Great to see you for Tricky and Carly's Five on Friday link-up.
My five this week are all about the Perth Mint and the Australian gold rush.
One - The Mint
One of the world's oldest mints still operating from its original buildings, the Perth Mint was built in 1896 as a place where gold diggers could deposit their gold and it would be turned into coins. With the discovery of gold in the area, it was decided it would be more cost effective to have a Mint in Perth rather than send the gold to London to be made into coins and than shipped back again. The Mint stayed under the control of Great Britain until July 1970 when it came under the jurisdiction of the Government of Western Australia.
Two - Gold Rush
Australia experienced three gold rushes, the first two in the Eastern States but the third was in Western Australia at the end of the 1800s mainly in Coolgardie and Kalgoorie. Arthur Bailey and William Ford found 500 oz of alluvial gold at Coolgardie and when they registered their claim, Paddy Hannan and Tom Flanagan heard about their discovery and headed off to see if they could also find some. After 9 months they followed other prospectors to Mount Yule but at a stopover at Mount Charlotte they found 100 oz gold and with fellow Irishman Dan Shea they quietly registered their claim. Within 3 days 700 other prospectors were searching in that Kalgoorie area, which turned out to be one of the biggest Australian gold discoveries ever and the area is now called the Golden Mile. The population in the area increased dramatically from 23,000 in 1869 to 180,000 in 1901. Prospectors would arrive at Freemantle in their sailing boats, unprepared for the terrain and the 600km walk to the goldfields.
Three - Forging a Gold Ingot
As part of the Mint Tour, you are able to see a gold bar being forged. Incredibly the same gold is used over and over again to show tourists how it is done. The gold bar is melted at 1,943°F, poured into the mould, cooled and much quicker than you would think, held up and displayed. Just like that. It was interesting to hear that a high value of gold can be reclaimed from the crucibles used and even from the walls as tiny particles are absorbed during the process.
Four - Coins
The centrepiece of the exhibition is the Australian Kangaroo One Tonne Gold Coin below. There is a kangaroo on the other side! It is the largest and most valuable coin in the world, weighing one tonne and made from 99.99% pure gold, it measures 80 cm across and is 13 cm deep - valued at more than AUD 50 million.
Five - Golden Nuggets
Many gold nuggets have been found, many turned into coins or smaller pieces, easier to manoeuvre. However, those on display are worth significantly more than their gold price due to their rarity at being kept at that size.
|Golden Stonefish found 2004 7.2kg - how it was found|
|Golden Beauty 2000 11.46kg|
|Newmont Normandy Nugget 1995 25.5kg - second largest still in existence and 26th largest nugget ever found|