Royal Canadian Mint

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Coordinates: 45°25′53″N75°41′57″W / 45.43135°N 75.699282°W / 45.43135; -75.699282


Royal Canadian Mint
Monnaie royale canadienne
Crown corporation
Industry Coin mintage
FoundedJanuary 2, 1908 (1908-01-02)
Number of locations
2 [1]
Area served
Key people
Marie Lemay (CEO)
Products Coins
ServicesPrecious metal storage, assay, refinery and coin production
RevenueIncrease2.svgCA$2,641.4 million (2016) [2]
Increase2.svgCA$34.563 million (2016) [2]
Increase2.svgCA$24.488 million (2016) [2]
Total assets Decrease2.svgCA$444.097 million (2016) [2]
Total equity Increase2.svgCA$185.356 million (2016) [2]
Owner Government of Canada
Number of employees
1,280 (2016) [2]

The Royal Canadian Mint (French : Monnaie royale canadienne) is a Crown corporation, operating under the Royal Canadian Mint Act. The shares of the Mint are held in trust for the Crown in right of Canada.

The Mint produces all of Canada's circulation coins, [3] and manufactures circulation coins on behalf of other nations. The Mint also designs and manufactures precious and base metal collector coins; gold, silver, palladium, and platinum bullion coins; medals, as well as medallions and tokens. It further offers gold and silver refinery and assay services.

The Mint serves the public's interest but is also mandated to operate "in anticipation of profit" (i.e., to function in a commercial manner without relying on taxpayer support to fund its operations). [4] Like private-sector companies, the Mint has a board of directors consisting of a chair, the president and CEO of the Mint, and eight other directors.

Traditionally, the President of the Royal Canadian Mint is known as the Master of the Mint. The president is Marie Lemay, who was appointed to the position in 2018. The Board of Directors, through the Chair, is accountable to the Minister of Finance. The Minister serves as the link between the Mint, Cabinet and Parliament.

The Mint was named one of "Canada's Top 100 Employers" by Mediacorp Canada Inc. from 2007 to 2010. [5]

In March 2012 the Canadian Government decided to cease the production of pennies. [6] The final penny was minted at the RCM's Winnipeg, Manitoba plant on the morning of May 4, 2012. [7]

In April 2012, the Mint announced it was developing MintChip, a digital currency [8] to allow anonymous transactions backed by the Government of Canada and denominated in a variety of currencies. [8] [9]


The Royal Canadian Mint logo until June 2013. Royal Canadian Mint logo (till 2013).svg
The Royal Canadian Mint logo until June 2013.

Ottawa facility

Royal Canadian Mint Historic Buildings at Sussex Drive, Ottawa RCMint.jpg
Royal Canadian Mint Historic Buildings at Sussex Drive, Ottawa

For the first fifty years of Canadian coinage (cents meant to circulate in the Province of Canada were first struck in 1858), the coins were struck at the Royal Mint in London, though some were struck at the private Heaton Mint in Birmingham, England. As Canada emerged as a nation in its own right, its need for coinage increased. As a result, a branch of the Royal Mint was authorized to be built in Ottawa in 1901 [4] after being first proposed in 1890. [10] [11]

During a short ceremony, Lord Grey and his wife, Lady Grey, activated the presses for the Canadian Mint on January 2, 1908, officially opening the Ottawa branch of the Royal Mint. When the facility first opened, it had 61 employees. [12] Three years later the Mint began refining gold by electrolysis in its assay department. This method proved to be too time-consuming and in 1915 the Mint introduced a new chlorination process developed in Australia to reduce processing times and increase the Mint's gold refining capacity. [4] Since then, the Mint's refinery has undergone several changes and expansions. Today's process is a combination of chlorination and electrolysis.

Over the years the Mint had used different processes to recover and sell the silver often found in unrefined gold, but, in 2006, the Mint opened a new, state-of-the-art silver refinery that finally allowed it to refine silver. The silver is first upgraded in an oxygen converter and then refined by electrolysis.

