Until I was doing some research for the walking tour I went on in late-June, I didn’t know there had been a branch of the Royal Mint in Melbourne. I’ve been to the one in Canberra but don’t remember them mentioning the Melbourne branch. I had never noticed the beautiful building either on the corner of William and Lonsdale Sts, a very prominent building near the Flagstaff Gardens.
On the tour the guide told us this was the only branch of the Royal Mint outside of England at the time it was built. Originally they made English coins but later began minting Aussie coins. The building was completed in 1872 when Melbourne was one of the wealthiest cities in the world. And it was less than 40 years old. They were able to use gold in the Coat of Arms that hangs above the portico at the front of the building.
We couldn’t go inside because it is leased to a private company but in the past it has also been the home of the Registry Office (it is a gorgeous building to have wedding photos taken in front of) and the home of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.