The Australian Kangaroo coin has been produced by the Perth Mint since 1986. Before these coins featured kangaroos, they had a different iconography altogether. In 1986 Australia’s first 99.99% pure bullion issue was called the Gold Nugget, and featured a depiction of an entirely different ‘famous’ Australian gold nugget with each year of issue from 1986 to 1988. Starting from 1989, the design was changed to feature a kangaroo which is generally regarded as a more internationally recognized symbol of Australia.
The Australian kangaroo is a large marsupial endemic to Australia. Different from most mammals, new born joeys will grow up in the mother's pouch until 8 months old. The body of kangaroo is upright. It has small front legs, powerful hind legs adapted for leaping and a long muscular tail for balance. The kangaroo’s character of jumping forward represents Australia is a country that will always move forward.
The coins are made of 99.99% fine silver, and each year of issue features a different picture of the iconic kangaroo on its reverse. The obverse depicts the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, year of issue and the monetary denomination.