From its renowned precious metals refinery to its modern manufacturing facilities, through to its range of gold coins and bars, and innovative precious metals investment offerings – The Perth Mint has evolved from its humble yet industrious beginnings into a dynamic enterprise which embraces the global gold market.
As Australia’s only remaining, fully operating ‘gold rush’ mint of the 1800s, The Perth Mint’s grand colonial building continues to guard the wealth of operations and gold exhibits, which each play a role in adding value to, and promoting, gold worldwide.
While ownership of the institution transferred from the British Government to the local Government of Western Australia in 1970, it wasn’t until the phenomenal surge in global gold demand was felt in the 1900s that the State commissioned its redevelopment. It was then, that the modern era of The Perth Mint began.
The modern era
To commence and manage its transition and future operations, the State created Gold Corporation under its own statutory legislation (Gold Corporation Act 1987). Its first assignment was to launch Australia’s official gold bullion coin program to capture a share of the worldwide market.
With its established refining operations and minting facility, and the creation of its own treasury, the Commonwealth Government granted The Perth Mint the authority to manufacture and market legal tender coins under the Australian Currency Act 1965.
It was in 1987 that the Australian Nugget gold coin series was introduced. Its overwhelming success soon motivated the diversification of the investor program to include silver, platinum and palladium issues. Simultaneously, as the demand for gold continued to rise, an expansion of the Mint’s refining and bar making facilities was required to house these fundamental functions, with a dedicated modern site soon established in Perth’s eastern suburbs.
Still on the quest to showcase the nation’s penchant for gold, the inaugural Australian Nugget coins featured famous Australian nuggets, including the Welcome Stranger and Golden Eagle. Yet, to establish the program as distinctively Australian to the broader international market, a new design theme was soon proposed.
In 1989, Australia’s landmark gold coin series was relaunched, featuring the country’s most recognisable animal icon – the kangaroo. Its artistry, which has since established the aptly renamed Australian Kangaroo as one of the most popular gold coin programs in the world, was created by acclaimed coin designer and goldsmith to Queen Elizabeth II, Dr Stuart Devlin AO CGM.
Dr Devlin’s classic design of a bounding red kangaroo surrounded by rays of sunlight has since featured on each kilo release in the series for the past 27 years.
Australian Kangaroo One Tonne Gold Coin unveiled
Australian Kangaroo gold bullion coin program offers a combination of features which has made it one-of-a-kind in the global investment market. Yet, the uniqueness of the series was elevated to a new height, when The Perth Mint created the pinnacle of the program – the Australian Kangaroo One Tonne Gold Coin.
Unveiled at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth in October 2011, the colossal coin took the world by storm. Measuring 80cm in diameter and 13cm deep, the supersized masterpiece was awarded the Guinness World Record of ‘largest coin’ in 2012.
To promote Australian gold worldwide and to commemorate then 25 years since the investor program’s iconic faunal design was first introduced, the One Tonne Coin embarked on a tour of the Mint’s leading bullion coin markets in 2014. From Hong Kong to Vienna, then across Germany to its final destination of Berlin, Australia’s gold icon inspired a record number of visitors to enter the halls of the prestigious World Money Fair in the German capital.
While the Australian Kangaroo One Tonne Coin is now quite at home back at The Perth Mint, where it illuminates the darkened exhibition gallery in which it takes centre stage, its creators continue to champion the Australian gold industry worldwide by hosting a dazzling exhibit at the premier precious metals fair held in February each year.
See Australia's gold icon
To see Australia’s gold icon – the Australian Kangaroo One Tonne Gold Coin – in all its golden glory, visit the Gold Exhibition at The Perth Mint. For more information visit The Perth Mint website or discover the suite of 2016 Australian Kangaroo gold bullion coins and other gold investment products at perthmintbullion.com