People queue at the National Mint of Australia on Tuesday to get the first coins of 2013.

People queue at the National Mint of Australia on Tuesday to get the first coins of 2013. Photo: Karleen Minney

People queued in Canberra on Tuesday to pay $3 for $1 coins.

Were they being soft in the head and an embezzler's dream?

No, they were hard-headed and fun-seeking numismatists (coin collectors and coin enthusiasts) queueing at the Royal Australian Mint at Deakin to get their hands on the first $1 coins minted in 2013.

Better still, Mint spokesperson Michelle Nakamura explained to Gang-Gang, for their $3 they got to strike their $1 coins themselves on a special contraption for minting.

The contraption is slowed down so that your gleaming new coin is made at a pace you can follow.

There was a queue when the Mint opened on Tuesday morning because, Nakamura further explained, the first 100 souls got a certificate certifying that they really, truly had minted one of the first 100 Australian $1 coins ushered into the world in the year 2013.

Tuesday's certificates had entered on them which of the 100 coins ( a number from one to 100) was yours, adding to the authentic collectability of the little golden-coloured collectable.

But people had kept coming, Nakamura reported, long after the first 100 had got their certificates.

As reported in Tuesday's paper there was always going to be a queuer-in-chief for Tuesday's occasion of the minting of the coins.

Harley Russo, 13, of Sydney, had camped outside the Mint for four days so that he could be sure of minting and collecting the deliciously collectable first coin of 2013.