Australian Kookaburra Silver Coins
Australian Silver Kookaburra Photos and Review
The Kookaburra is the flagship silver bullion coin series of Australia's Perth Mint and a personal favorite of mine. The Mint has struck a new release of the famous Kookaburra silver coin each year since 1990 with a changing design of the kookaburra bird annually. The new design, purity, and quality of this coin series has collectors around the world eagerly waiting for its release every year.
This lens has at least one photo of each year with a few others splashed in that I felt were distinctly unique. I focused mainly on the 1 ounce bullion releases and left out the 2, 10, and Kilos sizes. There are gilded, proof, and privy releases for many of the years also but I will leave that for another time. I hope you enjoy the review of these precious metal coins from the "Land Down Under".
2014 1 ounce Release - The series turns 25 years old!!!!
Please keep in mind that in most instances these are photos of actual coins taken by me. Usually they are from my personal collection. They are not meant to be perfect specimens, but rather a photographic representations of the real coins as they have made the journey from one collector to the next over the years. They are a great cost-effective way to get into collecting modern commemorative issues as each year a new coin is released with only a modest premium over the intrinsic value of the metal.
2013 Silver Kookaburra Coin
The design for the 2013 relases coin features two kookaburras settled on a tree branch with a flowery backdrop. The 2013 bullion coin issues come in 1 Kilo, 10, and 1 ounce sizes. 2004, 2001, 1999 and 1994 were other releases in the 24 year history of the coin where a pair of birds were featured. The coin was designed by Natasha Muhl and due to increasing demand the mintage was increased to 1 million coins. Then in a reversal the Perth Mint decreased the mintage level to 500,000 later in the calendar year.
2013 Silver Kookaburra Video Presentation
Excellent look at the 2013 Kookaburra by the Perth Mint
2012 Australian Kookaburra Coin
A one ounce pair of 2012 issues shown to the right. The mintage for the 2012 coin was increased to 500,000 from the traditional 300,000 due to high demand for silver bullion in general and Australian coins in particular. The coin release is limited to kilo, 10, and 1 ounce sizes.
The Kookaburra is an indigenous species to Australia and New Guinea. Their habitat is also diverse, spanning from humid rain forests to dry savanna climates.
2012 Kookaburra - 1 oz Silver Dragon Privy
In response to overwhelming demand for the Kookaburra the mint issued a special release with a dragon privy that has a limited mintage of only 80,000 coins! The design is similar to the specimen release of the 2012 silver Kookaburra coin struck in 99.9% fine silver designed by Darryl Bellotti with the exception of the lunar dragon privy mark. The Ian Rank-Broadley likeness of Elizabeth II and the legal tender monetary denomination are emblazoned on the obverse.
2012 High Relief Silver Kookaburra NGC MS70 - Nice Perfect Graded Example!
2011 Silver Kookaburra Coin
The 2011 Kookaburra sits perched on a tree stump and is either preparing to take flight or exercising its wings. The mintage limit was raised to 500,000 coins as international demand began to increase for these popular semi numismatic yearly offerings.
2010 1 Ounce Silver Kookaburra
Continuing the tradition of outstanding Kookaburra issues by the Perth Mint in this series the 2010 features a laughing kookaburra perched proudly on a tree branch looking to the right. 1 OZ 999 SILVER weight and purity is hallmarked on the coins obverse.. The Perth Mint "P" mint mark , "THE AUSTRALIAN KOOKABURRA" and the date are proudly displayed.
The 2009 Kookaburra is the 20th anniversary coin, with the unique "P20" mint mark signifying the occasion on the obverse. A laughing kookaburra sits with the rising sun in the background. 1 OZ 999 SILVER is hallmarked guaranteeing the weight and purity. "THE AUSTRALIAN KOOKABURRA" along with the date are also on the coins obverse. The design was by Darryl Bellotti.
2008 Silver Kookaburra Coin
Kookaburras have short, thick bodies, large heads and long bills. The 2008 edition is widely recognized at the top coin of the series. Perched on a barbed wire fence viewing a spider web the coin design is breathtaking. The mintage for this year was 300,000 one ounce coins. The design for the 2008 is credited Shevaun Buschenhofen.
Uniquely Toned 2008 Silver Kookaburra
The kookaburra is a uniquely Australian symbol that is reinforced each year with the release of the newest version of the bullion coin from the Perth Mint of Australia. This years release is bought to life in a unique, reverse proof finish. The kookaburra sits perched atop a branch, which is creating a disturbance in the water as it dips. He seems to be waiting for just the right time to capture the wayward insect or fish for its latest meal. Mintage was limited to 300,000 coins. The design for the 2007 silver kookaburra was by Justin Graham.
2007 Gilded Silver Kookaburra - with mint packaging and lapel pin
The 2006 Kookaburra is an elegant and simple presentation of pair of laughing birds nestled together on a branch. The mintage limit on this issue was 300,000 coins. The design of the 2006 release was by Ryan Vanderwiel.
The beauty of this issue lies in the simple design of a lone Kookaburra perched high on a tree branch gazing to the side. Mintage was 300,000.
A little artistic license with the 2005
Why is everyone Laughing?
