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Perth Mint

The Perth Mint was established in 1899 as a colonial branch of the English Royal Mint, just six years after the Kalgoorlie gold rush started.

 

Perth Mint

 

Even though the West Australian government funded the construction of the buildings, the Mint was still owned by the British Government until 1970 when the state government finally took ownership. It is the oldest operating mint in Australia.

 

Perth Mint

 

The building is heritage listed and is an impressive example of its time. Tours of the mint are conducted on an hourly basis but they feel somewhat rushed and only give a few very brief details about the history of the mint and of the gold discoveries in W.A.

 

Photography inside the building is prohibited with security being cited as the main reason. This is very unfortunate as some of the exhibits, including a 1 ton gold coin (with and estimated current value of 52 million dollars) would be something very interesting to have pictures of. The smelting demonstration is another wonderful photo opportunity lost due to the questionable security excuse.

 

Perth Mint

 

Considering the photography ban and the few exhibits inside the Mint, the $19 entry fee seems wildly over-priced. You would be battling to spend 30 minutes looking around and the 5 minute multi-screen video presentation during the tour simply reeks of the lust for gold.

 

Perth Mint

 

While I was impressed by the lovely old building, I was less then impressed by the atmosphere inside. Most people are aware of the words; 'The love of money is the root of all evil' and sadly the love of money, or in this case gold, was the presiding feeling I was left with after visiting the Mint. It was something like a temple devoted to the worship of gold.

 

Perth Mint

 

The embodiment of this place was power, greed and the lust for riches. It seemed to reek of all the unpleasant parts of human nature. Personally I was left feeling a bit grubby for having been in close contact with such a place and wishing I had not ventured inside. In comparison to the Goldfields Museum in Kalgoorlie, the Mint comes a very poor second. The opportunity to make more of this wonderful historic building has been squandered. Rather than feeling like a significant historic site that promotes our history, it feels like a place dedicated to extracting as much money from visitors as possible.

 

Updated December 2014

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Perth Mint

 

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