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Been to the Canberra Mint, Australia


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Warning: Can be very long without pictures! (will upload them when I find the time)


Just last week I was in Canberra for a trip. Canberra is a nice place, quiet, a lot more greenry than what you can see in Sydney. If you do know how Canberra is like, yes it sure is quiet but obviously there is it's drawback - there isn't much there to do except... visiting the mint there! (and that was one of the reasons why I was in Canberra) Only bad thing was, it was relatively far off from the city - you have to have a car to get there and I had less than an hour in there so I didn't note everything.


Pictures will come out later when I get to resize them - they are in monster sizes atm. Yes, I got a video of the mint too which you should be able to download when I find the time to encode it.


Canberra Mint is relatively huge and it somewhat reminds me of the mint in Moscow, except Moscow mint was scary looking (I didn't even attempted to get inside)


Entering in the Mint is free (yes, free is always a good thing!) but obviously the mint is evil when it comes up to excellent marketing plans. One of the greatest feature is that you can mint your own coins! Who wouldn't want to miss their chance of minting their own coins? This year, it was to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Harbour Bridge and to add to the fantasy of it, a mintmark "C" is added to it. To add on top of it, I did spend my new year's eve on Harbour Bridge, waiting hours for the fireworks - I honestly did expect a lot more from it. Was somewhat disappointed.


There is room which shows the video of the history of the Canberra Mint as well as it's present days of how Canberra Mint prepares dies and strikes coins. Good 10 minutes of the video. Now that is impressive.


Going into the aisle, you can see plenty of used dies, pattern Australian coins, some of them VERY VERY VERY rare! Like the square pattern kookaburra, adelaide pound etc. In one of the gallery rooms, they featured some of the ex-used coin presses used. Now the only thing I found unusual was, why was there a set of Euro coins. Maybe that's where Australia got the idea of the Federation coins??? In the same gallery, they featured designs from school children around Australia. Not bad I say - rather unique and good.


While walking down the aisle, there was another room and that is where things get very interesting. There was a complete collection of gold British soverigns and counterfeited British soverigns (well Australia was part of the British Commonwealth). Some counterfeits I admit are pretty darn good!!!


Back in the hallway, there were a lot more interesting things related to the Sydney Olympics. Appearently the Mint made sure that gold used in the Sydney Olympics came from Australian mines and they featured a rock sample from the Ophir mine, if I'm not mistaken. Copper medals were created from melted down copper coins, as it was done for the memories of "copper touched by many Australians" which I thought was very interesting.


Another interesting Australian innovation are hologram coins. The CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) is involved with this project and wow - now that's what you call hardcore science. Who knew there is so much work for hologram coins. (now this is something you'll need the pictures for)


Lastly, what fun is there to it if you don't get to see machines striking coins??? In the very last section of the mint tour, you can get to see machines striking coins at crazy speed - appearently up to 600 coins per minute!!! Come on, mint workers are just pouring planchets by huge tanks and coins just keeps on popping out!


That is pretty much it for the moment... I will post the pictures and video immediately when I get the time to. Hope you enjoyed it.

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Here are some intro pictures - there are too many to sort through as there are three different digital camera sources


Here are the outside of the Canberra Mint:







Royal Australian Mint



Visitor Enterance:



Mint workers to the left, visitors to the right



Visitors' Enterance



Closeup of emblem



More to come...

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ccg: Not possible. Everything is automated as soon as you paid for it. The only thing you have to do is to pick up the struck coin and put it into the folder.


Here is a price estimate the deadpoint: http://www.kjc.com.au/fwhy.htm


Definately insane and the Australian coin market seems to be growing at a fast rate especially for the rarer pattern coins.

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