LIMITED BULLION COIN SERIES by the Royal Australian Mint

It wasn’t that long ago that the Royal Australian Mint was nowhere near being the first mint you thought of in the bullion world, but the proliferation of low mintage designs over the last decade has tempted them to jump in. As a result, the last few years have seen a big uptick in activity, and it shows little sign of slowing down soon.

What we’ve produced here is a summarised round-up of the various series that the RAM has put out in recent years, much like we did with the Perth Mint, Scottsdale Mint, and Germania Mint ranges. We’ll keep it updated, of course, which you can track in the changelog.

It’s one of the best selections currently out there, with a high standard of design and a varied range of themes. The vast bulk of them are limited to just one-ounce 0.999 silver, and one-ounce 0.9999 gold formats, with just a solitary offering of five-ounce silver. Those with a * in the title have just a simple effigy on the obverse, with no specific customisation. In 2024, that changed to King Charles III, but before that, it was Queen Elizabeth II. Enjoy.

2023
10/07: PAGE CREATED
17/08: ADDED OPERA HOUSE
07/11: ADDED TIGER SNAKE

2024
17/03: ADDED LUNAR DRAGON (SILVER)
04/07: ADDED ZOO GIRAFFE, ADDED HOURGLASS DOLPHIN

TABLE OF SERIES

AUSTRALIA ZOO (2020-) *

Kicking off this look at RAM bullion with one of the more impressive series, Australia Zoo. Rather than showcase native wildlife, as so many Australian coins do, this one looks at rarer creatures from around the world, using a lens focused on the nation’s finest zoo. It’s one of the mint’s only series to have differing designs between the silver and gold versions, although each annual pairing stays with fundamentally the same animal.

The series has, at least to date, not strayed away from the big, popular animals, and in our view at least, has depicted them to an extremely high standard. The obverse is super-dull, unfortunately, with just the standard effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. A terrific series.

2020 SUMATRAN TIGER

2021 CHEETAH

2022 ELEPHANT

2023 WHITE RHINOCEROS

2024 GIRAFFE

Status of series is ONGOING
DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
$1 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.999 silver 40.0 mm Brilliant uncirculated 25,000
$100 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.9999 gold 38.74 mm Brilliant uncirculated 250

AUSTRALIA’S MOST DANGEROUS (2020-) *

Given the general lethality of Australia’s fauna, it comes as little surprise that the rogues gallery is putting in an appearance on RAM bullion. The series launched with a superb Redback spider coin, ironically the same critter that kicked off the Downies/Perth Mint ‘Deadly and Dangerous’ proof series. The four releases to date have zigzagged between the land and the sea, and while the designs aren’t fully naturalised, they look good.

The obverse is a bog-standard effigy affair, sadly, but the series is lifted by the presence of a five-ounce silver variant rocking a big 65.1 mm diameter, which is an LPM exclusive. They tend to follow sometime after the one-ounce pair drop.

2020 REDBACK SPIDER

2021 GREAT WHITE SHARK

2022 DESERT SCORPION

2023 BOX JELLYFISH

2024 TIGER SNAKE

Status of series is ONGOING
DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
$1 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.999 silver 40.0 mm Brilliant uncirculated 25,000
$5 AUD (Australia) 155.5 grams of 0.999 silver 65.1 mm Brilliant uncirculated 1,000
$100 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.9999 gold 38.74 mm Brilliant uncirculated 250

LUNAR INVESTMENT (2020-)

It seems that most major mints continue to offer a Lunar Calendar range, and the RAM is no different. Easily the equal of the Perth Mint’s Lunar Series III, this is, in our opinion, an exceptional series for the genre. The consistent style, comprising a circular area inscribed with Chinese characters, and a natural image of the animal covering the rest of the reverse, is universally well done.

The series has a common obverse, with the usual bland effigy design being shrunk to a central area, which is orbited by the lunar menagerie.

2020 YEAR OF THE RAT

2021 YEAR OF THE OX

2022 YEAR OF THE TIGER

2023 YEAR OF THE RABBIT

2024 YEAR OF THE DRAGON

Status of series is ONGOING
DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
$1 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.999 silver 40.0 mm Brilliant uncirculated 25,000
$100 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.9999 gold 38.74 mm Brilliant uncirculated 250

COMMON OBVERSE SILVER

COMMON OBVERSE GOLD

DOLPHINS (2019-) *

Of all the RAM's bullion coin ranges, Dolphins is by far the closest in style to a Perth Mint bullion range. The wide border filled with inscriptions is atypical in this selection, but certainly doesn't prevent this being a highly attractive look at one of our planets most beloved animals.

The artists have done a remarkable job bringing the group to life, with a varied mix of depictions, although the obverse is a standard effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

2019 BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN

2020 SPINNER DOLPHIN

2021 FRASER'S DOLPHIN

2022 DUSKY DOLPHIN

2023 ROUGH-TOOTHED DOLPHIN

2024 HOURGLASS DOLPHIN

Status of series is ONGOING
DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
$1 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.999 silver 40.0 mm Brilliant uncirculated 25,000
$100 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.9999 gold 38.74 mm Brilliant uncirculated 250

BENEATH A SOUTHERN SKY (2020-)

While we have this series down as ongoing, it's been dormant since 2021, so may be defunct now. A nice design with a lightly themed obverse, it carries a map of Australia, sandwiched between a cartographic grid of latitudes and longitudes lines in the background, and a Southern Cross starfield in the foreground.

The only annual difference in the design was the presence of an animal privy on the map. It isn't much, and while the base design is very nice, perhaps the limited annual change didn't attract buyers in sufficient quantity. The unlimited mintage would not have helped collectability.

