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 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 sovereigns and half-sovereigns, identical in every respect with those struck at the Royal Mint in London, except for a small M, added as a distinguishing mark.
List of Deputy Masters of the Melbourne Branch of the Royal Mint
Major General Sir Edward Wolstanholme Ward KCMG, 1867-1877
Vernon Delves Broughton, 1878-1884
George Anderson, March 1885-April 1895
Robert Barton June, 1895-May 1904
Edward Stanfield Wardell May, 1904-Aug 1915
Matthew Lawson Bagge, Sep 1915-May 1921
Albert Malet LeSouef, Jun 1921-April 1926
William Mosette Robins, May 1926-Dec 1931
Hugh Douglas McCay, Jan 1932-Dec 1935
Ernest Thomas Clucas, Jan 1936-Dec 1941
Oswald Garnet Reynolds I.S.O., Jan 1942-July 1954
Leslie Alfred Webb, July 1954-1968
H.R. Weekes, 1968-1969
Note: The Warrant appointing Col. Ward Deputy Master is in this file (work needed on when he became Major General). Ward published some material on the Melbourne Mint in the Argus (eg 5 Nov 1874) under the name CHRYSOS (ancient Greek for gold)
Bibliography Histories of the Melbourne Branch of the Royal Mint
Webb, L.A. (1958). 'The Victorian Mint', Australian Numismatic Journal (S.A. Numismatic Society), Vol.9, No.3 July.
Batchelor, Patricia (1977). 'Melbourne Branch of the Royal Mint (William-Street)'. Australian Numismatist. Vol 31, No.2 Mar/April 1977, pp.3-4
Sharples, John P. (1990). Medals as Art: Australia and the Meszaros tradition
Kenyon, A.S. (1935). 'The Royal Mint and Its Australian Branches' Vic. Hist. Mag. May.
Alston Pearl, S. (1941). 'Melbourne's Royal Mint', Walkabout March, 1, pp.9-12.
Ward, E.W. Chrystos (1974). 'The Melbourne Mint' Argus, 5 November.
Anon. (1959). 'Where the Money Comes From', The B.H.P. Review, Vol.36, No.5, August.
Melbourne Mint Records at the Public Records Office