The Royal Australian Mint, in cooperation with Australia Zoo, has released the fourth design in their very popular gold and silver one-ounce bullion series entitled “Australia Zoo,” which features some of the more popular residents. This year’s coins featuring the southern white rhinoceros follow last year with the African and Asian elephant, the cheetah in 2021, and the Sumatran tiger in 2020. The Royal Australian Mint and Australia Zoo work closely with conservation organisations in Africa to help protect these important and critically endangered species.
In July 2019, a southern white rhinoceros calf was born at the Australia Zoo. The male calf was part of the extensive breeding programme, which is part of maintaining the species’ population without having to introduce new breeding couples taken from the wild. Kingston, whose name was chosen by one of the Zoo’s sponsors, OZTENT, is the healthy offspring of Caballe, born in 1999, and resident bull, Ganini, born in 2002. Kingston is often found grazing with his mum Caballe, or running amok on the African savannah enclosure at Australia Zoo. He is now four years old this month, still full of adolescent energy, and loves life at Australia Zoo. Kingston and his mother were photographed by nineteen-year-old Robert Irwin, an award-winning talented photographer specialising in wildlife. He is the son of the late Steve Irwin, known as “the crocodile hunter.” Robert also works alongside his family at the Australia Zoo in research and rescuing animals of all kinds.
Designed by artist Adam Ball, the reverse side of both gold and silver investment coins are based on photographs of two different images of the southern white rhinoceros.
$1 silver: The reverse side depicts a head shot of the southern white rhinoceros, which in the wild typically are seen with oxpeckers, a black-feathered bird that routinely hitches a ride atop a rhino. They are known to maintain a symbiotic relationship with Africa’s white and black rhinos by eating the little insects found on their skin. Above the main design is the text AUSTRALIA ZOO SOUTHERN WHITE RHIONCEROS, along with the coins’ specifications of 1 oz .999 Ag., shown below the design.
$100 gold: The gold investment coin is modelled on an actual photograph of the calf Kingston and mother Caballe taken by Robert Irwin. Both animals are residing at the African Savannah enclosure in Australia Zoo. Above the primary design is the text AUSTRALIA ZOO WHITE SOUTHERN RHINOCEROS along with the coins’ specifications of 1 oz .9999 Au, which is shown below the design.
Both the gold and silver coins include the memorial Commonwealth effigy of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1926–2022) created by engraver Jody Clark and it includes the year of the Queen’s reign 1952 – 2022. The denomination and year of issue, 2023, is incorporated into the design and the denomination is shown below the Queen’s likeness.
|$1||.999 Silver||31.1 g||40 mm||Bullion||25,000|
|$100||.9999 Gold||31.1 g||38.7 mm||Bullion||250|
Each silver Brilliant Uncirculated coin is individually encapsulated, while the gold option is encapsulated and presented in a custom case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional information, please visit the website of the Royal Australian Mint here for the silver coin or here for the gold coin.
The coins are also available through a variety of selected international bullion distribution partners of the Royal Australian Mint.