Canberra is not just the seat of Australia’s Federal Government and the repository for its national treasures, it’s also the source of the stuff that makes the world (here in Australia anyway) go round – money!
The Royal Australian Mint, in the quiet Canberra suburb of Deakin has been turning out Aussie dollars and cents, along with medals, medallions, tokens and seals since 1965.
I must confess, I was expecting case after glass case of coin collections, endless conveyor belts charged with little pieces of metal and lengthy, technical explanations of the minting process. But, although does have coin collections, conveyor belts and lectures, the Royal Mint is a truly fascinating place to visit.
The history of Australia’s currency is told through a DVD in the theatrette. There displays of coins both ordinary and rare, including the famous 1930 penny in the mint’s display room along with fascinating little anecdotes of fraud and forgery and equally fascinating examples of counterfeit money.
From elevated walkways with glass walls, you can watch the whole coin production process, from the engraving room to the final workshop where a tireless robot, called Titan, tips all the finished coins into bins ready for distribution.
The Royal Australian Mint is packed with entertaining and interesting surprises. Adults and kids alike love it!