Kookaburra – Coveted collector and bullion coins from Down Under


There’s no question about it: the Australian kookaburra is one of the best-known and most sought-after collector coins in the world. This is a gold coin and silver coin with an annually changing kingfisher as a motif. It is even more popular than, for example, the Tiger gold coin (1998.1 oz) from the Lunar Series I. But what makes the Kookaburra so special and where does the unusual name actually come from?

The Kookaburra coin originated in Australia, with its name coming from the Aboriginal language. It is the name for the world’s largest kingfisher, native to eastern and southeastern Australia. The kookaburra is best known for its characteristically loud calls and its gray color.

Kookaburra design and origin

The original form of the kookaburra is the kookaburra silver coin. This is a 1-ounce silver coin that was first produced in 1990 by the mint “Perth Mint” . Thanks to a fineness of 999/1000, it was soon considered a popular collector and bullion coin.

In terms of design , the Kookaburra is primarily impressive due to its annually changing motifs. The kingfisher sits on the stump of a eucalyptus tree, a leaf branch next to it. This motif is also supplemented by the words “The australian Kookaburra” and the respective year of minting. However, it is not only available in silver. Rather, collectors can also opt for gold kookaburra coins . This is especially worthwhile if you consider buying coins less as a hobby and more as a long-term and lucrative form of investment.

Kookaburra (silver) coins motifs

Silver co ins and gold coins from Australia always convince with their beautiful motifs. The following motifs were seen on the Kookaburra coin in the past 30 years:

  • 1991: A kingfisher in the branches of a tree.
  • 1992: A bird with erect tail feathers on a branch.
  • 1993: The kingfisher on the way to its nest – with a lizard as prey.
  • 1994: Two kookaburras on a branch.
  • 1995: A left looking bird sitting on a branch.
  • 1996: The bird flies with spread wing feathers.
  • 1997: The kingfisher at the nest with its chicks.
  • 1998: A bird on a wooden fence.
  • 1999: Two kookaburras, one large and one small, on a sloping branch.
  • 2000: A thin branch with dense leaves on which the bird sits.
  • 2001: Two birds looking in opposite directions.
  • 2002: The kingfisher flies in front of the outline of the Australian continent.
  • 2003: The bird is sitting on the piece of a branch.
  • 2004: Two kookaburras, one sitting, the other flying.
  • 2005: A slanting branch with few leaves on which a kingfisher is sitting.
  • 2006: Two kingfishers sitting on a branch with open beaks.
  • 2007: A bird on a bare branch.
  • 2008: The kookaburra sits on a barbed wire fence.
  • 2009: A kingfisher sits in front of the rays of the rising sun.
  • 2010: A bird on a gnarled branch.
  • 2011: With wings spread wide, the kingfisher sits on a splintered tree stump.
  • 2012: The bird on a branch with leaves.
  • 2013: Two birds on a branch.
  • 2014: A single bird on a branch.
  • 2015: A kingfisher looks to the right and sits on a branch (year 1990 – 2015).
  • 2016: The kingfisher sits on a fence post wrapped with barbed wire.
  • 2017: Two birds on a picket fence.
  • 2018: The flying kingfisher in front of the rising moon.
  • 2019: The kingfisher sits on a drifting branch in front of the rising sun on the 20109 Kookaburra coin.
  • 2020: The kookaburra sits on a roof gable in front of the rising sun.
  • 2021: The kingfisher sits on a branch and looks to the right.

More coins

Besides the Kookaburra, there are other valuable coins from Australia. These include, for example, the following collectibles:

Tip: Always store your coins in a coin box. So you can protect them from any damage and enjoy their sight for a long time.

History and development of the Australian kookaburra

  • 1990: While the Kookaburra was only available as a 1 Oz coin in its year of release in 1990, you can now get the popular Australian coin in different versions, for example as a 2 or 10 Oz or 1 kg coin.
  • 1993: The year 1993 brought further changes for the Kookaburra. Just three years after its appearance, the Kookaburra silver coin began to feature annually changing motifs. Another special feature: Since then, the 2-oz silver coin has also been available in the minting quality “stamp gloss”.
  • 2014: Since 2014, the “Perth Mint” has minted the mini Kookaburra in addition to the classic variant. The weight of this coin is only 0.5 grams, but this does not negatively affect its appearance.

Kookaburra: The famous silver coin from Perth Mint

The Kookaburra is one of the most famous silver bullion coins from Australia. Because: Regardless of its unit of weight, it always consists of pure silver. Despite the changing coin designs, there are some standards that distinguish the Kookaburra:

  • The value side always features an image of Queen Elizabeth II . She is the head of the Commonwealth of Nations, which includes Australia.
  • On the picture side is always an Australian kingfisher For: As the namesake of the coin, the “Kookaburra” is indispensable.
  • These two properties complements an excellent mint quality (the so-called stamp gloss).

Good to know: There is another special feature in the Kookaburra series. In the proof version (PP or proof), the motif of the following year is also shown each year. So as a collector, you already know in advance which kookaburra you can look forward to next year.

The Kookaburra Gold: A collector’s item with rarity value

Most of the Kookaburra coins are circulation coins made of pure silver. However, the rare kingfisher is also available as a bullion coin. These include, for example, the Kookaburra gold coin (2021, 1/10 oz). Like the silver coin, the kookaburra in the gold edition also inspires with its annually changing motif. It always shows the Australian kingfisher surrounded by different design elements. This can be the branch of a tree or the gable of a house. Although the silver kingfisher is already a special collector’s item, the gold variant is even more sought after due to its rarity value.

Good to know: No matter which specimen you would like to add to your collection: When buying coins, always rely on an expert and compare the various purchase prices before deciding on one or more coins. A price comparison is worthwhile in any case!

Buy Kookaburra Gold Coins: Here at RareCoin

Would you like to have your coins valued or acquire new collectibles? Then RareCoin is the right place for you. As our name suggests, you will find a wide range of rare coins made of various precious metals. This applies to the “Australian classics” such as the Kookaburra as well as to the “Dragon & Phoenix” gold coin (2018, 1oz) or the Winged Victory High Relief (2021, 1 oz) in gold. The latter may not be as well known as the popular kingfisher, but are still among the most popular collectibles in the world.

As experts in fascinating collectible coins, we are very familiar with demand and supply in the coin market and know when is the best possible time to invest in gold or silver coins or sell your existing collection. We are happy to be at your disposal as a competent contact person, either online or in our gold trade on site.

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