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A best-selling platinum coin series from Australia, the Platinum Koala is a product of the world-famous Perth Mint located in Perth, Australia. The Platinum Koala is one of the very few platinum bullion series that continues to maintain year-to-year production, and is still a great coin for collectors and investors alike. You can learn all that you need to know about the Platinum Koala coins series right here.
Development, Introduction and History
Beginning in 1986, the Gold Corporation began minting gold bullion (such as the Australian Kangaroo series) on behalf of the Western Australian government. These releases were so successful that, the very next year, the government approved the minting of both silver and platinum coins. The Platinum Koala series began in September of 1988, becoming the first national coin series to offer 1 oz. denominated platinum bullion, and was instantly an international hit.
In 1991, larger versions of gold, silver and platinum Australian bullion coins – 2 oz., 10 oz. and 1 kilogram weight denominations – were introduced for purchase from Perth. The popularity of the Perth Mint’s coins in international markets has made the Gold Corporation one of the top export earners in all of Australia.
The Mint has always maintained low issue numbers for their platinum coins, making Australian Platinum Koalas relatively scarce. These coins are also the most exquisitely designed, crafted and frosted platinum coins on the market – the brilliance of Australian Platinum Koalas is unmatched among platinum bullion coins.
Most Australian bullion coins show the images and carry the names of the extremely unusual subset of animals unique to the Australian continent alone. The koala is a tree-dwelling marsupial, known and adored worldwide for it’s child-like dimensions and teddy bear appearance. In fact, surveys of tourists in Australia consistently place the Koala as the most sought after animal to see during their visit.
Australian Platinum Koala Physical Characteristics
The front, or “obverse”, design of Platinum Koalas features a portrait of British Monarch Queen Elizabeth II. Created by Ian Rank Broadley, this portrait is one of the most recognizable symbols found on national coinage the world around. Most Australian bullion coins bear the image of Elizabeth II.
The Queen is surrounded by the words ELIZABETH II, AUSTRALIA and the face value of the Koala coin (100 DOLLARS, for example).
Each year a different representation of a koala bear is depicted on the rear (“reverse”) side of Platinum Koala coins. The perimeter of the reverse side will have THE AUSTRALIAN KOALA written prominently, along with the year of mintage, weight denomination and purity (.9995 PLATINUM).
While larger weight denominations have been issued, the Australian Koala Platinum coins series is most commonly offered in five different sizes, ranging from 1/20 oz. to 1 oz.
|Platinum Content||Face Value||Diameter||Thickness||Weight|
|1 oz.||A$100||32.1 mm||2.70 mm||31.119 g|
|1/2 oz.||A$50||25.1 mm||2.03 mm||15.561 g|
|1/4 oz.||A$25||20.1 mm||1.90 mm||7.779 g|
|1/10 oz.||A$15||16.1 mm||1.40 mm||3.112 g|
|1/20 oz.||A$5||14.1 mm||1.32 mm||1.571 g|
All Australian Platinum Koalas are guaranteed to be 99.95% platinum, making them eligible for IRA investing.
Australian Platinum Koala Pricing
Each Platinum Koala carries a face value – it’s transactional value when used as a currency. This value is dictated and backed by the government of Australia.
While technically legal tender in Australia, these values are largely symbolic; the actual value of Platinum Koalas is typically far greater than the listed face value.
Face value is completely separate from an Australian Platinum Koala’s market value, which is primarily determined from the spot price of platinum.
The spot price of platinum fluctuates daily, so the market prices for platinum bullion coins will fluctuate daily as well. For live metals pricing, check out our home page.
Adding Australian Platinum Koala Coins to an IRA
All official Australian Platinum Koala coins are eligible to be placed inside of a self-directed IRA.
By placing real, physical platinum inside of an IRA, investors add diversification to their portfolio that is independent of the fluctuations of stocks and bonds. Platinum is far more scarce than either gold or silver, and investments in platinum are becoming more liquid as investors continue to recognize the value of this special metal.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows specific types of IRAs to carry gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion in a portfolio. Sometimes referred to as a “precious metals IRA”, only IRS-approved bullion – such as the Australian Platinum Koala – can be added to these investment vehicles.
Investors must make a minimum initial purchase of $5,000 of approved metals in order to establish a precious metals IRA. Each subsequent purchase must be at least $1,000. Additionally, any purchase of investment bullion for an IRA is required to be transferred to, and held within, an approved precious metals depository. These depositories are responsible for the safety and maintenance of the metals until a distribution is made.
Any IRS-approved bullion must meet minimum purity requirements in order to be included in an IRA. All Australian Platinum Koala coins are guaranteed by the Perth Mint to meet these requirements.
Those with existing IRAs have the option of transferring or rolling over funds into a precious metals IRA.
The Perth Mint has an online store, making it possible to buy Platinum Koala coins directly from the minting source. Prices are listed in both Australian and U.S. dollars. Additionally, the Perth Mint has a list of authorized distributors of their precious metals. In order to purchase Platinum Koalas from previous years, distributors such as the American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX) are recommended.
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