The Perth Mint has long been one of Western Australia’s most popular tourist attractions. Offering a unique mix of interactive and educational displays and demonstrations, along with activities, the Perth Mint allows visitors to understand the significant history of gold in the area. Along with a number of guided and self-guided tours, the Perth Mint gives visitors a chance to participate in the process, by manufacturing their own medallion or purchasing one of the commemorative options available onsite.
- Guided Heritage Talk – Learn about the historical significance of the Perth Mint by participating in one of the regular (every hour) guided heritage talks around the Mint. The building housing the Perth Mint is a heritage construction, and with its secure vault and original melting house offers an interesting perspective on the history of Western Australia’s gold rush. The tour covers this history, while providing opportunities for you to see the immense output the Perth Mint has maintained over the years.
- Exhibitions & Collections – There are four main exhibitions and collections at the Perth Mint. The first, and most recent, is the Gold Exhibition, which brings the history of the Western Australian gold rush and the Perth Mint to life with a combination of modern exhibits. The Historic Perth Mint Coin Exhibition showcases the most historic and significant coins ever minted at the Perth Mint, including the first coin ever produced in Perth. To further explore the gold rush check out the Miner’s Campsite, a stylised representation of the challenging conditions that prospectors faced when searching for gold in the past. Finally, explore Australia’s Largest Natural Nugget Collection, which includes gold nuggets, wafers and crystal. This collection famously displays Newmont’s Normandy Nugget, the second largest nugget in existence, which weighs 25.5 kilograms.
- Record Breaking Coin – The Perth Mint is also famous as being the home of the largest and most valuable gold coin in the world. The Australian Kangaroo One Tonne Gold Coin is, as its name suggests, one tonne of 99.99% pure gold. The coin measures 80 centimetres wide and 12 centimetres deep, and has held the Guinness World Record since 2012. The $50 million coin is on display on a revolving platform, visible to visitors from all its shining angles.
- Other Perth Mint Activities – Along with the tours and exhibitions, there are a number of other activities that you can participate in at the Perth Mint. These include watching a traditional gold pour in the Mint’s original melting house. The gold is heated to molten temperatures and a solid gold bar is produced as you watch. You can also find out your worth if you were made of gold and have your own custom aluminium, bronze, gold plated, 99.9% pure silver or 99.9% pure gold medallion engraved as you wait.
|Child (4 – 15 years)||$8|
|Infant (3 years and under)||Free|
|Family (2 adults, 2 children)||$60|
|Engraved Medallions||From $17|
- Photography – The Perth Mint has very specific rules about photography inside the visiting areas. In many spots photography is restricted or forbidden. If you’re unsure about the Perth Mint’s rules regarding photography, ask a member of staff to avoid confusion.
- Retail Shop – The big attraction at the Perth Mint, after the visitors exhibitions and displays, is of course the retail shop. The Perth Mint shop sells a wide variety of jewellery, engagement rings, pink diamonds, pearls, opals, Australian coins and nuggets, along with affordable gifts and souvenirs.
- Cafe – Located in the quiet courtyard of the Perth Mint, the Perth Mint Cafe is open from 10am – 3pm Monday to Friday and 11:30am – 3:30pm on weekends and public holidays. The cafe offers food and beverage options for visitors, including traditional Devonshire Tea, which can be enjoyed in the cafe’s historic surrounds.
- Walk: The Perth Mint is located just a short walk from the city centre and many of Perth’s main hotels on Hay Street.
- Bus: There is a free Red CAT bus service available for visitors planning on visiting the Perth Mint. The bus, which runs along this route can be caught from a variety of locations and travels in a loop. The Perth Mint is stop number 6.
- Hop-On Hop-Off Bus: Visitors can also take the Hop-On Hop-Off bus, which stops at the Perth Mint along with a number of other attractions in the Perth area.
The Perth Mint opened in 1899 due to the discovery of rich deposits of gold in the areas of Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. Australia’s third branch of the Britain Royal Mint, the Perth Mint is one of the few that remains open today (both the Sydney Mint and the Melbourne Mint have closed).
The Perth Mint was constructed thanks to lobbying from Sir John Forrest, Western Australia’s first Premier, who saw the importance of gold in the development of the Western Australian economy.
Between its opening in 1899 and 1831 the Perth Mint minted more than 106 million gold sovereigns and almost 735,000 half-sovereigns to use as Australian currency and elsewhere in the British Empire.
The Perth Mint building is one of the city’s most recognisable and impressive colonial-era constructions. Not surprisingly, it carries the highest classification from the National Trust and was one of the first buildings to be entered onto Western Australia’s heritage register.
The Perth Mint played an important role during the following decades after Britain abandoned the gold standard, which included the minting of hundreds of millions of pennies and half pennies, along with millions of shillings. Its reputation further increased in 1957 when it was able to produce some of the purest gold, with a proof of 999.999 parts of gold per thousand. It was so pure that the Royal Mint ordered some as a benchmark.
Ownership of the Perth Mint was transfered to the State Government of Western Australia in 1970, and today holds its place as a member of an elite group of mints all over the world.