The Royal Australian Mint is this week continuing it's long standing Kangaroo series with the 2017 iteration of the silver coin.
Just to be clear, these are not to be confused with the kangaroo bullion silver coins from the Perth Mint, a look at those can be found here, but rather the kangaroo series from the Royal Australian Mint which began in 1993. The 2017 coin is the second issue of a “series within a series” of sorts. The four planned coins form part of the “Season's Change” run and is meant to depict the kangaroo's relationship to the land and the effect that the changing weather cycles have on this iconic animal's life.
Where the reverse of the 2016 coin depicted an arid inland plain during the winter months, the 2017 coin features an Eastern Grey Kangaroo and her young joey grazing together on the burgeoning springtime growth. Plains of freshly sprung grass can be seen to the horizon while a blossoming tree provides ample shade from the harsh Australian sun. The denomination of “ONE DOLLAR” is concealed in the branches along the top rim and the words “1 oz .999 Ag” are inscribed at the bottom.
The obverse of the coin features the well known portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley. The obverse legend reads : “ELIZABETH II”, “AUSTRALIA” and “2017”. All fairly standard fair for the Royal Australian Mint's coin designs.
The coin is being made available in two variants. The first is what the mint is calling a frosted proof finish, but at a glance bears a greater resemblance to a brilliant uncirculated coin instead. To be completely fair though, the only difference between this and the proof coin is that the fields received a frosted finish instead of the more traditional mirror like proof treatment.
The frosted coin has a mintage of 10 000 coins and is issued on a printed collector's card packaging. Both coins are struck from 1oz of pure .999 Fineness silver and measures a very ample 40mm(1.5748 inch) in diameter. The frosted coin is being released at a price point of AUS$80.00 each.
The second coin, and the one that in my opinion really best captures the design's aesthetic appeal, is naturally the proof coin. The kangaroos and blossoms contrast with the brilliant proof fields in such a way as to evoke the image of the rising sun bringing new life to the springtime landscape. The proof finish coin is shipped in a black clamshell design presentation case, along with a certificate of authenticity.
With a more limited mintage figure of 5000 coins, the proof variant is being released for AUS$100.00 each.
Both coins can be ordered directly from the Royal Australian Mint's website here : https://eshop.ramint.gov.au/Kangaroo-Series-Seasons-Change-Silver-Proof/210466.aspx
or you can contact your trusted international coin dealer to obtain a copy on your behalf.
While there is nothing ground breaking in the design, the Season's Change series is a very welcome way to breathe new life into a very long running series for the Royal Australian Mint. The 2017 design builds nicely on the previous year's coin and makes me look forward to seeing the rest of the mini set unfold over the coming two years.