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International Silver Coins

Silver bullion coins around the world which are the most well known include:

Canadian Silver Maple Leaf
Australian Silver Kookaburra
Australian Silver Koala
Australian Silver Kangaroo
Austrian Silver Vienna Philharmonic
British Silver Britannia
Chinese Silver Panda
Mexican Silver Libertad

Canadian Silver Maple Leaf

The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf is a silver bullion coin issued annually by the government of Canada. The coin has been minted by the Royal Canadian Mint (RMC) since 1988. The face value of the 1 oz coin is 5 Canadian dollars, the highest among international silver bullion coins. The purity of the coin is 99.99% silver. Several notable issues have been released over the life of the series. A single-issue 10 oz version was produced in 1998 to mark the 10th anniversary of the coin series. In 1999, all Silver Maple Leaf coins that were issued came with a privy mark to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the RCM Maple Leaf Program. The following year, the coins featured a Privy Mark with Fireworks and the number 2000. Another Silver Maple Leaf was issued to commemorate the Millennium. For the first time in 2009, the Silver Maple Leaf coins were not packaged in Mylar by the Royal Canadian Mint. Due to the high demand, the Silver Maple Leaf was packaged in tubes of 25.

Obverse: The effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. There are three different versions, a young head version, an old head version, and an older head version. The year of issue and the face value of 5 dollars is also displayed on this side.
Reverse: A maple leaf design. On some variations there are also a small privy mark on the lower half of the coin or color enhancement.

Face Value: $5 CAN
Mass: 1 troy ounce
Composition: 99.99% Ag
Diameter: 38mm
Edge: Reeded
Years of Minting: 1988–present

Since 2001, mintages have gone up virtually every year from just under 400,000 to over 9.5 million.

Silver Australian Kookaburra

The Silver Australian Kookaburra from the Perth Mint comes in various sizes, the largest being one of the largest government-issued silver coins in the world. This popular one kilo silver coin contains 32.151 Troy ounces of pure silver and is 99.9% fine. In keeping with design rotations for its other bullion coins, the reverse designs change annually, always featuring a kookaburra, an Australian native bird. As with Australia's other bullion coins, the design on the obverse features a profile view of Queen Elizabeth II, as designed by Ian Rank Broadley. She is encircled by her name, the name of the country, and the denomination.

Silver Austrailian Kookkaburra Coin
Coin Designer: Ian Rank Broadley (obverse), Reverse changes yearly

1-kg $30 (Aus) 99.9% 1002.21g 32.15 oz. 101.00mm 14.60mm
10-oz. $10 (Aus) 99.9% 311.06g 10.0 oz. 75.50mm 8.70mm
2-oz. $2 (Aus) 99.9% 62.20g 2.0 oz. 53.30mm 4.50mm
1-oz. $1 (Aus) 99.9% 31.10g 1.0 oz. 40.60mm 4.00mm
Dates: 1990-present (1-oz.); 1992-present (2- and 10-oz. and 1-Kilo); 2002-present (1/2-oz.)

Austrian Silver Philharmonic Coin

Austrian Silver Philharmonic bullion coin.
The Silver Vienna Philharmonic was first released in 2008, the Silver Philharmonic has a €1.50 face value to them and has a silver purity of .999, and each coin weighs 31.103 grams or one troy ounce. The coin generaly features a harmonious design of musical instruments representing the world famous Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on the reverse of the coin, and the image of the great organ in the Golden Hall in Vienna's concert hall (Musikverein) on the obverse. The design of the Silver Vienna Philharmonic is identical to the gold philharmonica that have been produced since 1989.

Although the original Philharmonic Gold coins are issued in five different weights – 1/10 ounce, ¼ ounce, ½ ounce, 1 ounce, and 1,000 ounces – the Philharmonic Silver Coins are issued only in the most common bullion coin weight – 1 troy ounce. Probably, more sizes will be issued as time goes on, but these silver coins are extremely new, having first been struck in 2008. The Austrian Philharmonic Silver coins are extremely well made. The fineness of the Philharmonic Silvers is 99.9%, putting them on a par with the world’s other bullion coins, but still behind the fineness of the Canadian Silver Maple, which retains a slight advantage in this regard with its 99.99% purity. The weight is precisely 1 troy ounce, or 31.103 grams. The coins are smaller and thicker than many other coins, though not greatly – their diameter is 1.46 inches (37 mm), and their thickness is 0.13 inches (3.2 mm). The face value of the coins is set at €1.50.

The obverse of the Austrian Silver Philharmonic shows the pipe organ that stands in the Golden Concert Hall of Vienna’s Musikverien, a magnificent instrument known as the Great Pipe Organ, which was constructed in 1907. Arched above the pipe organ are the words “Republik Osterreich”, while beneath it are various sizes of text proclaiming “1 Unze Finesilber” (“1 ounce of fine silver”), the year, and “1,50 Euro”. The edges are smooth and are not reeded.

The reverse of the coin is the more popular side for aesthetic reasons – as is usually the case with bullion coins. The image which appears here is often described as a “bouquet” of musical instruments, and this is an apt description. The distinctive, highly attractive forms of a French horn, a harp, a cello, four violins, and another wind instrument appear arranged in a fan shaped array. The legend “Wiener Philharmoniker” appears at the top of the reverse, and immediately under it, in tiny letters, the word “Silber” is inscribed.

Austria, and the cultural patronage that the Holy Roman Emperors so diligently pursued during their centuries of rule from their capital in Vienna, have bequeathed a wondrous heritage of music to the world. Many other beautiful pieces of music – uplifting the heart to noble thoughts, and speaking to the soul – have been produced elsewhere, but Austria can surely claim one of the strongest concentrations of musical history and achievement to be found in any one nation in the world.

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was formed in 1842 to take advantage of this astonishing trove of harmonic treasure, and has an interestingly democratic structure in contrast to the imperial past of the city. The musicians vote on which pieces to perform during each season, and all other matters relating to the Orchestra’s business are decided by a simple majority, with each musician having one equal vote. Another of its unique features is that it has only guest conductors, no full-time conductor, and has been conducted by many of the most famous men and women of the 20th century. Famed for its excellence – and believed by many to be among the finest orchestras in the world – the Vienna Philharmonic is a source of both national prestige and international profit to Austria.

The Philharmonic Gold coin was first introduced in 1989, struck out of 99.99% pure, 24 carat gold. In three years during the early to mid 1990s, the Philharmonic Gold coins even outdid Krugerrands in sales worldwide, a rare distinction for any modern gold coin to achieve. The beauty of the coin, the high production values of the Austrian Mint, and the well-deserved international renown of the Vienna Philharmonic has assured that sales of this coin continue robust to this day. The Austrian Philharmonic Silver Coin was first struck in 2008, and new coins have been made available in every year since then. The design of the coin is an exact clone of the Philharmonic Gold, except for the metal in which it is struck.

Mint...................Austrian Mint
Weight...............31.103 Grams 1oz
Diameter...........37 mm
Thickness..........3.2 mm
Edge.................Not Reeded
Purity................999 Silver

The Silver Koala Coin

The Australian Silver Koala.
The first one ounce Silver Koala was issued in 2007 by the Perth Mint, all Silver Koala's have a $1 face value to them, These coins are considered legal tender but their intrinsic value will exceed that of their face value. The Koala bullion coins have a silver purity of .999, with each coin weighing 31.135 grams or one ounce. The coin generaly features a Koala on the reverse of the coin which is changed each year with a new design, and a image of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. The Silver Koala is offered in four different weights, which is uncommon for a silver bullion coin, the bullion coins can be purchased in ½oz, 1oz, 10oz and 1kilo sizes. All four sizes are set to be produced for demand with no preset mintage level, the four coins denominations are 50cents, $1, $10, and $30.

Mint...................Perth Mint
Weight...............31.135 Grams 1oz
Diameter...........40.6 mm
Purity................999 Silver
Years................2007- Present
Mint Marks........P

The Silver Britannia

The first one ounce Silver Britannia bullion coin was issued in 1997 by the Royal Mint, all Silver Britannia coins have a £2 face value to them and have a silver purity of .958, each coin weighs 32.45 grams just over one ounce. The coin generally features Britannia the iconic warrior maiden on the reverse of the coin which is changed each year with a new design, and a image of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.

