The Perth Mint has started accepting orders for commemorative replicas of the historic Port Phillip Kangaroo Gold Medallions. The original medallions had first been issued in 1853 and featured a kangaroo design on the obverse, anticipating the use of the iconic animal on future Australian coins.
The Port Phillip Kangaroo Office was established in Melbourne at the height of the Victorian Gold Rush. During this time gold abounded in the colony, but there was very little hard currency. The purpose of the office would be to purchase gold cheaply on the fields and then issue it at full value in the form of minted gold tokens. After the arrival of the Kangaroo Office’s manager, it would take six months to dismantle and bring ashore the minting press and reassemble it at the site secured for the mint. By this time, gold had become more expensive and a large number of official sovereigns had arrived in the colony.
The Office would soon close after very limited output. The original Port Phillip Kangaroo Office gold medallions are viewed as great rarities that command prices into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, the Perth Mint has released commemorative replica medallions struck in 99.99% gold and available as a four piece set (2 oz, 1 oz, 1/2 oz, and 1/4 oz) or as an individual option (1/4 oz).
The obverse design features a kangaroo in a standing pose with the year “1853” at the base and a special anniversary Perth Mint mint mark of “P2012”. The patterned ring around the central design includes “Port Phillip” and “Australia”. The reverse features a large central number indicating the precious metal weight. The patterned outer ring includes “Pure Australian Gold” and the gold weight in ounces.
The Perth Mint is offering the medallions encapsulated and graded by NGC, with the grade of PF 70 Ultra Cameo assigned. The four medallion set or individual 1/4 ounce medallion is presented in a prestigious glass and timber display case with an informative story card.
The maximum mintage for the 2 oz medallion is 500 pieces, while the maximum mintages for the 1 oz, 1/2 oz, and 1/4 oz medallions is 2,500 pieces each. At this time, the Perth Mint is offering the 4 medallion set with an issue limit of 500 units and the individual 1/4 oz coin with an issue limit of 2,000 units. Effectively, this leaves 2,0oo units each of the 1 oz and 1/2 oz medallions for potential future issue.
Next week, the Perth Mint will begin sales for a wide array of other upcoming product releases, including the latest coins in the Land Down Under series, Discover Australia Gold Coins, and the 2013 Australian Koala High Relief Silver Proof Coin.