The Australian Silver Kookaburra is an ongoing bullion coin series produced by the Perth Mint of Australia. Launched in 2000, the reverse design for each year has included a unique depiction of the iconic Australian bird from which the series takes its name. Most commonly the coins are purchased in one ounce size, which carries a maximum mintage. Other sizes have also been introduced in more recent years.
The Kookaburra is a native Australian bird in the kingfisher family which is well known for its distinctive call which sounds like echoing human laughter. Its depiction on the reverse design of the silver bullion coin series has varied widely over the years.
For some years a single bird appears, while in others a pair has been shown. The bird has been portrayed in flight, perched on a branch, eating, and sometimes making its distinctive call. The background has often contained native Australian fauna, but sometimes contains more diverse or stylized elements. Typically, the inscriptions on the reverse have included the date of issue, the precious metal purity, and later the weight of the silver content.
For each year of the series, the obverse has contained the current effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Recent issues contain the version created by Ian Rank Broadley. The inscriptions have included "Australia", "Queen Elizabeth II", and the legal tender denomination.
The available sizes for the Silver Kookaburra currently include 1 kilogram, 10 ounce, and 1 ounce sizes. For the past several years, a maximum mintage of 500,000 has been applied to the 1 ounce size. For earlier years, the mintage was lower at 300,000.
During the year of issue, the coins are usually sold based on the market price of the silver content plus a premium. The diversity of designs and limited mintages have also led the coins to be collected as a numismatic item, with some issues commanding premiums.