Australia reproduces its Kookaburra Penny designs a century after they were trialled

Produced in the post Great War period from 1919 to 1921, the pattern Kookaburra coins were an attempt to revise the countries currency with new shapes, sizes and metals. After just a few hundred of the coins wer eproduced in sample form, the attempt was abandoned, like several other trials in the same period.

The Kookaburra design was thought to be the brainchild of the Treasurer of the time, Mr Watt, and they were designed to be lighter, tougher and less confusing to use than the nations existing currency, but the square shape was a nightmare for vending machine makers, the copper-nickel was difficult to strike cleanly, and nickel was imported at great expense.

Interestingly, there was mucg debate and controversy at the time over the use of a crowned or uncrowned effigy of King George V on the obverse. Sadly, for this centennial tribute set, the Royal Australian Mint has chosen to stick with the ubiquitous effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. A huge missed opportunity.

A trio of quarter-ounce, fine silver coins, available only as a set, these charming designs are reproductions of the century old originals, all of which are now selling for many thousands on the rare occasions they appear for sale. Just 3,000 sets will be produced and they’re already on limited allocation from the mint. They sell for $125.00 AUD and can be ordered from the mint now.


In 1919, the Australian Government proposed to replace pennies and halfpennies with square coins featuring a Kookaburra on their reverse. These trial pieces were never circulated but they were destined to become some of Australia’s rarest and most valued numismatic collectibles. This set of three 2019 25c Fine Silver Proof Coins are inspired by the kookaburra penny trial pieces, for collectors and fans of Australian currency history.

DENOMINATION $0.25 Australia x 3
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 7.78 grams x 3
DIMENSIONS 22.0 mm x 3
MINTAGE 3,000 sets
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes