Introduced in 1986 as a .9999 fine bullion coin. Each year the design is changed, since 1989 with various portraits of kangaroos. From its beginning, this issue of coins had two unique features: a ‘two-tone’ frosted design effect, and individual hard plastic encapsulation of each coin. For a standard-price bullion coin, these features were unheard of, and served to position the Nugget as a product offering a lot of value for a standard bullion price.
At first, these coins pictured on the reverse side a famous Australian gold nugget. In 1989, this design was changed to feature different Kangaroos. Another aspect of the bullion coin market touched on by Australia was the introduction of 2-, 10-, and 32.15-ounce (kilogram) bullion gold coins. These larger sizes have been imported into the U.S. from time to time since their initial production.