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The Australian Silver Koala is a fairly new coin that has gained great popularity around the world. The coins are beloved keepsakes in Australia and are popular with bullion silver collectors throughout the globe. Thanks to the changing yearly designs, every annual issue is unique. Each mintage is limited to demand orders for the year, which means that a few years where less coins were struck have gained some collector's premium. These coins are a great and fun choice with which to diversify your IRA.
Australian Silver Koala History and Background
The Perth Mint first released its Silver Koalas back in 2007. These coins are a part of the story which the Perth Mint is eager to share with people around the world. The mint decided to make these Silver Koalas part of their series on national wildlife. Every release has spotlighted an animal the country regards as a national treasure. It is because of this world class animal population that so many visitors are drawn to the country. Over 80% of the mammals, reptiles, fish, and plants only occur in the “land down under.”
Australia's Perth Mint wildlife series has featured animals including the kookaburra, the spider hunting scorpion, the kangaroo, and the now extinct thylacoleo marsupial that resembles a lion. After Perth finished minting its Kookaburra and Lunar silver bullion coins, they chose the Koala Bear to be their next coin series. Because Koalas are only native in Australia, they made an excellent subject that is immediately recognized as a mascot for the country. The coins have more value than some silver bullion issues because the mint has always limited the numbers of them to not oversupply the bullion market.
Australian Silver Koala Physical Characteristics
The Perth Mint guarantees all of its Silver Koalas for their silver content, weight, and purity. Each year's design is different.
The Perth Mint began its existence as a British Royal Mint branch. It looked to British native Ian Rank-Broadley's award winning design of Australia's head of state Queen Elizabeth for the obverse of the coin. Rank-Broadley won the 1997 Royal Mint contest for his rendering of the Queen that has appeared on all circulating British coins since then. The obverse of the coin features this beloved portrait of her majesty with the word “Australia,” the face value of the coin (which can be 50 cents, $1, $10, or $30 depending on the size of the coin), and the year of mintage.
The Silver Koala reverse side is altered each year. It always has some sort of Koala Bear image, which helps to account for the bullion coin collecting popularity. The 2009 issue showed one Koala holding a branch of a tree on a shimmery background. In 2011, the coins showed off a mother and baby Koala Bear sitting in a tree. On the 2014 issues, the coins displayed the Koala Bear face as a close up with eucalyptus leaves around it, and it had fantastic detail of the fur.
Australian Silver Koala bullion is struck in a variety of weights: 1/2 ounce, one ounce, 10 ounces, and 1 kilogram. The specifications for the most popular one ounce Silver Koalas include:
- Mass: 31.1 grams
- Diameter: 40.6 mm
- Thickness: 2.98 mm
- Silver Content: 99.99% pure in one ounce
Australian Silver Koala Pricing
The face value of all Australian Silver Koala coins is not the same. The most popular and heavily minted version is $1. There are also 50 cent, $10, and $30 denominations struck as 1/2 ounce, 10 ounce, and 1 kilogram coins respectively. Each coin clearly expresses its face value. The law in Australia makes each of these different coins legal tender, but no one spends them at this minimum value. Actual values of Silver Koalas are substantially higher than their face value declares. The basis for this is that their intrinsic value is heavily determined by the silver content in each coin. Besides a few rarer year issues, the coins' fair market value generally depends on the spot price of silver.
These silver prices fluctuate up or down during the weekly trading days. This causes the prices of Australian Silver Koala coins to change daily as well. You are able to look at the actual current precious metals prices by going to our home page.
Investing in Australian Silver Koala Coins Through an IRA
The good news is that Australian Silver Koala coins have been approved by the IRS to be included in your precious metals IRA. Adding tangible silver bullion to your account provides you with a unique diversification to your portfolio. The prices of these coins do not gyrate alongside stock and bond markets. Silver has been a popular investment insurance relative to gold as its price point is much more affordable.
The IRS has acknowledged the value of investing in tangible precious metals by allowing these self directed IRAs to hold physical metals that include silver, platinum, gold, and palladium. This is where the accounts derive their name of precious metals IRAs. One caveat to the vehicles is that they can only contain IRS approved bullion such as Australian Silver Koalas. The initial purchase amount minimum is $5,000 when funding these kinds of IRA accounts. Subsequent purchases can be made for as little as $1,000.
The IRS has a few rules for such precious metals assets in IRAs. They must demonstrate a minimum purity to qualify. The Perth Mint guarantees that every Silver Koala coin meets these standards. According to IRS regulations, these silver bullion coins have to be safeguarded by an account administrator in an approved third party vault. These precious metals depositories store, insure, and guarantee the safety of your bullion so that you do not have to worry about it. If you have an already existing IRA account that you want to move to a new precious metals IRA, you can easily do this through the process of rolling over the old IRA. When you are ready to purchase coins like the Silver Koalas, your administrator will make the arrangements with a coin dealer on your behalf.
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