The foundation stone of the Royal Mint was laid at 310 Hay Street in 1896 by Sir John Forrest (19847-1918), the first Premier of Western Australia and opened in 1899. It was designed by George Temple-Poole (1856-1934), as an impressive colonial-era monument. It is now listed on the State’s heritage register. Forrest had foreseen the importance of gold in the development of Western Australia’s economy and successfully lobbied the British Government to establish a branch of the Royal Mint in Perth. The Mint stopped made sovereigns until 1931 after which the refinery continued to make fine gold bullion bars. In 1940 the Perth Mint was enlisted to produce coins once again. It produced hundreds of millions of pennies and half pennies between 1940 and 1964 – 1.3 million shillings in 1946 and with decimal currency in 1966, produced 855 million 1 and 2 cent coins by 1973. The Mint remained under Britain’s jurisdiction until 1970 when ownership was transferred to the Government of Western Australia. This was formalised in 1987 with the creation of Gold Corporation of WA. Under an agreement with the Commonwealth Treasury, the Perth Mint manufactures and markets gold, silver and platinum Australian legal tender coinage for distribution worldwide. In 2003, a state-of-the-art manufacturing and commercial facility were opened next door to the heritage building.
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