Perth Day 5
Friday, April 05, 2013
Today we started out with a tour of the Swan Bell Tower. This tower is an architectural wonder that I can only describe as a futuristic looking space ship. The views of Perth and the Swan River from the tower are fantastic. There are 18 bells in the tower, which weigh about 9 tons. Twelve of the set are historic bells from St Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square in London; they are very rare and are the only set of "Royal Bells" known to have left England.
A feature that I found interesting was the love locks. You purchase a lock and have it engraved with two names and a date and then you find a link on the chain where you attach it. It is suppose to be a symbol of your unending love.
After a quick lunch we were off to the Perth Mint. I thought it might be kind of boring, but there was a lot to see. We got to watch them pour gold into molds in order to make gold bars and then we got to see the world's largest display of gold bars. We got to see the Australian Kangaroo coin, the world's largest and most valuable gold coin (1 ton of pure gold), 80 cms wide and more than 12 cms deep and worth more than $50 million.
We got to see Australia's Largest Natural Nugget Collection including Newmont's Normany Nugget, which is the second largest in existence and weighing 820 ounces. We also got to see the Historic Perth Mint Coin Collection, which contained a 1899 gold sovereign (the first coin produced in Perth), the first copper decimal coin made in Australia (a 1966 one cent piece), and 2 of the largest legal tender coins in the world; 10 kilo Australian Lunar Gold and Silver bullion coins.
They had a scale where you could find out what your weight was worth in gold and I found out that I am worth over 5.3 million dollars. Too bad the world doesn't look at us as being worth our weight in gold. They also had silver, gold plated and gold medallions that you could have engraved. And then of course there was the gift shop where you could get coins, nuggets, jewelry and other souvenirs.
I decide to try an Indian restaurant for dinner, where I had goat curry. I only had 1/2 cup of rice and split a piece of naan with a friend so the calories weren't too bad.