Saturday, April 9, 2016

Perth Mint

Perth Mint is just right behind our hotel, so it is one of our destinations of the very first day.

Perth is not the capital of Australia, but why there is a mint here, in a provincial capital?  The story has to go back to the two gentlemen whose statues are right in front of the Perth Mint building.  They are the ones who first discovered gold mines in Western Australia.  With subsequent gold rush, Perth became a very important center for gold mining.  Decision was made to establish Perth Mint for gold and silver bullion production in Australia.  Money printing and coin production is not at Perth Mint but else where.

From outside, you can still see the old fashioned chimneys propping into the blue sky, although I don't think they are still in use today.

In the Perth Mint building, there are galleries where you can buy gold and silver souvenirs.  There is also a gold and silver bullion trading room.  Here you can buy and sell your gold and silver bullion.  I think the best souvenir you can get is to buy a silver Koala bullion produced by the Perth Mint at spot price plus a premium.

The mint is open 7 days a week, and on most of the public holidays, but the trading room is only open on weekdays, it is closed on weekends and public holidays, as the precious metal exchange is closed.

For $19/pax, you can go for a guided tour of the mint.  This is highly recommended if you are a gold bug.

With the tour, you can go into the exhibition area, where you can find the world's biggest gold coin.

As no photography is allowed in the building, I can only share with you with a picture of the mint's brochure.  The gold coin weights 1 ton!  At the current price of gold, it is worth at least US$37 million!  And it is right in front of you, just a couple of feet away.  It serves as a very important lesson in life.  US$37 million right in front of you, but you can't eat it, drink it, use it to warm you up, or cool you down, and you can't even carry it away with you.  The US$37 million is just a meaningless number.

There are many gold nuggets in display, too.  Gold nuggets are something that you can't mine, or manufacture.  It is nature's wonder which you can only find by luck.

As a teaser, the mint also lets you get a feel of touching and lifting a 12kg gold bar.  The bar has the size a bit smaller than a piece of brick, but it weighs a lot more.

The highlight of the tour is definitely the demonstration of gold pour.  The guide will take out a bucket of molten gold and pour it into the mold of a gold bar.  Once the gold solidifies, he will put it in cold water to speed up the solidification process.  At the end, a glittering 200g gold bar is presented in front of the audiences.

You can find my other Perth travel posts here.

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