The Perth Mint - Over 120 Years of Australian Coinage
As with the two previous Royal Mint outposts (in Sydney and Melbourne) in Australia, The Perth Mint’s initial days were filled with gold from the Gold Rush! As the population grew in the west, due to the influx of this raw gold from the likes of Kalgoorlie et al, British authorities were forced to open a new refinery and mint to deal with it all. And thus, Australia’s third ever official Mint was opened in 1899.
Striking coins on behalf of The Royal Mint and the British Government, The Perth Mint struck more than 106 million gold sovereign coins and nearly 735,000 half-sovereigns from 1899 through until the gold standard was abandoned in 1931.
More than 30 years later, the Perth Mint again rose to prominence when called to assist the Melbourne Mint, and the newly created Royal Australian Mint in Canberra, to produce the new Decimal Currency coinage for 1966. Still under the watchful eye of the British Government, The Perth Mint struck a huge volume of the copper one cent and two cent pieces in those early days of decimal currency. However, by 1970, the Royal Australian Mint had found its feet and a royal decree ceased all circulating coin production in Perth (and Melbourne!).
Not to be deterred, The Perth Mint switched its focus back to precious metals, as it had previously done in 1931. Then... during the 1980’s, this Western Australian institution changed the face of coin production globally, with the release of their Gold Nugget bullion range. On the first day of trading, massive sales of 155,000 ounces of gold, worth a whopping A$103 million (today, that’s almost $400 million worth of raw gold!), were recorded. Gobsmacking!
Not long afterwards, The Perth Mint introduced its silver Kookaburra series in 1990, and leading the world, launched one of the first (if not the first) Lunar Calendar coin series in the mid-90’s. Now, well in to the 2000’s, The Perth Mint continues to lead from the front, striking Australian currency for both investment and collectors. It continues to seek innovation, efficiency, and great experiences.
As one of just two remaining official Mints in Australia, possessing a government backed license to strike our nation’s currency, The Perth Mint is an institution. Born of Australia’s gold rush history, and battling through The Great Depression, it now stands proud, impossible to overlook.