Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Perth Mint

We went to see the Perth Mint this morning with our flatmate. It costs $9.90, but if you have a backpacker card they give you the concession rate which is about $7.50.

The mint has some pretty interesting things. They have a gold pouring demonstraion where they pour molten gold into a mold to make a bar. The person talks about the history of the place, about all the tempratures involved and the safety gear.

They also give a tour of the mint where the person tells about the history of the mint and some of the things that went on there. The very first supervisor of the mint over-ruled the arcitect and builders who wanted a single large front door. The supervisor wanted two doors one for business (prospectors and miners) and one for use exclusively by his family. The doors both enter into the same room, but one was exclusive. The guide also explained that there were checkpoints for the guards that recorded the time when they arrived. The guards, however, discovered a way to forge the time recordings so on cold winter days they would just forge proof of their rounds instead of actually doing them.

Only one shot was fired while guarding the mint, that was when on guard shot another in the leg, presumably by accident. The mint only had one gun, so the guards had to share it. They say it was the most handled gun in Western Australia because one of the guards always had it in their possession at any given time.

The person doing the gold pouring said that pants with cuffs were banned at the mint while they were in fashion, because splashes of gold would get caught in them and the workers were found to be taking it home for themselves.

They also have a 12.5 kg bar of gold worth over $200,000 that you can pick up an handle.
If you are wondering why I don't have any actual photos of anything inside, they forbid photography in a misguided attempt of preventing people from casing it for a robbery as well as increasing post card sales.

Overall, if you are in Perth you should see the mint.

-Gary Milner

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