Australia’s happiest animal smiles on new silver bullion coin
The Perth Mint has responded to calls for a quokka – one of Australia’s cutest marsupials – to be celebrated on the face of a coin.
Cherished by many Australians, the quokka achieved worldwide fame when tennis legend Roger Federer’s lovable quokka ‘selfie’ of 2018 reached more than 580 million people in 45 countries through global online news*.
The small, wallaby-like creatures have subsequently appeared in adorable photographs uploaded to social media by celebrities including actors Margot Robbie and Chris Hemsworth, as well as large numbers of annual visitors to Rottnest Island, home to an estimated population of 12,000 quokkas.
Perth Mint General Manager Minted Products, Neil Vance, said he expected the silver bullion coin, which portrays a quokka on a beach, would prove popular. “Visitors to the Mint and many of our customers have asked for a coin featuring the much-loved quokka, so we are delighted to bring this release to market and help to promote one of our unique and native attractions,” he said.
Quokkas lived alongside Aboriginal people long before Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh mistook them for giant rats in 1696. Once plentiful on mainland Australia, they’re now classified as vulnerable, having suffered from predation by dingos and the arrival of European foxes. Just a few kilometres off the coast of Perth, the pest-free island of Rottnest is the quokkas last stronghold.
An irresistible subject for photography, they have friendly and curious natures and are often content to interact with human visitors. Adding to their appeal, furry-faced quokkas appear to smile, a characteristic that has earned them a reputation for being the happiest animals on Earth.
Struck from 1oz of 99.99% pure silver, the Australian legal tender coin portrays a quokka standing on its hind legs while eating its preferred diet of leaves. No more than 30,000 coins will be released featuring a high-quality bullion finish.
With a limit of just 10 coins per customer, investors, collectors and gift buyers can purchase the coin at The Perth Mint shop located at 310 Hay Street, East Perth, on toll free 1800 098 817, or online.
* Government of Western Australia Media Statements
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