2012 Discover Australia Coins

The Discover Australia coin program from the Perth Mint has featured some of the unique animals and rich landscapes of Australia depicted on gold, silver, and platinum coins. From 2009 to 2011, the program featured fifteen different animals within the three year “The Dreaming” series. For 2012, a one year series will feature five different animals on coins with reduced mintage levels.

The five animals featured for the current year are the Red Kangaroo, Whale Shark, Green and Gold Bell Frog, Goanna, and Kookaburra. The silver coins are 1 oz in weight and struck in proof quality with colored backgrounds. The gold coins are struck to proof quality and come in 1/2 oz, 1/10 oz, and 1/25 oz sizes. Based on preliminary information, the upcoming platinum series will include only 1/10 oz coins. All coins are available either individually or as part of a five coin set for the given metal/weight.

As mentioned, the maximum mintage levels for this years coins are reduced in some cases significantly compared to the prior year releases. In the most extreme case, the 1/25 oz. gold coins have had their mintage reduced by 90%.

Here is a comparison of the mintage levels for the previous 2009-2011 series to the current 2012 one year series.

2009-2011 2012
1 oz silver 10,000 7,500
1/2 oz gold 1,000 500
1/10 oz gold 2,500 1,000
1/25 oz gold 25,000 2,500
1/2 oz platinum 1,000 n/a
1/10 oz platinum 2,500 1,000

Some of the coins from the 2009 to 2011 “The Dreaming” series have sold out based on the status listed on the Perth Mint’s website, while others remain available.

The Perth Mint recently provided information on the sales levels of the 2012 releases for an article on Coin Update. The silver coins have seen the strongest sales with approximately 60% of the entire mintage sold to date. For the gold coins, the percentage of the maximum mintage sold is 24% for the 1/2 oz coins, 16% for the 1/10 oz coins, and 12% for the 1/10 oz coins.

Find more information on the 2012 gold series and the 2012 silver series at the Perth Mint website. The 2012 platinum series will go on sale June 4.

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  1. Samuel says

    Captain, i bought the syndey coin with opal koala and the base metal dragon envelop a while ago for free shipping. it worked fine. i think only free shipping is limited to aus, since the box is huge.

  2. says


    Perhaps it’s an accident then, when I try to add it to my cart now there is a regional restriction. I may email Perth and see what’s up.


    You are correct. It’s been awhile since I looked up the numbers but if I recall correctly:

    Original Chinese nine coin set: 20K
    US ten coin set: 5K
    Chinese special 10 coin set (9 silver + 1 gold): 2.5K
    Solo release: 5K (according to Talisman)

    For a total of 32.5K coins.

    Now, that having been said, I find it unlikely many (if any) of the 9/10 coin sets will be broken up, and I also think it’s unlikely that many of the Chinese sets will make their way over here, so that should help prop up secondary market values for the black and purple dragons. That said, do not expect this release to be treated as “ultra-rare” either.

  3. Hidalgo says

    The Brisbane silver dragon coin is still for sale. I think folks are getting burned out with all of these dragon-themed coins from the Perth Mint. I am, so I ain’t buying it.

    The Perth Mint must have taken lessons from the US Mint – use the same coin, but different packaging, and you can increase sales. Great news for enjoy different packaging types!

  4. Samuel says

    it is just too much dragons this year. but dragon year is only once in a 12-year cycle. so i think it is ok.

  5. says

    I think the reason for slower sales is the lack of hype for this release. I haven’t seen any topics really discussing the exact date of this release, and Perth further muddied the issue by releasing late it at night on their site. There’s probably also an element of dragon burnout as others have mentioned. I am quite curious as to what the dragon sales will look like for the five ounce silver proof coming next week.

  6. Two Cents says

    Captain, is there a US 10-coin set for the colorized dragons? I know they had a 10-coin set released directly by the Perth Mint (known as the Australian set), but was there also a set only for the USA market?

    Also, I wasn’t aware of the special China set with 9 silver dragons + 1 gold.

    According to the Perth Mint’s website (their blog), they confirmed that the total mintage for the purple dragon (so far) is 27,500. Included is the following:

    20,000 China 9-coin set + 2,500 Australian 10-coin set + 5,000 Brisbane Show = 27,500. With the special China set you mentioned at an additional 2,500, the total would be 30,000.

    By USA standards, that is extremely low mintage, but by world mint standards, that is high to very high. The Perth Mint says that finalized mintage figures will be released next year.

    In addition, the Perth Mint says that additional colorized dragons (presumably different colors) will be released for the upcoming Melbourne and Sidney shows.

  7. says

    Two Cents,

    Sorry for any confusion, I was using “US set” as a short hand for the set released via their retail website. I suspect almost all these sets ended up in the hands of US dealers which is why I just tend to refer to them as “the US set.”

    As for maximum mintages, their numbers aren’t quite correct.

    There is the nine coin Chinese set (20K). I mixed up the US/Australian coin set and Chinese set #2 with the unique gold coin. It’s actually the US/Australian set which is 2,500 and the Chinese #2 which is 5K. You can find China set #2 described here near the bottom of the post, which also mentions its maximum mintage is 5K: http://www.silverlunar.com/2012/03/2012-year-of-dragon-ten-coin-set.html

    So to sum up:
    China #1: 20K
    China #2: 5K
    US/Australian: 2.5K
    And the lone purple dragon: 5K.

    This totals up to 32.5K.

    Most likely Perth forgot to cite the China #2 set with the gold coin in their figures.

  8. Two Cents says

    Captain, It’s not surprising that the Perth Mint forgot. With so many versions, it’s hard to keep track of them all.

    The Purple Dragon does look kind of cool, but that may be because I’m used to seeing the red and black ones. I hope the future colorized dragons include the blue — I may buy that one.

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