Visiting the Minties

The Minties are in town again. Not the sweet, mint-flavoured lollies that plucked amalgam fillings from innocent teeth in the seventies. I mean the good people from the Royal Australian Mint who have brought their mobile coin press to the Gold Coast.

A couple of weeks ago, I dropped my plans for the afternoon, jumped on my Brompton folding bike and headed north to Broadbeach. The latest Mint News had landed in my emails that morning telling me the Royal Australian Mint had a pop-up shop at the newly-opened Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Superstore. The pop-up shop would be at Broadbeach for three days to coincide with Australia Day celebrations. Realising that afternoon was the only chance I’d have to see the pop-up shop over the three days, I pedalled feverishly into a hot northerly headwind for fifteen kilometres to get there before the Superstore closed for the day. I made it! Yes, sweaty. But I made it.

The Royal Australian Mint produces Australia’s circulating coins. It also produces proof and uncirculated coins to sell as collector items. If you’re wondering why the Mint is at the GC2018 Superstore, think medals. The Minties (the talented people from the Royal Australian Mint who design, mint and release coins) have been instrumental in producing the medals for the 2018 Commonwealth Games which will be held on the Gold Coast between April 4-15.

The design of the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals was created by artist, Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, a local Nunukul, Ngugi and Goenpul woman of Quandamooka Country. The shifting sands and tidal changes that define the Gold Coast coastline inspired her design. Motifs of shells and freshwater reed are present too.

Here’s how the Mint describes the process for making the GC2018 medals:

“The Royal Australian Mint used its largest coin press to produce all of the medals. Each medal blank is individually inspected by hand and then struck four times to ensure the design is perfectly formed on the metal surface. The gold and silver medals are struck four times, twice at 280 tonnes and then another two times at 260 tonnes. The bronze medals are also struck four times but at 460 tonnes. Once they are removed from the press, the medals are inspected again, ensuring the medal is faultless and ready to be awarded to the Commonwealth Games champions.”

As well as making the GC2018 medals, the Mint has also produced commemorative coins.  Some of the XXI Commonwealth Games coins have limited mintage (there will be only 1000 of the $50 Gold Proof Coin produced). Others like $1 Coloured Frosted Uncirculated Borobi coin, will be unlimited. And this leads me to the Mint’s mobile coin press. For people who buy a Borobi commemorative coin at the pop-up shop, the mobile press will imprint a small map of Australia on the coin.

I met the Minties, had a yarn and learnt that I needn’t have rushed to the Superstore that afternoon because they’re coming back again. From February 23-25, the Mint pop-up shop will be at Broadbeach in the GC2018 Superstore. Apparently they’ll also be visiting again during the Games. The Superstore is filled mostly with souvenirs which may or may not be of interest to you. For me, the little corner occupied by the Minties made it worth the visit.

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Superstore at Broadbeach

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Superstore at Broadbeach

Inside the GC CW2018 Superstore

Signs and souvenirs in the GC2018 Superstore

Royal Australian Mint Pop-up shop

Royal Australian Mint Pop-up shop

2018 Commonwealth Games Medals

2018 Commonwealth Games Medals designed by Delvene Cockatoo-Collins

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Reverse side of 2018 Commonwealth Games Medals

Brompton meets Borobi

My Brompton met the little blue Borobi while visiting the GC2018 Superstore and they seemed to get on quite well.

 

 

11 Comments on “Visiting the Minties

  1. Gail

    I love the story behind the minties and the medals. Something we don’t really think about –
    who makes them. Great design. I remember buying some commemorative coins at the time of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.They are special.

    And I am impressed with your strategic placement of the Brompton for the photos. Maybe Brompton head office will notice 🙂

    Jen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jen 🙂 Yes, I folded my Brompton into shopping trolley mode and wheeled it around inside the Superstore. One of the young women working there said she’d started riding her bike to work there because it was easier. She was new to bike-riding.

      It was lovely to see the medals. However, because they were displayed behind glass, my photos don’t really capture the medals at their best. I agree, the design is really something. 🙂

      Like

  2. Hi Gail, Borobi? er…… little blue koalas with red noses? You cycled 15 kilometres into a hot northerly headwind to buy a coin with little blue koalas on it? It’s amazing the things which motivate us.
    I can see Commonwealth Games fever is on the rise – not tooo long to April.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😂 hi Margaret, I agree… a blue koala with a red nose certainly is a strange sight. Actually the medals were the attraction for me and I did buy a coin but not the blue koala version. I’m a bit of a fan of the Minties 🙂
      More CW GC2018 to come 😉

      Like

    • And I didn’t get a photo of it! 😀 Actually at the time I visited, the mintie was having a few hiccups operating it… so I left him in peace rather than record his frustration with it not working 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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