Royal Australian Mint
The Royal Australian Mint opened its doors on Monday, February 22nd, 1965. Even though its opening was presided over by the Duke of Edinburgh, it was the first Australian mint to operate with no ties to the Royal Mint in London. Since it began production in 1965, total production of coins at the Royal Australian Mint is in the billions. In fact, as many as two millions pieces can be minted in a single day.
The mint has produced coins for other nations besides Australia, and it also manufactures other collectibles including medals and commemorative tokens.
Paper notes are produced by Note Printing Australia in Melbourne, while most Australian coins originate from the Royal Australian Mint. The Perth Mint is the only other operational mint in Australia. Opened in 1899, the Perth Mint manufactures Australia's legal tender precious metal coins. The Royal Australian Mint was the first mint worldwide to earn the designation of International Quality Standards ISO 9002. The high level of quality control, research, and innovation continues to earn the mint top honors.
In 2005, the Joint Standing Committee on Public Works commissioned a complete overhaul of the facility. As a result, a $41.2 million renovation of the mint is scheduled to be completed in April 2009. For a current look at the production floor, tourists can visit the mint or go online to look at the construction plans. Along with that, visitors are given the chance to make their own coin, watch an informational video, and purchase coin collectables.
The Royal Australian Mint currently offers a wide range of collector pieces, including the Lunar Year series, featuring $1 silver coins with a special design for each of the 12 traditional symbols of the Chinese calendar.
To celebrate Australia's 150th Anniversary of State Government, the mint issued $5 silver proof coins in 2006 to commemorate the history of Victoria, Tasmania and NSW.
Another proof coin for 2006 is the stunning $200 South-Eastern Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo coin, the last is a set of coins honoring Australia's rare birds. The coins are absolutely beautiful, as well as valuable.
They also sell a line of boutique items related to coins and minting. The online shop features items that appear in the tourist shop at the museum, including pens with a minted token, books, coin collecting accessories, and a collection of minted jewelry items featuring Australian coins.
Currently, the mint produces a number of coins for public circulation. The five cent "Echidna" features the native Australian mammal. The Lyrebird graces the front of the ten cent coin. On the twenty cent coin, the Platypus is depicted. The 50 cent piece features a beautiful rendition of the Australian Coat of Arms. And what coin collection from Australia would be complete without the Kangaroo? This native marsupial is given center stage on the one dollar coin, while the two dollar coin depicts an Aboriginal tribal elder.
The Royal Australian Mint is open for public visitors every day, including weekends and holidays. In addition to public visits, the mint maintains a nice website packed full of good information, not just about the mint itself but also about the process of making coins. It is a great resource for anyone looking for general information on coin production. They also list a number of Australian coin dealers, which can be very handy if you are looking collect coins from Australia. In addition to coins, the site offers resources and information for stamp collectors too.