The Perth Mint

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310 Hay Street, East Perth
WA 6004, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)8 9421 7376

One of Western Australia’s leading tourist venues, The Perth Mint was established in June 1899 as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint to refine the gold from Western Australia’s newly discovered eastern goldfields and to turn it into British sovereigns and half sovereigns for the British Empire. It remained under British control until 1970, when ownership was transferred to the government of the State of Western Australia.

Historic Perth Mint Coin Exhibition

There are approximately 300 coins on display from the Mint’s collection, all of which were struck by The Perth Mint. The issuing authorities of the coins in the exhibit include the Commonwealth of Australia and the Governments of the Cook Islands and Tuvalu. Among the historic coins struck by The Perth Mint are:

  • An 1899 gold sovereign—the very first coin produced in Perth.
  • The first copper decimal coin made in Australia—a 1966-dated 1-cent piece.
  • Two of the largest legal tender coins in the world—the 10-kg Australian Lunar gold ($A30,000 face value) and silver ($A300 face value) bullion coins.

In October 2011, the Perth Mint created the world’s largest, heaviest, and most valuable gold coin, breaking the record of a C$1 million Canadian coin, weighing 220.5 lbs (100 kg), previously held by the Royal Canadian Mint. The Perth Mint coin is 31.5 inches (80 cm) in diameter, 4.7 inches (12 cm) thick, and is made of 2,230 lbs (1,012 kg) of 99.99 percent pure gold. It is legal tender in Australia with a face value of A$1 million; at time of minting, its value was US$57.34 million.

Guided Talk

Visitors to The Perth Mint can join one of the regular hourly guided talks. The grand heritage building, the heavily secured vault, and the original melting house provide many extraordinary stories about Western Australia’s golden history and the Mint’s prolific output of priceless gold bars and coins.

Watch a Gold Pour

A visit includes the amazing spectacle of a traditional gold pour, during which pure gold is heated to molten temperatures of approximately 1,200 degrees Celsius and transformed into a solid gold bar weighing 200 troy ounces (6 kg).

The 19th-century brick walls of the melting house are literally embedded with gold dust, accumulated over many decades of continuous refining.

World’s Largest Gold Bar Exhibition

The world’s greatest collection of investment gold bars permanently resides at the The Perth Mint. Although the complete collection comprises more than 1,000 bars from 135 manufacturers and issuers in 35 countries, space limits a selection of 200 gold bars currently on display. Unique bars are Roman gold bars from 378 AD, rainbow bars from Japan which give a multi-colored effect, and hologram bars from Switzerland and Germany.

Australia’s Largest Natural Nugget Collection

It has been said that early prospectors endured years of back-breaking labor in the bone dry Australia outback in search of gold nuggets. On display is a breathtaking collection of approximately 150 natural gold nuggets plus wafers and crystals, including Newmont’s Normandy Nugget, the second largest gold nugget in existence—a massive 820 ounces (25.5 kg). The second largest nugget on display, called The Golden Beauty, weighs 11.5 kg.

This text was written by Howard M. Berlin and first published in his book Numismatourist in 2014.

You can order his numismatic guidebook at Amazon.

Howard M. Berlin has his own website.

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