Royal Australian Mint debuts a new bullion coin featuring the Bottlenose Dolphin in silver and gold

It seems that more and more of the world’s mints are chasing low mintage bullion coin sales. Whereas the market used to consist of a relatively limited choice of high, or even ultra-high mintage offerings from the big players, there’s now a huge choice of small run coins with mintages in the tens of thousands, rather than the millions. They aren’t just limited to the smaller, more nimble-footed producers either, with some of the bigger mints getting in on the action.

The Royal Australian Mint has dabbled in bullion coins, with a small lunar series, and a range of gold Kangaroo coins, but it seems they now want to join the Perth Mint with some nature-themed, low-run coins of their own.  The first coin we’re looking at here is called the Bottlenose Dolphin. These quite elegant creatures make a fine subject for a coin and aren’t overused, like the kangaroo, for example.

The design here is quite clean and simple. A leaping dolphin depicted from the side is neat enough, and the sun and sea is put to work as a background. A border carries the inscribed title and composition. The obverse is, as you’d suspect, the Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, surrounded by inscriptions detailing the issue.

Two versions are on offer, both weighing a troy ounce. The four-nines gold coin has a tiny mintage of just 250 pieces, while the three-nines silver coin is capped at only 25,000 pieces. The former comes in a coin box, while the latter is supplied encapsulated. They’re available from APMEX in the US and EMK in Europe, although expect to see them spread further afield in the next few days. They should ship later this month.

DENOMINATION $100 Australia $1 Australia
COMPOSITION 0.9999 gold 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.74 mm 40.0 mm
FINISH Bullion Bullion
MINTAGE 250 25,000
BOX / COA No / No No / No