Most people who buy silver bullion in Canada aren’t collectors but investors. They want to convert their wealth to precious metals that are liquid and easily portable. You can purchase bullion from countries other than the one you live in, and many Canadian investors purchase gold and silver from countries such as the United States or Australia.
However, the Australian Silver Kookaburra coin is an example of a bullion coin that also attracts the attention of collectors. For over 30 years, the reverse of the coin has undergone a design change for each new annual minting. It always features a kookaburra, but each year the elements of the design are a little bit different.
What Is a Kookaburra?
The kookaburra is a bird native to Australia. It is the largest member of the kingfisher family. Like other kingfishers, kookaburras are carnivorous and feed on insects and mice, as well as snakes and other small reptiles. Unlike other kingfishers, they rarely feed on fish and are not limited to wetland habitats. In fact, kookaburras are well adapted to live in a wide variety of ecosystems, including arid regions. For this reason, they are closely associated with the Australian Outback, though they have also been found in suburban areas.
The kookaburra is known for its raucous, stuttering call that somewhat resembles laughter. Movies, television shows, and commercials that want to establish a setting in the Australian Outback often use the call of the kookaburra as a stock sound effect. The name kookaburra is intended as an onomatopoeia resembling its call and originally comes from the Wiradjuri language. Partly because of its call, the kookaburra is one of the most recognizable birds in Australia.
What Is the Design for the 2021 Kookaburra Coin?
The design of the 2021 Kookaburra silver coin was created by artist Aleysha Howarth. It depicts a kookaburra perched on the branch of a gum tree, which is a species of eucalyptus. The tree is recognizable by its distinctive seed pods visible beneath the kookaburra’s branch.
In 1932, an Australian teacher associated with the Girl Guides wrote a song called “Kookaburra” after a sudden flash of inspiration while sitting in church. She entered the song in a Girl Guide competition in 1934, and it won. It was first performed at a Jamboree in Victoria in 1934 and later included in the Girl Guide Song Book along with folk songs from around the world. While it is not clear whether the reference is intentional, the design of the 2021 coin evokes the opening line of the song, describing a kookaburra perched in a gum tree.
What Are the Other Features of the Coin?
As a member of the Commonwealth, Australian coins typically feature a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, just as Canadian coins do. However, the portrait is not the same. The Australian Silver Kookaburra coin features a portrait by artist Jody Clark, designed in 2015. Like the portrait by Susanna Blunt featured on Canadian coins, the silver Kookaburra coin features a portrait of a more mature queen. The most notable difference is that, in the Australian portrait, Her Majesty wears a crown. Compared to previous portraits of Her Majesty found on past Australian coins, this one shows more of the shoulders and neckline. This is the sixth portrait of Queen Elizabeth to feature on Australian coinage.
Another unique feature of the 2021 Silver Kookaburra is that, for the first time, the reverse image is incused. In other words, the image is stamped into the surface of the coin. In all previous iterations of the silver Kookaburra coin, the reverse image was raised from the surface.
Australian and World Coins at Colonial Acres
Australia produces other animal-themed bullion coins besides the Silver Kookaburra. There are also silver bullion coins available from all over the world featuring a wide range of different subjects and designs. See more examples of Australian and world silver bullion coins at Colonial Acres.