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Perth Mint Anniversary Series

Published May 20, 2024 | 2 min read

By Louis Golino

The Perth Mint recently launched two coin programs. The first marks the mint’s 125th anniversary, while the second celebrates the Wedge Tailed Eagle’s 10th anniversary.

125th Birthday

Founded in June 1899 at the height of Western Australia’s gold rush, the Perth Mint is Australia’s oldest coining facility. It is one of the world’s leading mints and precious-metal refiners today. It has a well-earned reputation for producing high-quality bullion and collector coins. 

The facility was first established as a branch of the British Royal Mint. The Australian government purchased the mint in 1970. According to the mint’s website, it is the world’s only government-owned and guaranteed precious-metals enterprise. It played a major role in the country’s economic development.

To mark this milestone, Perth had artist Jennifer McKenna create a special design that portrays three iconic Aussie animals: a koala, a kangaroo, and a kookaburra arranged in a golden wattle, Australia’s national floral emblem. McKenna included the years 1899 and 2024 on the scroll. The coin’s weight, fineness, the year 2024, and the ‘P125’ privy mark complete this design.

The design first appeared in April on 1-ounce, .9999-fine silver and gold coins with mintages of 150,000 and 25,000, respectively, and in .9995-fine platinum limited to 5,000 coins.

This month, it was issued in silver and gold proof versions, a four-coin type set of the silver pieces in different finishes, and a 2-ounce, .9999-fine silver proof coin with a 2,500 mintage in which each animal and the edge is gilded.

The 125th anniversary issue comes in four beautiful finishes. (Photos: Perth Mint)

A Decade of the Wedge-Tailed Eagle

In 2014 Perth announced that it was teaming up with the 12th U.S. Mint Chief Engraver John Mercanti—who has designed more coins for the U.S. Mint than anyone else—to create a new coin series. The coin features a different depiction of an Australian wedge-tailed eagle almost every year.

Because of this series’ impressive global popularity, the mint issued each motif in a wide range of sizes, metals, and finishes.

The 2024 10th anniversary design—the 9th to date with an eagle in flight with both wings fully extended—was first released in March as a 1-ounce, .9999-fine silver bullion coin with a mintage of 50,000 coins.

The obverse is the first to carry Dan Thorne’s effigy of King Charles III. In early May, the mint launched special proof versions of this design. These ultra-high-relief pieces feature gilding on the eagle. The mintage is 5,000. A 5-ounce version was also issued, which is the same but without gilding and a mintage of 1,000 coins.

Given past practice, collectors can likely expect to see additional versions of the anniversary coin in the coming months.