See the world’s largest coin, and learn more about how sovereigns are produced at this historic facility in the heart of Perth.
Established back in 1899 – during the gold rush in Western Australia – as a sovereign-producing branch of the British Royal Mint, the Perth Mint is one of the city’s most historic institutions. The country’s sole gold refiner and coin producer, it is home to a collection of dazzling precious coins, gold nuggets and bullion, as well as the world’s biggest gold coin.
The mint became famous for pouring almost 100 per cent pure gold, and though it is mainly used for displays and exhibits today, it remains active and produces coins for the country and its neighbours.
Take a tour around the building and you’ll get to see the first gold coin struck here. Look around the old melting house peer inside the facility’s high security vault. You can also check out the special scales to work out your weight in gold and watch red hot gold being poured. You can learn about the history of the gold rush with a visit to an old prospector’s camp, where you’ll hear stories about their harsh conditions.
Head for the Gold Bar exhibit where you’ll get to see bullion from all over the world and visit the Natural Nugget Collection where you can feast your eyes upon an incredible gold nugget found in 1995 in Kalgoorlie, dating back to around 40 million years ago.
The mint’s biggest attraction however is the world’s most valuable coin. An impressive 80 centimetres in diameter and made from 99.99 per cent solid gold, the coin is worth more than 50 million Australian dollars. Because of its immense weight, it’s pretty unlikely that anyone will manage to sneak it out of the building after their visit!
The Perth Mint is located at the corner of Hill and Hay Streets, and is open every day except for major holidays. You can reach the mint on the free Red Cat bus service that operates through the inner city. If you arrive before mid-afternoon, you’ll be able to join one of the tours. For souvenirs of your visit, check out the gift shop where you’ll find collector’s coins and jewellery.