What’s the first image that comes to mind when I mention “Koalas”? I’m pretty sure it’s NOT the Perth Mint, but I can almost guarantee you said “Australia”. Well, for those of you who are not familiar with the Perth Mint in Australia, it is one of the most extraordinary and well-respected mints in the world. Known by collectors for its commemorative and special edition coins and by investors for its wide variety of gold & silver bullion, there is a lot to learn from “the mint down under”.
As the third branch of the Royal Mint of London, the Perth Mint was founded by Sir John Forrest in 1899 with the sole purpose of creating gold and half sovereigns for legal tender. He recognized the importance of having the Mint in West Australia after diggers were forced to take what gold they had and send it to the Royal Mint for coin production. Although the Sydney Mint opened in 1855 and the Melbourne Mint opened in 1872, the Perth Mint remains the ONLY branch from the Royal Mint operating in Australia today. The Sydney Mint closed in 1926 due to ongoing budget woes and the Melbourne Mint closed in 1968 due to higher demand of new currency from the Royal Australian Mint.
It was during the 1980s that the Perth mint would be thrust into the economic spotlight. When the price of gold began to rise, the Perth Mint saw a new opportunity to profit and underwent a dramatic change. Forming a unique agreement with the Commonwealth, the Mint was now empowered to produce AND market gold, silver, and platinum coins as legal tender to collectors and investors around the world. Some of those products included the famous Australian Koala, Kookaburra, Nugget, and of course, the Lunar Series. Today, the Mint is known for its unsurpassed quality and high definition of bullion and numismatic coins that are sure to please the beginner and seasoned collectors alike.