Friday, 12 May 2017

Five on Friday - A Touch of Gold

Hello

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
Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Cheerio

16 comments:

  1. Oh I'd love to see that huge coin.

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    1. It was very impressive but the gold bar that was made was amazing in the speed of manufacture.

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  2. WOW! I loved all this fascinating info in this post. What a great tour they give to visitors. You got some great photos. That one ton gold coin was amazing!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it. We were so glad to have done the tour, it was so interesting.

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  3. Very interesting post, thank you. What a coin, made me think about - when the sales assistant asks 'have you got anything smaller'? Have a good week, Cathy x

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    1. You'd have to have a big purse to fit that coin in! I wanted to get a photo of the kangaroo on the back but when the tour was over, it had disappeared as they lock it away overnight.

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  4. Thank you for sharing such interesting historical facts. I have visited eastern Australia but I had no idea about their gold rush. Pat

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    1. It's such a huge country isn't it. Maybe we'll have to have another trip to the East.

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  5. A very interesting post! I clicked on the photos to get the slide show and they are wonderful especially the ones of the Mint Tour. I like the architectural design of the Mint building. Great to see the blue sky - always uplifting! Have a good weekend.

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    1. I'm really missing the blue sky now I'm back! The tour was so worth doing and better than we thought it would be.

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  6. Great article Karen. Years since I been there so must go and see that 1 tonne gold coin.
    Floris

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it Floris. It was a great tour.😊

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  7. if only i could dig something like this up in the garden! really interesting post, thanks for sharing with us for Five on Friday :)

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    1. I think we all feel like that! Glad you enjoyed it.

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