2020 KANGAROO

2021 PLATYPUS

COMMON OBVERSE

Status of series is ONGOING
DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
$1 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.999 silver 40.0 mm Brilliant uncirculated Unlimited
$100 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.9999 gold 38.74 mm Brilliant uncirculated Unlimited

AUSTRALIA'S COAT OF ARMS (2021-)

Now this is a terrific idea for a bullion series. Heraldry is a rich vein of inspiration in the numismatic world, and one that has been largely absent on Australian coins. Rather than just depict them in heraldic form, the designs idealise and naturalise the flora and fauna on them to produce unique interpretations.

Better yet, this happens across both faces, each highlighting different elements on the specific coat-of-arms chosen. The first issue was Australia itself, with subsequent releases working their way around the various states.

2021 AUSTRALIA SILVER

2021 AUSTRALIA GOLD

2021 NEW SOUTH WALES SILVER

2021 NEW SOUTH WALES GOLD

2023 QUEENSLAND SILVER

2023 QUEENSLAND GOLD

Status of series is ONGOING
DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
$1 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.999 silver 40.0 mm Brilliant uncirculated 50,000
$100 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.9999 gold 38.74 mm Brilliant uncirculated 250

AUSTRALIA'S ANTARCTIC TERRITORIES (2023-) *

Not a first appearance in the modern coin world, the wildlife of Australia's Antarctic Territories is nevertheless a great theme, and the RAM is doing it full justice on the evidence of the first two designs. The scenes depicted are interesting ones, showing animal behaviour, and each works well with the coin shape. Definitely a series to watch.

2023 EMPEROR PENGUIN

2023 HUMPBACK WHALE

Status of series is ONGOING
DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
$1 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.999 silver 40.0 mm Brilliant uncirculated 25,000
$100 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.9999 gold 38.74 mm Brilliant uncirculated 250

AUSTRALIAN SHIPWRECKS (2019-2021)

Quite a unique idea in modern numismatics, triangular coins are rare, especially those with rounded points. Those with an upended orientation, even more so. Chuck in a custom obverse, and the Australian Shipwrecks series is very unusual, and there's nothing else quite like it in the bullion space.

The series chose some of the more famous wrecked vessels from the early colonial days. The obverse depicted a scene from the incidents aftermath, while the reverse carries an image of the ship. However, you may notice the inscription underneath it is inverted. In actuality, when the text is right side up, the ship is inverted, meant to represent it sinking. A neat series, there's also an attractive antique finished silver version. The series concluded at 4 issues.

2019 BATAVIA SILVER

2019 BATAVIA GOLD

2020 VERGULDE DRAECK SILVER

2020 VERGULDE DRAECK GOLD

2020 ZUYTDORP SILVER

2020 ZUYTDORP GOLD

2021 ZEEWIJK SILVER

2021 ZEEWIJK GOLD

Status of series is ENDED
DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
$1 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.999 silver 33.9 mm Brilliant uncirculated 20,000
$100 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.9999 gold 33.9 mm Brilliant uncirculated 250

AUSTRALIA'S WILDFLOWERS (2022-)

A new series, just one issue old at the time of publication, it's a nice idea for a series, especially given that Australian fauna has been extensively covered on coins, including by the RAM. it's also another series with a custom obverse, always a nice addition. On the evidence of this first release, that obverse looks to be unique to each issue

An interesting idea, impressively realised, it will be interesting to see if the flora in Australia is as esoteric as the fauna.

2022 WARATAH SILVER

2022 WARATAH GOLD

Status of series is ONGOING
DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
$1 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.999 silver 40.0 mm Brilliant uncirculated 50,000
$100 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.9999 gold 38.74 mm Brilliant uncirculated 5,000

SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE 50TH (2023) *

It almost goes without saying that the various Antipodean mint’s would commemorate this iconic structure’s 50th anniversary, but the Royal Australian Mint have gone a little further in making a bullion coin in both one-ounce silver, and one-ounce gold formats. Artist Adam Ball has crafted an attractive design, seamlessly showing the building transitioning from interior to exterior views in a simplified construction drawing elevation. A pair of swirling background patterns, one seemingly representing the water in the harbour, the other the passage of the stars across the sky, are nice touches, and the latter has an anniversary logo overlaid upon it.

The obverse is the usual simple effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, incorporating the memorial dates.

2023 SILVER

2023 GOLD

Single Issue
DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
$1 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.999 silver 40.0 mm Brilliant uncirculated 50,000
$100 AUD (Australia) 31.1 grams of 0.9999 gold 38.74 mm Brilliant uncirculated 5,000

PIRATE QUEENS (2021-)

A wander through the history of women pirates from around the world reveals there are more than you'd think. Such names as Anne Bonny and Mary Read have already appeared, although the incredible Chinese pirate, Ching Shih, is without doubt the most successful of them all. This series is particularly impressive in that, like the Australia Zoo series, it carries different designs for the silver and gold variants.

Those designs do maintain a pattern, however, with the silver coin displaying the ship sailing out of the coin, and the gold sailing into it. About the only negative we can see is that there's very little to tie in the pirate, and the vessel. These are more pirate ship coins, but are no less attractive for it. Mintages are particularly low for the RAM, and issued for the Solomon Islands, not Australia.

2021 ANNE BONNY

2021 CHING SHIH

2022 MARY READ

Status of series is TO BE CONFIRMED
DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
$2 (Solomon Islands) 31.1 grams of 0.999 silver 33.9 mm Brilliant uncirculated 10,000
$100 (Solomon Islands) 31.1 grams of 0.9999 gold 33.9 mm Brilliant uncirculated 100