Australian Kangaroo 1/2 ounce (Perth Mint)
The Australian Kangaroo 1/2 ounce, also known also as the Australian Gold Nugget, is the best-selling item of the Perth Mint. It is most famous for the fact that its design changes every year. Additionally, it is produced in limited editions, making it very popular among collectors. Because of this, it is considered a rare item and its price on the market may rise with time, even faster than the price of gold itself. The only other gold coin in the world that changes design regularly is the Chinese Panda.
The Australian Gold Nugget has been in production since 1986. In the first three years of its production, different examples of gold nuggets mined across Australia were featured in the background of the coin. After 1989 the design was altered, so now it features different kinds of kangaroos, the most famous symbol of Australia. Due to this change in design, the coin has been unofficially named the Australian Kangaroo. Although the Perth Mint has produced larger gold coins, the Australian Kangaroo, weighing one ounce, is the standard size and it is currently the largest item in offer.
The Perth Mint is the official gold and silver coin mint in Australia. It is owned by the State of Western Australia. The mint started operating in 1899, two years before to the Australian continent became a federation.
The Perth Mint is also known for gold coins of very unusual weights, such as the 1kg Australian Kangaroo coin. It is no surprise then that in 2011 this mint produced the largest gold coin in the world–80cm in diameter, 12cm wide, and weighing 1012kg. This gold coin weighing more than a ton is made of pure gold and its value at the moment of minting was 53 million Australian dollars.