An Australian Iconic coin, first produced by the Perth mint in 1986, it and the Chinese panda coin change their design annually, this and their limited annual mintage can add to their numismatic value. There have been over 15 billion USD worth of Gold Nuggets minted making them a fungible and well recognised coin.
This issue of coins had two unique features: a "two-tone" frosted design effect, and individual hard plastic encapsulation of each coin. These features were unusual for a standard bullion coin and gave the Nugget a unique market niche.
From 1986 to 1989, the reverse of these coins pictured various Australian gold nuggets. With the 1989 proof edition, the design was changed to feature different kangaroos, a more world-recognised symbol of Australia. The coins are today sometimes referred to as "gold kangaroos".
The Australian Gold Nugget coins should not be mistaken for the Australian Lunar Gold Bullion coins. Both coins are minted by Perth Mint and have 99.99% purity, but Lunar coins use images of different animals from the Chinese calendar instead of the kangaroo.
The coins have been minted in denominations of 1⁄20 oz 1⁄10 oz, 1⁄4 oz, 1⁄2 oz, 1 oz, 2 oz, 10 oz, and 1 kg of 24 carat or 99.99% purity (fineness) of gold.