Results tagged “Coins” from Kazza the Blank One

Mint Open Day

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Today is the 50th anniversary of decimal currency in Australia.

For reasons unknown, the Mint had an open day to celebrate it yesterday instead of today.  So Neil and I went along.

Whereupon we were instantly frustrated with poor crowd control.

We arrived at about 8:15 for the 8:30 opening.  We'd paid for our factory walk tickets on Friday, so we expected to be able to line up for that, do the tour, and then go and buy the special edition coin after that.  Except that there was a lot of confusion about the queuing.  There seemed to be only one queue, and several stalls setup.  One seemed to be ready to sell the coin, but they said they weren't open yet.  Fair enough.  But both a security guard and a person in the booth said we should go join the queue (I said we already had our floor walk tickets).  So we did that.  But people in the queue didn't have their factory walk tickets, so I was wondering if we'd have to wait in line behind everyone buying tickets, when we should just be able to go straight through.  But after a while, someone wandered down the queue and said this was actually the queue to buy the coin.  We decided since we were there, we may as well just do that first, then do the tour afterwards.

Mint queue


They had the most inefficient system EVER to sell the coins.  They had a grand total of two eftpos machines for the transactions, and were also recording all the sales on laptops.  It was incredibly slow and inefficient and we were standing in the hot sun with no shelter for an hour and a half!!!!! I complained to their twitter that they needed to open up more registers to sell the coins.  Later on they said they did, although we didn't see it.  I also asked someone if there could be a cash only lane to get through people more quickly but they wouldn't do that either.  The stoopid thing was, people were buying them in bulk, for the sole purpose of profiteering off them.  The coin was $20, but when I got home they were on ebay for $35-$40.  I seriously considered doing the same thing but I was already so filled with rage at all the people taking so long I didn't want to join the ranks of the people I hated.

Mint chaos

So at 9:45 we finally got our coins and went inside.  They encouraged people to buy tickets online to save queuing, but there were no queues at all inside.  Wish they could have been so efficient *outside*.


Things improved enormously once inside.  The staff were all super friendly and helpful and enthusiastic about answering questions.  They were great.  The tour was just a slow walk through the tool room, the circulating coin hall, the proof room and the packing rooms.  It was pretty slow in places but it was super cool to see the coin pressing machines up close while they were running.  The proof room is where they manually press and carefully check all the coins used in proof sets.  Normally it's a clean room so I felt a bit bad for them having to deal with all the extra dust we were tramping through the room.  They had a lot of reject coins!  Interestingly, every single person working in the proof packing rooms was an asian lady!  Better attention to detail by them?  Who knows!

Afterwards we went upstairs to the gallery to have a look down at the floor.  Just for fun, here's a comparison of the factory floor in late 2002 vs early 2016..

Mint floor 2002

Mint floor 2016

This is the proof room.

Mint proof room

I decided I'd come back again at a future date to have a better look through the gallery area.  Just too many people and I was tired and hungry.  So we just went home.

Mum was on the front line of the change to decimal currency fifty years ago - she worked in a bank!  Also.. happy anniversary .. :)

Also.  I've had this in my head ever since -

The end of the week

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Wednesday I met up with the sweetie and we went to the Wig&Pen at its new premesis.  I have to say I was a little disappointed - it certainly doesn't have any of the character of the old pub.

Thursday was pretty meh.

Friday I went offline and spent about five hours doing doco/paperwork, and then about an hour doing all the changes I'd just written up.  Finished the day with a little fun doing clean up and diagrams.

Today was just bumming around the house sorting out stuff.  The sweetie made up these zucchini/cheese fritters which were quite nice.

Is it bed time now?

Ha ha Friday

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So after having a pretty awesome week mostly just cleaning up a super messy system (it's a work of art now!) today everything came to a screeching halt.  In the form of HTTPS problems on our newly upgraded proxies.  Not. Happy. Jan. 

After a morning of fighting with it, Neil and I went to lunch, deciding we should go somewhere licensed.  

We settled on the Ha ha bar, and had a very nice lunch and several mulled wines.  Not very alcoholic, but super tasty.

Yummy mulled wines
Ha ha Friday
"Beef Tagliata" - rare beef, rocket, parmesan, capers, balsamic reduction and olive oil - yummmm!
Ha ha Friday
Monster clouds
Ha ha Friday
So back to work but I wasn't in the mood for any more crap.  So answered a few queries and phone calls, and went and annoyed people.  I went and annoyed Fred for a bit, and he had this big pile of 5c coins on his desk.  So as I do, I went through them looking for 1972 5c coins.  Not expecting to find any.  Because I've been collecting coins for probably nearly thirty years and I've never seen one.  In fact for years I didn't think they existed because I'd gotten every other minted coin until the eighties, but never a 1972 5c coin.  But a while back I found out they do actually exist, but are pretty rare.  In fact they sell for about $5 each on ebay.  But we were just chatting and I was going through the coins, and holy crap I found one!!!!!  So was super excited by that.  I kept chatting and looking and OMG ANOTHER ONE!!!  I've never seen one of these coins in my life and suddenly there's two in one place?!?!!!  I was spinning out at this point but kept looking AND THERE'S ANOTHER ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!   THREE!!!!  IN ONE PLACE!!!!!    Do you understand how amazingly unlikely this is?!?!!?  The last one had a super big scratch across it, so not worth anything, but the chances of finding three of these coins at once absolutely gobsmacked me.  


Sent out the word early that we'd be at the Ha ha bar from 4pm, and invited the usual crowd.  It was quite peaceful for a while, outside by the lake, quiet, not windy.  Very pleasant.  Then the heaters or refrigeration turned on so it got noisy.  Oh well.

Ha ha Friday
Afterwards Tony and I were going to walk home but it was getting a bit late, so cheated and took the bus that goes half way.  Then I stayed for a very yummy mac&cheese dinner.

So a nice end to what started as a super crappy day.
Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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