Perth Mint is Australia's official bullion mint and wholly owned
by the Government of Western Australia. Established on 20 June
1899, two years before Australia's Federation in 1901, the Perth Mint
was the last of three Australian colonial branches of the United
Royal Mint (after the now-defunct
Sydney Mint and Melbourne
Mint) intended to refine gold from the gold rushes and to mint gold
sovereigns and half-sovereigns for the British Empire. Along with
the Royal Australian Mint, which produces coins of the Australian
dollar for circulation, the
Perth Mint is the older of the two mints
issuing coins that are legal tender in Australia.
3 See also
5 External links
After the foundation stone was laid in 1896 by Sir John Forrest, the
Mint opened on 20 June 1899. At that time, Western Australia's
population was growing rapidly (23,000 in 1869 and 180,000 in 1900)
due largely to the discovery of rich gold deposits in Coolgardie,
Kalgoorlie and Murchison areas of the colony.
As there was very little money available in Perth for which miners
could exchange gold to pay for goods, the Diggers who flocked to the
then colony of
Western Australia in huge numbers from other parts of
Australia and from around the world, deposited their raw gold at the
Perth Mint where it was minted into gold coins.
Although Federation occurred in 1901, the Mint remained under the
jurisdiction of Great Britain until 1 July 1970, when it became a
statutory authority of the Government of Western Australia.
Between 1899 and 1931, the
Perth Mint struck more than 106 million
gold sovereigns and nearly 735,000 half-sovereigns for use as currency
Australia and throughout the British Empire. The Mint stopped
making gold sovereigns when Britain abandoned the gold standard in
1931. Nevertheless, the refinery remained busy as staff turned their
skills to making fine gold bullion bars. But it was not long before
the Mint was involved again in the production of coins. During World
War II, the
Perth Mint began minting the Australian coinage from base
metals. Up until the end of 1983, the
Perth Mint also manufactured
much of Australia's lower-denomination coin currency.
Perth Mint achieved "arguably the purest of all gold" in 1957 when
the mint produced a 13-troy-ounce (400 g) proof plate of six
nines - 999.999 parts of gold per thousand.:58 The
Royal Mint was
so impressed that it ordered some of the gold as the benchmark for its
The Mint's new direction was formalised in 1987 with the creation of
Gold Corporation by a State Act of Parliament. Under a unique
agreement with the Commonwealth of Australia's Department of the
Treasury, the Mint's new operator was empowered to mint and market
gold, silver and platinum Australian legal tender coinage to investors
and collectors worldwide. Prime Minister
Bob Hawke launched the
Australian Nugget Gold Coins Series in 1987. The first day's trading
yielded sales of 155,000 ounces of gold worth $103 million, well above
the sales target of 130,000 ounces to the end of June. Today, the
Perth Mint is a member of an elite group of world mints whose pure
gold, silver and platinum legal tender coins are trusted without
question. Like the Australian Nugget, its Australian Kookaburra Silver
Coin Series and Australian Lunar Gold and Silver
Coin Series are
extensively sought after by bullion investors worldwide.
Up to 2000, the Mint's refined gold output totalled 4,500 tonnes,
representing 3.25% of the total weight of gold produced by humankind.
This is about the current holdings of gold bullion in the United
States Treasury's Fort Knox
In 2003, the
Perth Mint officially opened an 8,400 square metre
state-of-the-art manufacturing facility next door to its original
limestone building. Dominating the Mint's heritage precinct, these two
important buildings are powerful symbols of more than 100 years of
minting excellence in Western Australia.
In October 2011, the
Perth Mint created the world's largest, heaviest
and most valuable gold coin, breaking the record previously held by
the Royal Canadian Mint. The coin is approximately 80 centimetres
(31 in) in diameter and 12 centimetres (4.7 in) thick, and
made of 1,012 kilograms (2,231 lb) of 99.99% pure gold. It
features, on the obverse side, the effigy of Elizabeth II, and a red
kangaroo on the reverse side. It is legal tender in
face value A$1 million, but at the time of minting it was valued at
Today, the Mint continues to provide refining and other services to
the gold industry and manufactures many coin related numismatic items
for investors and coin collectors. It is responsible for manufacturing
and marketing most of Australia's legal tender precious metal coins,
including proof quality
Australian Nugget gold coins, Australian
Platinum Koala coins,
Australian Silver Kookaburra coins and bullion.
In January 2018, the
Perth Mint announced it would produce a
blockchain based cryptocurrency backed by its own bullion (a digital
gold currency) in approximately the next 12 to 18 months.
Hints to Prospectors and Owners of Treatment Plants
Perth Mint Certificate Program
Perth Mint Swindle
History of Western Australia
^ a b c Thomas, Athol. 90 Golden Years, The story of the Perth Mint.
^ "Group Structure The Perth Mint". www.perthmint.com.au. Retrieved
^ "Attractions in Perth Western Australia". Perth Tourist Centre.
^ a b "The Perth Mint". Gold-Net
Australia Online. September 2002.
^ "History". The Perth Mint. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
Gold Corporation Act 1987
Australia unveils world's largest gold coin in Perth
^ "Perth mint unveils $53m coin". The Australian. 27 October 2011.
Archived from the original on 19 March 2014.
^ "World's biggest gold coin worth $53m". The Sydney Morning Herald.
27 October 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
Cryptocurrency backed by gold being developed by
Perth Mint to
entice investors back to precious metals, Australian Broadcasting
Corporation, 24 January 2018, retrieved 2 February 2018
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Perth Mint.
Perth Mint website
A Comprehensive Guide to the
Perth Mint 1oz Bar
State Heritage record
Coordinates: 31°57′26″S 115°52′09″E / 31.957105°S
115.869284°E / -31.957105; 115.869284
Coins of the $
Banknotes of the $
Coins of the £
Sydney Mint (1855–1926)
Melbourne Mint (1872–1967)
Perth Mint (1899–)
Royal Australian Mint
Royal Australian Mint (1965–)
Australian pound (obsolete)
Banknotes of the
Australian pound (obsolete)
Note Printing Australia
Pound sterling (obsolete)