An icon in Australia, the admired Australian Stock Horse was originally a combination of several breeds including the Thoroughbred, Arab, and Timor and Welsh Mountain ponies. Although they were initially used for stock work and exploration by the early settlers, more than 120,000 Australian Stock Horses went on to serve in the First World War. Their strength, stamina and courage earned them international recognition as the finest cavalry mounts in the world and established their place in Australian history and folklore.
The Perth Mint has a history of striking limited run bullion coins for some of the bigger dealers around the world. In early 2013, the debut coin in what was purported to be a new ten-coin series launched and became a near instant hit. Produced for a large German dealer, EMK Munzen & Edelmetalle, the Australian Stock Horse is a standard silver one-ounce coin with a mintage limited to just 10,000 pieces. Early coins were struck in 0.999 silver, but from 2016 onwards the mint has carried on its process of moving over to 0.9999 fineness. As of 2017 it has been confirmed that the series will end after five coins, so our guide is complete.
Of the coins to date, the first three were designed by Perth Mint in-house artist Ing Ing Jong, the next by Jennifer McKenna and the last by Natasha Muhl, and each depicts the famous Australian Stock Horse in various poses. Struck to a brilliant uncirculated finish, there are no silver proof versions, each coin is available in two versions. The main bulk of the release run (9,000 coins) is sold by EMK themselves and come encapsulated and with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. The final 1,000 coins are sold directly by the Perth Mint and come mounted to a coloured card, but are not given a serial number. Our understanding is that Australian law dictates that any currency issued for the country must have 10% of its mintage available in Australia itself. This would also explain why only 45,000 of the 50,000 Wedge-tailed Eagle bullion coins struck for US dealer Govmint are sold by Ainslie Bullion in Australia, for example.
These are not what could be described as a standard bullion coin and sit firmly in semi-numismatic territory. For the serious collector there is a five-ounce proof gold version available that runs a year behind (the 2013 design has a 2014 date, for example) and has a mintage of just 99 units. They can be seen next to the silver versions below – the 2018 is a mockup we did so you could see the set complete, but it’s unconfirmed at present (though very likely). A beautiful composite coin that merges elements of all five designs was produced to cap the series. Struck in five-ounces of fine silver with selective gilding, just 500 were minted. They’re a nice coin, well struck, and the limited mintage should help maintain interest. The Perth Mint version mounted on a card is the one to get, but both appear to be solid buys.