China Silver Panda

The first silver Panda coins (1983 - 1985) had mintages of only 10,000. Precious metal content is 27g of 900 fine silver in Proof quality. Diameter is 38.6 mm. The 1987 Sterling Panda is the only Panda coin issued by China that was minted from sterling silver. Precious metal content is 1 oz. of 925 fine silver in Proof quality. It was also the first silver Panda coin with a diameter of 40 mm. The first Brilliant Uncirculated 1 oz. pure .999 silver Panda legal tender coin was issued in 1989. The design of the panda (obverse) changes every year (except for 2002). The reverse of the coin shows the Temple of Heaven.

Mexican Silver Libertad

The Mexican Libertad series features a one-ounce silver bullion coin that has been produced in years when other Onza Troy de Plata (Troy Ounce of Silver) Mexican coins were not being minted. The obverse of the coin has gone through some minor changes, but has always featured the Independence Angel that is the symbol of Mexico City. The design is very similar to the Mexican 50 Peso. The Angel stands in front of the Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatéptl volcanoes. The fineness and amount of silver, the date, and the name of the issuing country (“MEXICO”) are all listed. The reverse is also similar to the 50 Peso. The center of the coin features an eagle battling a snake, surrounded by a wreath and the words “ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS”. Issues have had either reeded or milled edges. Slight changes to design and lettering have occurred over the years.

Minting Information
The Mexican Mint (La Casa de Moneda de México) is the oldest mint in the Americas. It has minted other silver bullion coins of various size: 1/20-oz., 1/10-oz., ¼-oz., ½-oz.,2-oz., and 5-oz. As mentioned before, it has also issued different 1-ounce silver bullion coins in recent years including 1949, 1978-80, and 1996-99).

Detailed Coin Information
Gross Weight: 31.101g
Silver Content: 1 troy oz.
Diameter: 40.60mm
Thickness: 4.00mm
Edge: Reeded or Milled
Dates: 1982-95; 2000-present

In 1982, the famous Mexico City Mint, the oldest in North America, introduced the Silver Libertad, a one ounce silver bullion coin based on the beloved, and rare, 50 Peso gold Centenario. Often compared to the Saint-Gaudens American Double Eagle, the Centenario was surely one of the world’s most beautiful coins, and its design has been reborn in the Silver Libertad. The reverse is composed of a frontal view of Winged Victory, laurel wreath in her raised right hand and the broken chains of bondage in her left, with two famous Mexican volcanoes, Popocatepetl and Iztaccihautl, rising behind. The obverse features the Mexican Coat of Arms, depicting an eagle perched on a cactus with a serpent in its beak. The Silver Libertad has a fineness of .999, measures 40mm in diameter, and is composed of one troy ounce of pure silver.

The Australian Silver lunar Coins Series

The first one ounce Silver Lunar was issued in 1999 by the Perth Mint, all Silver Lunar coins have a $1 face value to them and have a silver purity of .999, and each coin weighs 31.63 grams or one ounce. The coin generaly features a different animal on the reverse of the coin which is changed each year with a new design, and a image of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. The list of animals representing each lunar year is as follows, 1999 has the Rabbit, 2000 is the Dragon, 2001 is the Snake, 2002 is the Horse, 2003 is the Goat, 2004 is the Monkey, 2005 is the Rooster, 2006 is the Dog, 2007 is the Pig, 2008 is the Rat, 2009 is the Ox and finally 2010 is the Tiger.

Mint...................Perth Mint
Weight...............31.63 Grams 1oz
Diameter...........40.6 mm
Purity................999 Silver
Mint Mark..........P

Australian Silver Kangaroo

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Bullion Dealers and other coin links: Where to buy bullion coins.

APMEX 1-800-375-9006 American Precious Metals Exchange
Provident Metals 1-877-429-8790
Blanchard 1-800-880-4653
Goldline 1-877-376-2646
Rosland Capital 1-800-461-1246
Monex 1-800-444-8317
Dillon and Gage 1-800-375-4653
NWT Mint 1-800-344-6468
AMERGOLD 1-800-613-9323 American Gold Exchange

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