mark) together with the proof 1 oz Silver Kookaburra. A 2-coin set without the 1 oz Kangaroo was issued 999 times.