An immaculate heritage building in East Perth houses the prestigious Perth Mint. Open daily from 9am to 5pm, the mint welcomes visitors to discover more than a century’s worth of gold-related history in Western Australia. The attraction features informative guided heritage talks and tours as well as the largest collection of natural gold nuggets in Australia. It’s a must-visit institution for anyone interested in history, precious metals or numismatics (the study and collection of coins and medals).
Because of Western Australia’s natural abundance of gold, the Perth Mint was founded in 1899 as the Australian branch of Britain’s Royal Mint. The mint’s job was to refine the gold mined in the region and transform the precious metal into sparkling sovereigns (the coins of the time). By 1970, the British handed over ownership of the mint to the Western Australian government. Today, the Perth Mint issues Australia’s official bullion and commemorative coins.
Taking one of the hourly guided tours that showcase the heritage mint building (including its secured vault) is a highlight and well worth your time. So is The Gold Exhibition, where you can cast your eyes on the largest and most valuable coin in the world. Weighing in at more than a tonne and measuring 80 centimetres across, this massive piece of ‘shrapnel’ is valued at more than $50 million dollars. It holds the Guinness World Record title, too. And where else will you have the chance to see the pouring of pure melted gold? Watch as this luxurious metal heats to unthinkable temperatures and then smoothly transforms into a dazzling bar of solid gold. Gold pouring takes place daily in the original melting house.
For a delightfully unique memento or gift, don’t leave without getting a medallion engraved with the personalised message of your choice. The Perth Mint is within walking distance of the city centre. Adult tickets cost $19, and children’s tickets are $8. Kids three and under enter for free.