It wasn't until the Great Depression that the Ottawa Mint negotiated its independence from the British Royal Mint. In 1931, the Ottawa Mint was renamed the Royal Canadian Mint and began reporting solely to the Department of Finance. Although the Mint continued to rely on the Royal Mint to produce the master tools required for the creation of its punches and dies, the Mint was finally under Canadian control. In 1969, the Government of Canada reorganized the Mint as a Crown corporation. [4] As such, the Mint was no longer a branch of the Department of Finance. It would operate like a corporation with its own Board of Directors and increased decision-making powers.

In 1979, the Royal Canadian Mint building in Ottawa was designated a National Historic Site, on the grounds the building is representative of the federal government's approach to using the Tudor Gothic architectural style to create a distinctive identity in Canada's capital, and of the patriation of control over Canada's currency from Britain. [13]

The Mint's facility in Ottawa is responsible for producing collector and commemorative coins, bullion in the form of coins, bars, wafers and grain, medals and medallions. This is also where the master tooling is done to create the dies that strike coin designs for both circulation and commemorative issues. The Mint's gold and silver refineries and assay labs are also in Ottawa, as is a full-time Advanced Engineering Research team dedicated to R+D projects.

The last surviving member of the Mint's original staff was Owen Toller. He started in the Mint as a Junior Clerk and retired as an Administrative Officer. He retired after 45 years of service on January 6, 1953. [12] Mr. Toller died in November 1987 at the age of 102.

Winnipeg facility

The Winnipeg Royal Canadian Mint Winnipeg Mint.JPG
The Winnipeg Royal Canadian Mint

In November 1960 the Master of the Mint, N.A. Parker, advised the Minister of Finance that there was a need for a new facility. The Ottawa facility had reached capacity, the Philadelphia Mint was producing a large number of Canadian 10¢ coins and all numismatic coins were being produced in Hull, Quebec. It was finally recognized the Mint required an additional facility. In 1963 and 1964, the government discussed the possibility of building a facility that would be functional within two years. Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson suggested building the facility in Elliot Lake, Ontario. [4] A 1968 study showed the Ottawa Mint facility was antiquated. When the Royal Canadian Mint became a Crown corporation in 1969, many believed a decision would be reached.[7] But although funds had been allocated for a new facility, no real planning had begun. Emphasis was made on finding space in Ottawa. It was decided the Royal Canadian Mint would keep the historic building and have a new facility for manufacturing circulation coins.

The federal government of the time, led by Pierre Trudeau, decided to decentralize many public services. The result was a claim for restitution from the province of Manitoba, complaining about its loss of many military bases. [4] In February 1970, Supply and Services Minister James Richardson, the Minister responsible for the Mint, proposed the possibility of a new facility in Winnipeg.

This proposal was cause for debate because it was legally stipulated the Mint was unlike any other government operation and money should be produced in Canada's capital region.[ citation needed ] Another point of tension was that the Cabinet Minister was from Winnipeg. Plants that are over 1,000 miles apart would endure communication and distribution difficulties. [4] A study had shown the division had merit because raw materials could be purchased from a supplier in Alberta, rather than a competitor outside of Canada. [4] Eventually, it was agreed upon in December 1971 the Mint would build a facility in Winnipeg. The land was purchased in 1972 and construction began at the end of the year.

The new facility was completely different in appearance from the facility in Ottawa. Architect Étienne Gaboury designed a striking triangular building that rises up dramatically from the surrounding prairie. Gaboury was Design Architect, in collaboration with the Number Ten Architectural Group led by partner-in-charge Allan Hanna. [14] The Mint facility in Winnipeg was officially opened in 1976. The Winnipeg branch of the Royal Canadian Mint allowed the Ottawa facility to concentrate solely on collector coins while Winnipeg would produce the entire supply of circulation and foreign coins.

