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Former Royal Mint

Peter Maltezos's picture

Text from Walking Melbourne

The National Trust Guide to The Historic and Architectural Landmarks of Central Melbourne.

Former Royal Mint

280 – 318 William Street


Constructed in 1872, and designed by JJ Clark, this is considered one of the finest examples of Renaissance Revival in Australia. Freestanding on its site, the building is finely detailed, and the elegantly proportioned first floor, with its paired ionic columns, is reputedly inspired by Bramante’s Palazzo Caprini (c1505).  The complex, with corner guardhouses and perimeter wall, once included a Coining Hall, Melting and Assay Departments to the rear, unfortunately demolished in 1968.  It was originally a branch of the Royal Mint, London, and minted only gold sovereigns until 1916, and then all Australian coins from 1927 to 1967.  Long the home of the marriage Registry and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, it has been leased to the private sector since 2001.



Above, as it was, and below, several recent photographs I have taken of the old Royal Mint.


Below, we see the coin released to commemorate the mint’s 130th anniversary.

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Nicholas Harrison's picture

There is room for a very big tower on the carpark behind the remaining Mint buildings :-)

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Chris Peska's picture

ooooooooooooooooooo yeah.... hopefully it will block the western aspect of La Banque in the process... that's a shocker of a tower.

Observe. Design. Build. Live.

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Peter Maltezos's picture

Edwardian Postcard of the Melbourne Royal Mint.

The first Melbourne Exhibition Building that used to stand on the mint’s site.

The former Mint’s main function is now as the Hellenic Museum.

The coat of arms on top of the portico.

Main entrance of the administration building, now Hellenic Museum.

The stairwell.

The main exhibition space in the Hellenic Museum.

I collect, therefore I am.

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Peter Maltezos's picture

The Royal Melbourne Mint was authorized from the start to strike full British gold sovereign and half sovereign denominations, with the mintmark M to designate their Melbourne mintage. The first gold coins were struck in Melbourne in 1872 and were minted until 1931.


A half sovereign from 1887. Mintmark M can be seen between the two eights at the bottom of the shield.

A sovereign from 1886. Mintmark M can be seen at the bottom of young Queen Victoria’s neck.

A King Edward VII sovereign with mintmark M just above the zero in 1904.

I collect, therefore I am.

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Peter Maltezos's picture

I collect, therefore I am.

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Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.


Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

Transport & Design

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 11:00
Infrastructure Victoria unveiled a new round of research into its larger programme of work dealing with managing transport demand. The authority contracted Arup and KPMG to produce the Melbourne Activity Based Model (MABM) and while it is new, it is considered fit for purpose in the strategic context.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.