Shown above is the 1980 $200 coin from Australia, struck to proof standard. It was minted from 10.0 grams of 0.9167 fine gold (22 carat) which converts to 0.2948 ounces of gold. At the time of writing the gold content of this coin was worth about US$274 but you can check todays value using our Gold Coin Calculator. The obverse of the coin depicts the Arnold Machin portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, the head of the British Commonwealth. The reverse depicts an Australian Koala sitting in a eucalyptus tree. The $200 gold coin with the koala reverse was minted in 1980, 83, and 84 with the Machin obverse and in 1985-86 with the Raphael Maklouf portrait of the Queen. It was struck in both uncirculated and proof versions each year. Mintages started at a high of over 200,000 uncirculated coins and 50,000 proof coins in 1980 slowly dwindling to 15,298 / 16,654 in 1986.
These are an interesting coin because it wasn't that long ago that the best thing to do with them was to take them to a bank and redeem them for face value. The high issue price in 1980 ($240 for the UNC version), low bullion value and the relatively large mintage for such an expensive coin means that the opportunity for capital growth isn't really there. It has only been in the last 18 months of high gold prices that the coins started fetching amounts well above the face value of the coin. Even now, 29 years later the coins are only just reaching the issue prices again. I know of people who bought 10 or 20 of these coins in 1980 because they were promoted heavily and it is sad to think that they are only just now looking like recouping their initial investment. Hardly the way to get rich! Still they are beautiful coins and lovely to look at in proof form. And barely cost a premium above their gold value. Certainly a fun way of holding the yellow metal!
Posted by mnemtsas at March 24, 2009 7:13 PM
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