The Winnipeg facility is also responsible for producing the circulation currency of other nations. Since opening its doors in 1976, the Mint's Winnipeg facility has produced coinage for over 70 countries: centavos for Cuba, kroner for Norway, fils for Yemen, pesos for Colombia, kroner for Iceland, baht for Thailand, and a thousand-dollar coin for Hong Kong. Other client nations include Barbados, New Zealand and Uganda.[ citation needed ]

Organizational structure

Executive and Board of Directors

The Royal Canadian Mint is a Crown corporation and operates under the Royal Canadian Mint Act. In serving the public's interest, a Crown corporation has greater managerial independence than other government entities, meaning it may operate in a commercial manner. Like private sector companies, the Mint has a Board of Directors composed of a chairman, the President and CEO of the Mint and eight other directors.

Traditionally, the President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint is known as the Master of the Mint. The president is [Marie Lemay] (appointed in 2019), and the Chairman of the Board is Phyllis Clark. In descending chronological order, the individuals who have served as the Mint's Master Engraver are: Cosme Saffioti, Sheldon Beveridge, Ago Aarand, Walter Ott, Patrick Brindley, Myron Cook, and Thomas Shingles.

The government department responsible for the Royal Canadian Mint is the Department of Finance. There are 10 members of the Mint's Board of Directors, and 12 members on its Executive Team. [15] The Royal Canadian Mint has four lines of business: Bullion and Refinery Service, Canadian Circulation, Foreign Business, and Numismatics. [16]

A listing of all the Masters of the Mint is as follows: [4]

James Bonar 1908–1919
Arthur H.W. Cleave1919–1925
John Honeyford Campbell1925–1937
Henry Edward Ewart1938–1944
Alfred Percy Williams1946–1947 (acting)
Walter Clifton Ronson1947–1953
Alfred Percy Williams1954–1959
Norval Alexander Parker1959–1968
E.F. Brown1968–1970 (acting)
Gordon Ward Hunter1970–1975
Yvon Gariepy 1975–1981
D.M. Cudahy1981–1982 (acting)
James C. Corkery1982–1986
M.A.J. Lafontaine1986–1993
M.R. Hubbard 1993–1994
Danielle Wetherup 1994–2002
Emmanuel Triassi2002–2003 (acting)
David C. Dingwall 2003–2005
Marguerite Nadeau 2005–2006 (acting)
Ian Bennett 2006–2014
Marc Brûlé2014–2015 (acting)
Sandra Hanington 2015–2018
Jennifer Camelon [17] 2018–2019 (acting)
Marie Lemay 2019–present

A listing of the Mint's Board of Directors: [18]

NameYear Appointed
Phyllis Clark (Chairman)2018
Serge Falardeau, ASC, CPA, CA2017
Sandip K. Lalli, FCPA, ICD.D2018
Fiona L. MacDonald, ICD.D.2018
Pina Melchionna2019
Cybele Negris2017
Gilles Patry, C.M.M O.Ont2018
Barry M. Rivelis2019
Deborah Shannon Trudeau2017
Victor L. Young2017

Bullion products and refinery

The Mint produces and markets a family of high-purity gold, silver, palladium, and platinum Maple Leaf bullion coins, wafers, and bars for the investment market as well as gold and silver granules for the jewellery industry and industrial applications. The Mint also provides Canadian and foreign customers with gold and silver processing, including refining, assaying, and secure storage. [19]

Additionally, the Royal Canadian Mint operates a technically advanced refinery in which it refines precious metals from a variety of sources, including primary producers, industry, recyclers, and financial institutions. The mint refines raw gold to 995 fine through the Miller chlorination process. [4] The gold is then cast into anodes for electrolytic purification to 9999 fine using the Wohlwill process.

In May 2007, the mint produced the world's first and only 99.999% pure gold Maple Leaf Bullion (GML) coins. Offered in limited-edition 1- troy-ounce (31 g) gold bullion coins, three series of these special GML coins were produced (2007, 2008, 2009) in addition to the 99.99% pure GML coin, which is produced on demand. A 100 kg version of the 99.999% pure GML coin was produced as a promotional tool and was later sold as a product when interested buyers came forward. [20]

Canadian circulation

The Mint's core mandate is to produce and manage the distribution of Canada's circulation coinage and provide advice to the Minister of Finance on all matters related to coinage.

