For our last day in Perth it was a scorcher at 37.8c with very glaring sunlight. We, along with Jen went down to the pool to blow out some cobwebs. It was too cool for all the locals and they were inside in the heated pools whilst we braved it and went in the 50m pool outside and cut some laps. We are use to a 25m pool back in Calgary so this distance made us work that much harder. It was about 9.30am and already we both found the pool very comfortable.
Jen then had to disappear for work so after showers and a tidy up we headed into the city to catch up with Gayle for lunch and say a final farewell. We are not liking all these farewells!!! We then made our way across to the Perth Mint.
The Mint is Australia’s official bullion mint and wholly owned by the Government of Western Australia. Established on 20 June 1899, two years before Australia’s Federation in 1901, the Perth Mint was the last of three Australian colonial branches of the United Kingdom’s Royal Mint (after the now-defunct Sydney Mint and Melbourne Mint) intended to refine gold from the gold rushes and to mint gold sovereigns and half-sovereigns for the British Empire. It also did the medals for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
We hooked onto a tour to see what little gems we could learn about.
He dragged out this barrow of replica nuggets that showed the various sized nuggets that have been found in this area since the gold rush.
It was then down to the vaults where this little beauty was.
In October 2011, the Perth Mint created the world’s largest, heaviest and most valuable gold coin, breaking the record previously held by the Royal Canadian Mint – oops. The coin is approximately 80 centimetres (31 in) in diameter and 12 centimetres (4.7 in) thick, and made of 1,012 kilograms (2,231 lb) of 99.99% pure gold.
It has a face value of $1mill but is worth $60mill. It is sitting above the vault where it use to be locked in each night. They don’t bother putting it away now as after doing a risk assessment they decided that the possibility of trying to carry it out just wasn’t going to happen because of the weight. Hence it just sits there on full view.
We were then led into where they poured the gold which was fantastic to see.
They melt it in a clay pot at about 1200c.
It is then poured into the die and within one minute it has set. He dips it into a vat of cold water and then is able to handle it with his bare hands.
We had a few other chores to do around town and then headed back to Como where we are staying. Fras and Jen went out to their spin class only this time when they made it back home, they were both very quiet. Apparently their teacher decided to add an additional ten minutes to the programme and increase the intensity of the session.
A quiet night in enjoying one anothers company as tomorrow it is off to Adelaide.
There will probably be no blog tomorrow as it is just a day of catching up with washing and cleaning up after ourselves at Jen’s place then heading to the airport for our 4.50pm flight. We will get in about 10.10pm due to the two hour time difference.
It has been a wonderful six weeks in Western Australia and being able to touch base with all our friends and travel around some very unique and exciting places has been an absolute treat. We want to thank all our dear friends for allowing us to couch surf at their homes and to let them know that we would love to repay the hospitality any time – that is of course, providing we are not travelling ourselves.