Australian Gold "Kangaroo" 1 oz.
Australia entered the 1 Troy ounce gold coin market in 1986 with a coin called the “Gold Nugget”.
The early design idea was to feature a different gold nugget found in Australia on the back or
reverse side of the coin each year the coin was struck. Perhaps this idea belonged to a miner,
because it surely did not belong to anyone in advertising. Though the idea of trying to depict
rather obscure gold nuggets on the backs of gold coins did little to help the sales of these
new mint products, the fact that the coins had an interesting two-tone like finish and came
protected in individual hard clear plastic cases did set the coins apart from the competition
and the early coins did find buyers.
How The "Nugget" Became The "Kangaroo"
A couple of years later a limited production proof strike was designed and minted with a
kangaroo on the reverse side of the coin, and the coin world fell in love. Next year a kangaroo
replaced the gold nugget design, and the rest is history, although confusing history.
The coin is still officially known as the Australian Gold Nugget, but most know it and
call it by it’s common name, the “Kangaroo”.
Similarities To Other Gold Bullion Coins
The Perth Mint, which is the official mint of Australia, produces these coins, and they do a
very fine job. Like the Chinese Panda, the design of the Australian Gold Kangaroo is still
changed every year and while this may seem like a simple task, there are no simple tasks
involved in minting pure gold coins without error. The Perth Mint also has things in common
with the Royal Canadian Mint, like the cameo portrait of Queen Elizabeth that graces the
front or obverse side of the coin. Australia, like Canada, pays homage to England on the
face of their most widely circulated gold coins. And again, like both the Canadian Gold Maple
Leaf and the Chinese Gold Panda, the “Kangaroo” coins contain no other metals than gold
and are 99.99% pure.
A Collectible Bullion Coin
Because of the seemingly universal appeal of the Kangaroo animal depicted in this series, beggining
collectors as well as experienced numismatists are drawn to this coin. Pair this with the relatively
limited annual production of these gold bullion coins, and you have a recipe for coins that gain in value
not only due to the rising price of gold, but the desire of others who are willing to pay a little extra to get
a particular year's strike to add to their collection.