Recently, up to two billion Canadian circulation coins are struck each year at the Mint's facility in Winnipeg. While the effigy of the reigning monarch has appeared on every Canadian coin produced by the Mint since 1908, reverse designs have changed considerably over the years. The Mint often introduces new commemorative designs which celebrate Canada's history, culture and values.

Since 2000, all of Canada's circulation coins have been produced using the Mint's patented multi-ply plated steel technology except for the $1 and $2 circulation coins, which started using this technology as of April 10, 2012. [21]

Foreign circulation coins

Many foreign countries have had coinage struck at the Royal Canadian Mint, including circulation coins, numismatic coins, and ready-to-strike blanks. In 1970, Master of the Mint, Gordon Ward Hunter, relaunched the Foreign Circulation division. A contract for Singapore was won in January 1970, to produce six million rimmed blanks in a copper-nickel alloy. [22] This was their first export contract since a contract for the Dominican Republic 32 years earlier. The second contract came in April 1970 with the Central Bank of Brazil. The RCM produced 84 million blanks for the 50-centavo piece. [22] In August 1971, the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen placed an order for 2 million five-fil pieces. This was followed by an order from Iceland for 2.5 million one-crown pieces.

In October 1971, the Bank of Jamaica asked the RCM to produce a commemorative ten-dollar coin in sterling silver, and a twenty-dollar gold coin of proof quality. Also in 1971, the RCM made coins for the Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Iran, and the Isle of Man. [23] An order for 100 million general circulation five-centime and ten-centimo coins for Venezuela was received as well. By 1973, orders totalled 65 million coins, and seventy million blanks. By 1974, the Ottawa facility produced a total of 1.2 billion coins (foreign and domestic), a facility record. [23]

Part of the Winnipeg Mint's legacy is its role in producing the circulation currency of other nations. 50 million units of the 20¢ Australian coin featuring a platypus were minted in 1981. [24] These have included centavos for Cuba, kroner for Norway, fils for Yemen, pesos for Colombia, kroner for Iceland, rupiah for Indonesia, baht for Thailand, and a thousand-dollar coin for Hong Kong. [25] Other client nations include Barbados and Uganda.

More recently, the Mint has produced coins for a variety of other countries such as New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. [26]

In 2005, the Mint was awarded a contract valued at US$1.2 million to produce 50 million toea coins for Papua New Guinea. The circulation coins were produced in denominations of 5 toea, 10 toea and 20 toea, and were manufactured at the Mint's facility in Winnipeg. [27]

In 2008, the Mint produced over three million coloured 50-toea coins for Papua New Guinea. These were the world's first coloured coins to circulate outside of Canada. In addition to adding a painted design to more than three million coins, the Mint was required to identically orient the design on every coin. To accomplish this, the Mint, in collaboration with Canadian robotic equipment manufacturer PharmaCos Machinery, developed its own robotic arm to “pick and place” each coin on the painting line, creating a new technical capability unique to the Royal Canadian Mint. [28]

The Mint has also supplied 230 million low-denomination coins to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in 2006. The Reserve Bank chose to reduce the size of its existing 50-, 20- and 10-cent coins and manufacture them using the Mint's multi-ply plating technology.

The customers have included governments, central banks, and treasuries. In 2005 alone, the RCM manufactured 1.062 billion coins and blanks for 14 countries. [29] From 1980 to 2005, the RCM has manufactured approximately 52 billion coins for 62 countries. [30] These coins are manufactured at the Royal Canadian Mint's facility in Winnipeg.

The Mint produces circulation and numismatic coins, ready-to-strike blanks, medals, medallions and tokens for customers around the world. They also offer dies, die coatings, master punches and tooling, plus roll and wrap and other coin packaging. The Mint has the capacity to produce over 2 billion circulation coins or blanks per year for foreign governments.

