The Perth Mint has released their latest series of bullion coins featuring one of the country’s most recognised national symbols, the emu. This design returns for a fourth year which highlights Australia’s largest bird, the emu, which should not be confused with ostriches. However, both species are members of the ratite group of large, flightless birds that are scattered throughout the Southern Hemisphere, including Africa, where the ostrich is found and throughout much of Australia, which is the emu’s range. The two birds also have differences in terms of size, ecology, and behaviour.
Emus, which are also the second-largest birds in the world, only after their cousins the ostrich, cannot fly, but their powerful legs can propel them across the continent’s dry plains at speeds up to 50 kilometres (30 miles) an hour. Another interesting difference between the two birds is the emu’s brown coloured feathers, which resemble coarse hair or quills, and actually help them survive the extreme changes in temperature that can be experienced in the Australian outback. With their long necks and legs, emus can reach up to 1.9 metres (6.2 feet) in height and are adept at coping with the desert-like habitat of the Australian outback. Curiously, it is not uncommon for females to fight amongst each other to attract a mate and it is the male emu who incubates the eggs until they hatch around eight weeks after being laid. Afterwards, the young chicks are nurtured by their fathers until they fledge. Presently, the bird is sufficiently common for it to be rated as a least-concern species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
An important cultural icon of Australia, an image of the emu is included on the coat of arms, along with a kangaroo, and has been depicted on various coins. The bird also features prominently in Indigenous Australian mythology.
Designed by Natasha Muhl of the Perth Mint, the reverse side depicts a pair of emus, parent and chick, resting near a body of water in the Australian outback. Also included is the inscription AUSTRALIAN EMU, which is placed above the primary design. The Perth Mint’s traditional P mintmark is found to the right of the Emu with the weight, fineness, and the year 2021 is seen under the design.
The Commonwealth effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II created by British engraver Jody Clark is seen on the obverse, along with the coins’ denomination of 100 DOLLARS (gold) or 1 DOLLAR (silver) included beneath the Queen’s likeness.
|One dollar||.9999 Silver||31.1 g||40.9 mm||Bullion||30,000|
|100 dollars||.9999 Gold||31.1 g||32.6 mm||Bullion||5,000|
Each gold and silver coin is individually encapsulated and available either as a separate purchase or in multiple purchases. Coins purchased in multiples of 20 are delivered in the Perth Mint shrink-wrap original shipping packaging. Investors and collectors in Australia may inquire directly from the Perth Mint, those outside Australia should inquire with their nearest bullion distributor.