Australia is home to the most unusual and wondrous creatures unlike any other place on the earth. Of all the bird species, the well recognized kookaburra is one the more notable birds that inhabits the Australian lands. A kookaburra is a large kingfisher and is predominately a meat eater.
Being the size of a raven, the kookaburra preys on lizards, snakes, fish, and smaller birds. Kookaburras have an array of beautifully colored feathers and they make loud and cackling sounds much like the laugh of an insane person.
Production and Mintage
The Perth Mint in Australia is a modern facility and known to produce superb bullion and coins. In 1990, the mint memorialized the kookaburra by minting the first Australian Silver Kookaburra bullion coins.
These Australian Silver Kookaburras are highly sought after as collectable coins, and only come second to the Australian Silver Kangaroos and Koala bullion coins. This highly skilled mint produces up to 350,000 uncirculated Silver Kookaburra bullion coins each year, demonstrating the mint’s competent and skilled facility.
Design and Purity
Australian Silver Kookaburras are made from 99.9% pure silver. They come in four weights: 1 oz with a face value of $1.00, 2 oz with a face value of $2.00, 10 oz with a face value of $10.00, and lastly, 1 kilogram (approximately 30 oz) with a value of $30.00.
The front of each Silver Kookaburra is adorned with the image of Queen Elizabeth II and the inscription Elizabeth II, Australia, the purity, and weight. The “P” mintmark is included to designate the Perth Mint as minting the coins. The image of Queen Elizabeth II shown on each year’s coin reveals a youthful Queen on earlier mintages and as the years go by, a more middle-aged Queen is revealed.
The back of the Australian Silver Kookaburra is embellished with the kookaburra in an endearing pose – no design is ever repeated. Some of the designs include more than one kookaburra. In 1994, the Silver Kookaburra coin included artwork of two kookaburra birds perched on a branch.
The inscription AUSTRALIAN SILVER KOOKABURRA, the weight, purity, and the year follow the reeded edge of each coin. The 1996 Silver Kookaburra featured a kookaburra bird in flight with its wings spread open and in 2002 the artwork depicted a kookaburra flying high over a raised impression of Australia as seen from the air.
The long-awaited 2013 issue reveals two young kookaburras perched on a tree branch and surrounded by flowers. The detail and contrasting proof finish gives a sense of life to these curious looking birds. The Perth Mint issued 1,000,000 of these gorgeous coins and there will not be any additional quantities minted.
The Silver Kookaburras were originally issued as proof coins, but all the coins are offered in pure bullion and the larger weight coins are minted in regular bullion form. The coins are minted with a matte finish and then an added proof sheen on other parts of the coin to highlight the artwork.
The beautiful contrast is an eye-catcher and makes these silver bullion coins a favorite among many coin collectors. Each coin is packaged in a capsule sealed at the mint to prevent oxidation and possible damage.