World Coins

Coins bring Australia’s wildlife to life at night

The Royal Australian Mint is launching a new coin series called Echoes of Australian Fauna. The silver $5 coins feature selective gold plating on black nickel surfaces.

Coin images courtesy of the Royal Australian Mint.

Australia’s wildlife is famous for its diversity and mystery, and a new coin series from the Royal Australian Mint taps into those characteristics. 

The Royal Australian Mint on March 4 will issue the first 2019 $5 coin in its Echoes of Australian Fauna series, featuring native Australian animals in black nickel and with selective gold plating.

“The black nickel plate accentuates the mysterious and primordial nature of the landscape while the selective gold plate, alternating with the black nickel, provides a beautiful contrast showcasing these unique and elusive creatures,” according to RAM.

counterfeit 1913-S Indian head, Bison on Plains 5-cent coinInside Coin World: Mint mark key to identifying counterfeit: A fake 1913-S Buffalo nickel, foreign coins pulled from Roosevelt dime rolls and 1873 Seated Liberty half dollars are column topics in the March 11, 2019, issue of Coin World.

The reverse of each coin will feature artwork of a different Australian animal

The first coin in the series celebrates the extinct Tasmanian tiger. Benjamin, the last known Tasmanian Tiger, died Sept. 7, 1936, at Hobart Zoo.  

The second $5 coin shows the lesser bilby, which was an inhabitant of Australia’s driest deserts, and recorded as a living animal on just a handful of occasions between its discovery in 1887 and its extinction in the 1950s.  

The final coin shows the night parrot, a small ground-dwelling nocturnal parrot found only in Australia. Until very recently it was through to be extinct — with no confirmed sighting of it for more than 100 years until photographic evidence of a living specimen was revealed in 2013.

The obverse of the coins features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, as sculptured by Ian Rank-Broadley.

All of the coins in the series are Australian legal tender.

Each 1-ounce .999 fine silver coin measures 40 millimeters in diameter.

The lesser bilby coin will be available on May 6, and the night parrot coin will be available on July 1.

Each coin has a mintage limit of 5,000 pieces and retails for $140 Australian.

The coins are available from the Mint’s online store

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