Two types of Silver Kangaroos?
If you are just starting out to invest in precious metals, you will sooner or later come across the Perth Mint’s Gold and Silver Kangaroo coins that are offered by almost all precious metal dealers online. Whereas the Perth Mint’s Australian Gold Kangaroo coins started out as Australian Gold Nugget coins back in 1986, the Perth Mint’s inauguration of the Australian Silver Kangaroos only happened fairly recently in 2015.
Some day when searching for Australian Silver Kangaroo coins on Google, you might be surprised to find such a coin series listed that started already back in 1993. What’s going on with that? The answer is quite simple. There exist in fact two different Australian Silver Kangaroo coin series by two different Australian Mints. Both coin series display an image of a kangaroo on their reverse side and a portrait of the British Queen Elizabeth II on their obverse. Whereas the Perth Mint is well-known among precious metal investors worldwide, the producer of the older Australian Silver Kangaroo coin series is only well-known in Australia but relatively unknown elsewhere.
The Royal Australian Mint’s Silver Kangaroos
The Royal Australian Mint that is based in Australia’s capital Canberra mints the older of the two different Silver Kangaroo coin series. It is Australia’s government mint that also produces the circulating coinage of the country. Due to this primary purpose, the mint is not so well known among investors in precious metals. The premium products that the Royal Australian Mint produces out of precious metals (including its Australian Silver Kangaroo series) are generally more targeted towards the numismatic collector market. These premium coins are produced in relatively limited mintages. Mintage numbers of the Royal Australian Mint’s Silver Kangaroos vary between a high of around 80,000 coins and a low of only 6,802 coins (unsurprisingly in the year of the last major financial crisis 2008).
Whereas the Perth Mint’s Silver Kangaroos are produced in the four denominations of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz (the 3 fractional denominations only as proof coins), the Royal Australian Mint’s Silver Kangaroos almost exclusively exist as 1 oz coins (with proof and frosted uncirculated finishes). The exceptions to this rule are the 5 oz Silver Kangaroo coins (only 1,993 coins issued worldwide) that the Royal Australian Mint issued in 2018 for the 25th anniversary of its coin series and the Kangaroo at Sunset coins that were released in some years.
The numismatic nature of the Royal Australian Mint’s Silver Kangaroos also shows itself in other ways. Some coins for example were issued with selective gold plating. In 2018, there was also a special 25th anniversary coin that was released together with a 2 oz silver bar. Furthermore, there were various series that lasted for a few years each during the ongoing Silver Kangaroo’s mint run. Currently, there is the “Season’s Change” series which is now (2018) in its third year. The coins of this series are packaged in a protective display card. There was also the “Explorers’ First Sightings” series (2013 – 2015) and the Australian Artist Series (2007 – 2009).
The annually changing reverse design of the Royal Australian Mint’s Silver Kangaroos was created by various artists in several other years as well. The Perth Mint’s Silver Kangaroos on the other hand display the same “Red Kangaroo” design on their reverse side in every year. The target towards bullion investors instead of numismatists also shows in the higher silver purity (99.99%) of the Perth Mint’s coins. During their first year of issue (2015), the Perth Mint’s coins were however also ‘just’ 99.9% pure like the Royal Australian Mint’s coins are in every year.
There are various other similarities between the two different silver coin series. Both types of coin have legal tender status in Australia and the legal face value of the 1 oz coin of both series is AUD $ 1. The diameter of the two different 1 oz coins is also nearly identical (40.60 mm for the Perth Mint’s 1 oz coins and 40 mm for the 1 oz coins that the Royal Australian Mint produces).
You will mostly find the Perth Mint’s Silver Kangaroos listed for sale on the pages of precious metal dealers online but some dealers like Apmex sell the Royal Australian Mint’s Silver Kangaroos as well. Whereas you would have to pay at least 60$ for a 1 oz coin of the Royal Australian Mint, you can get the Perth Mint’s 1 oz coins for less than 20$, so very close to the silver spot price. Why not compare the current prices of the Perth Mint’s coins on our Australian Silver Kangaroo page now?