The first platinum Koala coin was issued on the 18th of June in 1987 by the Perth Mint in Australia. This was the government had given their formal approval for minting platinum coins. The coins are struck from 99.95% pure platinum and the coins hold a a legal tender status guaranteed by it's weight and purity. The reverse contains an image of a koala, the text "THE AUSTRALIAN KOALA", the weight of the coin, the purity and the year it was issued. Most coins show the letters JB next to the iconic image of the koala. These are the initials of the reverse face designer James Brown. Other designers of the coin include Raphael Maklouf (1990, 1991, 1996, 1998), Miranda Cornell (1998) and Darryl Bellotti (2010). The obverse side of the coin shows the effigy of Queen of Australia, Elizabeth II and the face value.

The platinum koala is the most famed of the platinum coins struck by the Perth Mint and are not always easy to obtain. Despite being popular amongst collectors, the Australian Platinum Koala never quite reached the popularity that the American Platinum Eagle has. This is because the Koala was not promoted and advertised in the US.

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