Kookaburras are renowned for their one of a kind call, which sounds almost exactly like very loud, bellowing human laughter - it almost resembles out of control merriment in the case of the Laughing Kookaburra; and a hysterical cackle in the case Blue-Winged Kookaburra, a slightly smaller member of the species. The word "kookaburra" is actually a derivation of the aboriginal word, "guuguubarra",.
The 2004 Silver Kookaburra features one Kook perched on a tree branch echoing its trademark laugh and one in flight. A total of 300,000 coins were minted.for this .999 fine silver release.
2003 Kookaburra Silver Coin
2002 Silver Kookaburra
The 2002 Silver Kookaburra release features a classic design of the avian icon flying over Australia. Mintage was 300,000 coins.
2001 Silver Kookaburra
The 2001 Silver Kookaburra display two upward looking birds gazing around from their location on a tree brand. 300,000 was the mintage limit on this .999 fine silver example.
The beauty of the 2000 Silver Kookaburra lies in the simple elegance of the subject. Nothing more the a lone Kookaburra sitting on a tree branch with leaf cluster. The mintage limit was 300,000 coins.
The last Kookaburra of the Millennium, the 1999 Silver Kookaburra brings about the second instance of two birds resting on a tree branch, a total mintage limit of 300,000 was established.
1998 Silver Kookaburra
Kookaburras make a laughing call, usually in the early morning and right before darkness falls. The calls establish to other kookaburras where each one lives. The 1998 Silver Kookaburra has the flagship bird perched on a wooden railed fence in what looks to be the midst of its signature laughing call. 300,000 coins was the mintage limit for the year. The design was by Louise Pinder.
The 1997 Silver Kookaburra lands in the nest and feeds its young. The fine bullion coin in the photo has a gold Panda privy mark that the standard bullion release did not. The coin and presentation packaging in the photo were intended only for release in China. However, over the years many have made their way back to their homeland and into the hands of worldwide collectors.
And the 1997 standard bullion issue above. The design was by Milena Milan.
1995 1996 NGC MS70 Silver Kookaburra - Graded Perfect Australian Silver
For the 1995 and 96 issues we are showing graded examples. Grading of modern bullion has become increasingly popular in recent years. The coin is graded for the quality of the strike and then slabbed in a protective plastic holder with a label stating the grade of the coin. Above are a couple 1 ounce bullion version kookaburra coins in a perfect MS70 grade by NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation). On a personal note I quite enjoy the graded examples and have most of the years in the top grade as above.
1994 Australian Silver Kookaburra
Many don't know it but Australian Kookaburras are part of the group of birds called kingfishers. The 1994 Silver Kookaburra was the first time the coin featured two kookaburras. Relaxing preched on a branch surveying in opposite directions these special birds make an impressive subject. 300,000 was the mintage limit.
Kookaburras eat insects, small snakes, lizards, frogs and fish. The 1993 Silver Kookaburra delivers a lizard back to the nest to feed young demonstrating its carnivorous nature, The mintage limit was 300,000 coins. The legal tender denomination was changed to $1 this year where it remains to this day. This is mostly symbolic since the value of the silver in the coin is far greater than this.
The 1992 Silver Kookaburra stands perched on a tree branch preparing to emit its one of a kind sound, The mintage limit of 300,000 coins was never reached and in 2012 they we re-minted to the mintage limit. The new coins were distinct in that they were delivered in new round type perth mint capsules instead of the older square ones. This caused quite a stir in the coin collecting community and the mint shortly thereafter suspended "reminting" of previous issues in an official statement.
The 1991 Silver Kookaburra is peeking into a tree hole from his landing spot on a nearby tree branch. It could be peeking in to spot its next meal or perhaps returning from hunting with a meal for the little ones. 300,000 one ounce coins were minted in .999 fine silver. This was the 2nd and last year the Kookaburra had a legal tender status of $5. Many of the specimens from the early years exhibit toning on them as the coin capsules used for protection were not actually air tight.
1990 Silver Kookaburra Coin
The 1990 Silver Kookaburra was the inaugural year and features the uniquely Australian bird standing proudly on stump. A total of 300,000 coins were minted and placed in unique square presentation capsules. This is one of two of the issues to have an legal tender status of $5 with the other being the 1991.
Rolls of Silver Kookaburras
If you have ever wondered how rolls of silver coins are prepared for shipment at Australia's Perth Mint here is your answer. 20 individual 1 ounce coins in air tight capsules are shrink wrapped together to form a continuous roll. 5 rolls are placed in a tray as shown which is then sealed in a box for delivery.
1998 Sealed Roll of one ounce Silver Kookaburra Coins
More on Kookaburras
At twilight, kookaburras bellow out their trademark loud, long call that sounds like laughter to establish the boundaries of their territory. The largest of the kingfishers, kookaburras choose a mate for life. Chicks are born blind and without feathers. The naked chicks take about a month for their feathers to fill in. Older siblings regularly assist with the next generation of young. The birds can grow up to 18 inches long and weigh about one pound. Their long bills extend 4 inches. Remarkably they never drink water and get all needed moisture from the food they consume. They usually establish nests in a hollow trees.
These carnivorous birds have a life span of about 20 years. Their primary predators and threats include cats, dogs, foxes, and larger predatory birds like eagles and owls.