Platinum Coins

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Platinum Coins at BullionMax

Investors with a penchant for precious metals often gravitate towards bullion coinage crafted from pure gold and silver. The gold bullion coin market traces its roots back to 1967 with the debut of South Africa’s Gold Krugerrand, while silver bullion coins burst onto the scene in the 1980s, highlighted by collections like the Chinese Silver Panda, American Silver Eagle, and Canadian Silver Maple Leaf. Although platinum bullion coins have quietly existed for over five decades, they are now attracting a growing number of investors and collectors alike. Platinum bullion coins have integrated into established collections such as the American Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf, and have also emerged with distinct series from mints worldwide. Delve into the world of platinum bullion coins offered by BullionMax in the following sections.

Australian Platinum Platypus and Koala

Australia holds the distinction of being the first major industrialized nation to introduce platinum bullion coinage. While other commemorative releases preceded it, Australia led the way in offering investment-grade platinum coins. The authorization for platinum coins from the Perth Mint came in 1987, with the Australian Platinum Koala being the inaugural issue in 1988.

The Australian Platinum Platypus, introduced in 2011, is now the most prevalent platinum coin from Australia. Featuring an annual design of a platypus on the reverse, each coin bears the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. Until the 2018 release, the Perth Mint exclusively utilized the fourth-generation portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, crafted by Ian Rank-Broadley for the Royal Mint of England in 1998. Subsequent Australian Platinum Coins, as of 2024, feature His Majesty King Charles III in a left-profile effigy created by Dan Thorne.

Australian platinum coins contain 1 Troy oz of .9995 pure platinum and carry face values of $100 (AUD) issued by the Australian federal government.

Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf

Canada followed suit as the next major nation to introduce an annual platinum bullion coin for investors. Expanding its existing Maple Leaf Series in 1988, the Royal Canadian Mint launched both the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf and Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf. The Platinum Maple Leaf coins, featuring 1 Troy oz of .9995 pure platinum, were issued with a face value of $50 (CAD). Initially available in four weights from 1988 to 2002—1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz—the Platinum Maple Leaf was temporarily suspended from 2003 to 2008. Production resumed in 2009, featuring solely the 1 oz coin.

The obverse of Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf coins features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Coins issued from 1988 to 2002 bear Dora de Pedery Hunt’s third-generation Canadian portrait, while those from 2009 onward display Susanna Blunt’s fourth-generation likeness. As of 2024, His Majesty King Charles III is depicted in a left-profile relief by Steven Rosati.

The reverse of all Platinum Maple Leaf coins showcases the iconic sugar maple leaf design, inspired by Walter Ott’s 1979 image for the Gold Maple Leaf’s debut. Modernizations, including security features like radial lines and a micro laser-engraved maple leaf privy mark, have been incorporated into Platinum Maple Leafs issued after 2015.

American Platinum Eagle

The American Platinum Eagle stands as one of the most comprehensive platinum coin collections. Introduced in 1997 as the third installment in the American Eagle series, following the Gold Eagle and Silver Eagle, the Platinum Eagle was initially issued from 1997 to 2008 in bullion and proof versions. Available in four weights—1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz—all Platinum Eagles contain .9995 pure platinum and carry face values based on the $100 (USD) value of the 1 Troy oz coin.

In 2008, bullion production of the Platinum Eagle was halted to meet the overwhelming demand for Gold Eagle and Silver Eagle coins. The Proof Platinum Eagle, however, persisted through the Great Recession, albeit exclusively as a 1 Troy oz coin. Bullion coin production resumed in 2014, skipping 2015, and has been issued annually since 2016, now exclusively as a 1 Troy oz coin.

What distinguishes the American Platinum Eagle Series are its designs. The bullion version has retained a consistent design since 1997, featuring John Mercanti’s portrayal of the Statue of Liberty on the obverse and Thomas D. Rogers’ depiction of an American bald eagle in flight on the reverse.

The Proof Platinum Eagle, on the other hand, boasts its own unique program. It is the sole bullion coin from the United States Mint to feature new obverse designs annually, often accompanied by new reverse designs. The program has only repeated a design once—in its 1997 debut—and reintroduced the original designs in 2017 to commemorate the program’s 20th anniversary. Typically, the United States Mint selects diverse themes for its Proof Platinum Eagle Series.

Expansion of Platinum Coins

For decades, the platinum bullion coin market was dominated by the aforementioned coins until 2016, when rising prices and demand spurred other mints to introduce platinum bullion coins. The first expansion occurred in 2016, with two major collections adding 1 Troy oz platinum coins to their offerings.

The Austrian Platinum Philharmonic and Somalian Platinum Elephant coin debuted in 2016, both exclusively available as 1 Troy oz specimens with .9995 pure platinum content. The Austrian Platinum Philharmonic features identical design elements to the Gold Philharmonic and Silver Philharmonic coins from the Austrian Mint, including the Golden Music Hall on the obverse and a collection of musical instruments on the reverse.

Somalian Platinum Elephant coins feature an annually changing reverse design featuring the coat of arms for Somalia. The obverse design remains consistent each year, depicting an African Elephant, but the Bavarian State Mint refreshes this imagery annually to enhance collectibility. The Platinum Elephant is issued solely as a 1 Troy oz bullion coin and in limited mintages as a Proof Platinum Elephant, which includes fractional-weight coins: 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz.

Continued Growth of Platinum Coins

Platinum coins have experienced ongoing popularity beyond 2016, with numerous impressive coin programs introduced in recent years, providing investors with diverse options:

  • British Platinum Queen’s Beast Coins: Launched by the Royal Mint of England in 2016, the Queen’s Beast Series of bullion coins features 10 heraldic beasts representing those present at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Each of the 10 designs is available as a 1 oz platinum coin, expanding the series beyond its initial gold and silver offerings.
  • British Platinum Britannia: Expanding the British Gold Britannia collection, the Royal Mint introduced platinum bullion coins for the first time, featuring the familiar image of Britannia on the reverse in both 1 oz and 1/10 oz options.
  • Australian Platinum Kangaroo: Adding a third option for investors, the Australian Kangaroo program introduced platinum bullion coins in 2018, featuring designs mirroring those of the silver versions.
  • Perth Mint Lunar Series III: In 2020, the Perth Mint extended its Lunar Series collections with the introduction of a 1 oz platinum coin, sharing designs with the gold bullion coins.
  • South African Big Five Series: Following the success of its silver counterpart, the South African Mint expanded its Big Five Series to include a 1 oz platinum coin in 2020, featuring designs released in the same order as the corresponding silver coins.
  • British Royal Arms: Also in 2020, the Royal Mint added a 1 oz platinum coin to its British Royal Arms Series, enriching the series with intricate designs.

In addition to sovereign mints, the Pobjoy Mint of England, the largest family-owned mint in Europe, strikes a limited number of platinum bullion coins for the Isle of Man, featuring low-mintage designs.

Invest in Platinum Coins at BullionMax

We encourage you to reach out to BullionMax with any questions at 800-729-3202. Our team is also available to you online through our web chat and email address features.