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Melbourne Mint, Medal Makers, Victoria, Australia

The records of the Melbourne Branch of the Royal Mint are held by the Public Records Office Victoria (PROV) in North Melbourne. Some die record files are on loan to the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra.

The establishment of a branch of Her Majesty's Mint in Melbourne was under consideration for some years. Two requests were sent to the Imperial Parliament by both Houses of the Victorian Legislature, one in December 1859 and the other in May 1864. In September 1867 the Victorian Legislature passed an Act making permanent funding available for the proposed mint. In August 1869 Queen Victoria issued a Royal Proclamation declaring that gold coins made at the Melbourne Branch of the Royal Mint were legal tender in all her dominions. The Melbourne Branch of the Royal Mint finally opened on 12 June 1872, 17 years after the Royal Mint had opened in Sydney. Like Sydney, Melbourne could not manufacture dies but it nevertheless was welcomed by Victorian medallists, who now had a choice of places where their work could be struck: the Mint or Stokes (then in partnership with Martin).

The Mint initially struck soverigns and half-soverigns, identical in every respect with those struck at the Royal Mint in London, except for a small M, added as a distinguishing mark.

References:
Batchelor, Patricia (1977). 'Melbourne Branch of the Royal Mint (William-Street)'. Australian Numismatist. Vol 31 [2]. Mar/April, Australia, pp.3-4.
Sharples, John P. (1990). Medals as Art: Australia and the Meszaros Tradition.

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