Platinum is a precious metal that many would love to add to their coin collections. This month we’re offering the Australian Koala 25th Anniversary 2013 1/2oz Platinum Proof Coin, a rare collectable providing the perfect opportunity to collect platinum.
Platinum is widely recognised as the most precious of the three ‘noble’ metals. Since the inception of the Australian Precious Metals Coin Program, The Perth Mint has endeavoured to offer coins in all three metals – gold, platinum and silver.
In 1988, the Australian Koala became the first legal tender platinum bullion coin to be launched by a major nation. Offered in four sizes as an investment coin, a 1/2oz Proof Issue with a limited mintage of 12,000 was also released for collectors (sold out).
The 99.95% pure platinum coin depicted a koala design by sculptor and artist Michael Tracey, whose distinctive portrayal has been painstakingly reproduced on the 2013 anniversary issue which is subject to a tiny mintage of just 1,200.
With interest in platinum currently riding high, here’s our quick guide to this beautiful metal:
- Platinum is one of the rarest elements in the Earth’s crust – roughly 30 times scarcer than gold.
- Pure platinum is a lustrous, silvery-white metal that’s also ductile, malleable and resistant to tarnish.
- It is said that all the platinum ever mined in history would fit inside a 25 x 25 x 25 foot room.
- Ancient Egyptians used platinum for decorating important objects as long ago as 700BC.
- It was used by pre-Columbian Americans to produce artefacts of a white gold-platinum alloy.
- The name platinum is derived from the Spanish term platina, which is literally translated into “little silver”.
- Believe it or not, Spanish conquistadors thought it was a nuisance, being difficult to separate from gold nuggets!
- In the 1920s, two platinum deposits, each around 100 kilometres in length, were discovered in the Transvaal.
- Today, South Africa has 80% of the world’s platinum reserve.
- Approximately 10 tons of ore are needed to produce a single ounce of platinum.
- About half of world demand is for use in autocatalysts, where it destroys pollutants in vehicle exhaust fumes.
- There’s also significant demand for modern platinum jewellery, which is primarily made and sold in China, Japan and the USA.