Of the many iconic coins in the world – think Canada’s Maple Leaf or the American Silver Buffalo – the Australian Animals series is one of the most easily recognizable (and popular!). Encompassing everything from the classic Kookaburra to the iconic Kangaroo coins, Australia’s Animal coins are highly collectible worldwide.
Originally developed to celebrate Australia’s unique wildlife (stemming from its long isolation from the other continents), the Australian Animals series produced by the Perth Mint expanded in recent years to include the marine wildlife around the island (including bottle-nosed dolphins and sea turtles). The kookaburra, platypus, dingo, koala, and kangaroo are all present, along with some newer favorites such as the osprey and the absolutely adorable quokka. If you’ve never seen a quokka, don’t worry, one look at their coins and you’ll never forget those furry faces.
Kangaroo – No doubt the most popular Australian animal, in coin form and biological, is the kangaroo. This animal is so iconic to Australia that it kicked off the entire series of Australian animal coins, being featured as the first animal to appear on coins from the Perth Mint. The kangaroo is a marsupial which is well-known for having a pouch which it carries young kangaroos, or joeys, in. It's impossible to think of Australia without picturing a kangaroo.
Kookaburra – Face it, you just love saying its name! The kookaburra is one of the many delightful animals native to Australia. Though this tiny little bird might look cute, it is vicious meat-eater, exclusively dining on living prey, including the babies of other birds!
Platypus – The platypus is one of the strangest, if not the strangest, animals in the world. It is famous for baffling biologists for decades, with many leading experts in the field believing it to be a taxidermied fake. It's just too weird for anyone to believe such a creature actually exists! But exists it does, and is native to Austalia. The platypus is a mammal, but it lays eggs, and that's just one of its many contradictions as a unique species of wildlife.
Bottlenose Dolphin – Dolphins are probably the funnest animals in the sea, and many experts believe their intelligence is on par with humans. They are an incredibly social animal, and can easily communicate with humans and even collaborate with us just as dogs might. Of course, Australia doesn't have a monopoly on the ocean, so these dolphins can be found all over the world but are commonly found in the Pacific Ocean near Australia.
Koala – If any animals gives the kangaroo a run for its money when it comes to its Australianess, it would be the Koala. It's another quintessentially Australian animal, and one that is widely popular because of its cute teddy bear-like appearance. However, koalas are wild animals and can be dangerous to humans, so you'll want to resist the urge to cuddle if you see one in the wild. They are also known for being rather mellow, as they typically feed almost exclusively on eucalyptus. The low nutritional value leads to a very sedentary life for koalas since they aren't getting enough energy to exert carelessly.
If you're interested in animal-themed coins, then the Lunar New Year series is probably also on your list. This series is from the Perth Mint as well, but instead of featuring Australian animals, it features animals from the Chinese Zodiac. This series gives you another chance to collect incredible animals on your silver and gold coins.