Hey Mate ... Have You Considered Australian Gold Coins?

Australian gold coins might be the perfect fit for you if ...

  • You're searching for high quality yet competitively-priced gold.
  • A broad range of gold coins in different gold weights is a priority.
  • You appreciate the fine art exhibited on these gold coins.

I'm sure everyone shopping for gold bullion coins agrees with the first priority. But the second one is especially important if ever you want to sell a small portion of your gold.

Finally the last priority listed is just icing on the cake if you're an art lover.

The purpose of this page is to highlight key facts concerning two popular Australian gold coins:

  • Australian Gold Nugget/Kangaroo Coins
  • Australian Lunar Gold Coins

You may ask yourself why Australian Gold Nuggets are also called Kangaroos.The Perth Mint made this change over time since the kangaroo is a more widely-recognized Australian symbol.

First, the gold nugget image was replaced by a kangaroo in 1990. Then in 2008 the coin inscription was changed from “The Australian Nugget” to
“Australian Kangaroo.”

Gold Purity

The gold fineness of 1988 and later Australian Gold Nuggets (Kangaroos) is four-nines-fine (99.99%) gold bullion.

I believe 1986 and 1987 Gold Nugget issues are three-nines-fine (99.9%) gold since the fineness inscriptions changed from “FINE GOLD” in 1987 to
“9999 GOLD” in 1988.

Gold Lunar Series I and II Coins are 99.99% gold bullion.

Please click on the image below to view the Perth Mint's latest gold coins.

Sponsored Link The Perth Mint Australia

What Are The Different Sizes?

Kangaroo and Lunar Gold Coins are currently minted in the following gold weights and face values:

Gold WeightFace ValueKangarooLunar
    120 oz.    AU$5    X
    110 oz.    AU$15      X    X
    ¼ oz.    AU$25      X    X
    ½ oz.    AU$50      X    X
    1 oz.    AU$100      X    X
    2 oz.    AU$200    X
    10 oz.    AU$1,000    X
    1 kg.    AU$3,000      X    X
    10 kg.    AU$30,000    X

The above table does not include some older coins that have been discontinued (i.e. 120 oz. Australian Nugget). Please see the history section below for those details.

Face values of these Australian gold coins are merely symbolic. Their true values are closely tied to the spot gold price for one troy ounce of gold bullion.

The spot gold price is used as a baseline by gold bullion dealers when pricing their products. Click here for more details about gold bullion prices.

Artwork on Obverse

Queen Elizabeth II is pictured on the obverse (heads) side of all Australian gold coins listed here. Different portraits are used on the various coins but all obverse images are of the queen.

Artwork on Reverse

A gold nugget is displayed on the reverse (tails) side of the 1986-1989 Australian Gold Nugget Coins. Each coin size has a different gold nugget depicted.

An image change from nugget to kangaroo was made in 1990. The kangaroo or wallaby displayed on 1 oz. or smaller coins is the same. However the picture changes annually.

The kangaroo image on larger Australian gold coins stays the same from
year to year.

Chinese lunar calendar animals are featured on the obverse side of Australian Lunar Gold Coins.

A mouse (rat) is displayed on the first Lunar Series Coin minted in 1996. The next 11 years in succession are the ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

In 2008 the Perth Mint began the 12-year cycle over with the Lunar Series II Gold Coins. Different pictures of the same animals are used.

Also, Lunar Series II Gold Coins have an inscription labeling the animal for each lunar year (i.e. “Year of the Dragon”).

History of Gold Nuggets/Kangaroos and Lunar Series

DateEvent Description
1986Australian Nugget 1 oz., 12 oz.,14 and 110 oz. Coins are
first minted.
1988Gold purity increased from 99.9% to 99.99% (four-nines-fine).
1990Kangaroo1 replaced nugget on reverse side and 120 oz. coin
was added.
1991Gold Nugget/Kangaroo 2 oz., 10 oz., and 1 kg. Coins are added with face values of AU$500, AU$2,500, and AU$10,000.
1992Face values are changed for 2 oz., 10 oz. and 1 kg. coins to AU$200, AU$1,000 and AU$3,000 respectively.
1996Lunar Series2 1 oz., 14 oz., 110 oz. and 120 oz. Coins are first minted.
1999“P100” is stamped3 on reverse since Perth Mint is 100 years old. The portrait of the queen was changed.
2000Lunar 2 oz., 10 oz. and 1 kg. Coins are added to Lunar Series.
2004Lunar 14 oz. Coin is added.
2006Lunar 10 kg. Coin is added.
2008Australian Nugget name was changed to Australian Kangaroo.
Lunar Series2 started over with new Chinese calendar images.
The portrait of the queen was changed.
2009Kangaroo 10 oz., 2 oz., and 120 oz. Coins are dropped.

1NOTE: Kangaroo image is changed annually for 1 oz. and fractional coins.
2NOTE: Each year a different Chinese calendar animal is on reverse side.
           In 2008 the 12-year cycle began again with new images.
3NOTE: Only for 1999 coins.

Proof Coins

Some of the current or recently-minted gold proof coins are:

  • 2012 Lunar Series II Year of the Dragon in 110 oz., ¼ oz. and 1 oz. gold weights.
  • 2011 25th anniversary of Australia's gold coin program in a 1 oz. coin.
  • 2011 Lunar Series II Year of the Rabbit in 110 oz., ¼ oz. and 1 oz. gold weights.
  • 2011 Koala 125 oz., 110 oz., 1 oz. and 2 oz. Gold Coins.

All of these Australian gold coins are 99.99% pure gold and include the “P” mint mark to identify the Perth Mint. Additionally they have low mintage numbers which should appeal to coin collectors.

World-Class Coins From Down Under

One last nugget -- in 1957 the Perth Mint made history by producing a proof section of gold bullion that was 999.999 fine. That's impressive.

In review, Australian gold coins are available in a wide range of sizes and backed by a world-class mint. This makes them a solid gold choice when buying gold bullion coins.

Please select a link in my navigation bar (upper left) or one of the links listed below to learn more about gold bullion and silver bullion.

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