Numismatic coins

The mint makes collector coins and related products for collectors and enthusiasts in Canada and all over the world. Several of these coins have earned international industry awards and in 2010, the mint sold out the entire mintage of a record 25 collector coins. [31]

Made of base and precious metals, several of the mint's numismatic coins are enhanced by special technologies including holograms, enamelling, lasering and embedded crystals. The mint also produces medals, medallions and tokens as part of this business line.

The mint produces a great number of military decorations for the Department of National Defence including: the Sacrifice Medal, the Canadian Forces Decoration and Clasp, the General Campaign Star, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Bars, the General Service Medal, the Special Service Medal, the Operational Service Medal, the Memorial Cross and the Canadian Victoria Cross. It also produces military decorations for Veterans Affairs Canada, as well as long-service medals for the RCMP and artistic achievement awards for the Governor General of Canada. [32]

The mint also produced the athletes' medals of the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The mint produced 615 Olympic and 399 Paralympic medals at their headquarters in Ottawa for the 2010 Winter Games. [33]

The mint also designed and produced the 4,283 medals for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am games. [34]

Notable coins

Historical panel to the mint in Ottawa, erected by the National Capital Commission Placamint.jpg
Historical panel to the mint in Ottawa, erected by the National Capital Commission

Bullion coins

In 1979, the mint began producing its own branded bullion coins, which feature a maple leaf on the reverse. Since 1979, the fineness of the gold used to strike the Gold Maple Leaf (GML) coins has increased from .999 to .9999, and finally, to .99999 (for a special series from 2007 to 2009). In addition, GMLs are produced in sizes that are fractions of a troy ounce: 1 oz, 12 oz, 14 oz, 110 oz, 115 oz, 120 oz, 125 oz, and in sets that combine some or all of these weights. Special-edition designs have commemorated the tenth anniversary of the GML (1989), the 125th anniversary of the RCMP (1997), and the 25th anniversary of the GML (1994). A three-coin set was released to commemorate the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games (2008–2010), and a fractional GML set was issued in 2011 to commemorate the centennial of the mint's gold refinery. Renowned for its unrivalled purity, the mint's Gold Maple Leaf remains one of the world's most popular bullion coins. [35]

Silver Maple Leaf

The Royal Canadian Mint's Silver Maple Leaf (SML) was first issued in 1988 and featured the same design as the Gold Maple Leaf bullion coin. These coins are available to investors in 1 oz, 12 oz, 14 oz, 110 oz, and 120 oz sizes. [36]

In 2004–05, the coins were sold in sets of four coins that featured two wildlife species: the Arctic fox (2004) and the Canada lynx (2005). Each coin was of a different value and depicted the animals in a separate pose. Colour and selective gold plating have also been applied to special issues of SML. Holograms have proved popular applications, having been featured on SML coins in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005. [36]

In 2010, the mint introduced a new series of silver 9999 fine 1-troy-ounce (31 g) bullion coins featuring Canadian wildlife. The first coin, launched in late 2010, depicts a wolf, while the second features a grizzly bear. The third design, depicting a cougar, was released on September 24, 2011, for public sales. The fourth in the series was a moose, the fifth coin was the pronghorn antelope, and the sixth and final coin was the wood bison.

Platinum and Palladium Maple Leafs

While the Silver and Gold Maple Leafs have proved endearingly popular among investors and bullion collectors, the mint has also produced limited numbers of Platinum and Palladium Maple Leaf coins. From 2005 to 2009, Palladium Maple Leaf coins were offered in 1-troy-ounce (31 g) coins of .9995 fineness. [37]

Platinum Maple Leafs were struck in 1 oz, 12 oz, 14 oz, 110 oz, 115 oz, and 120 oz weights, between 1988 and 1999 and again in 2009. In addition, the Platinum Maple Leafs were sold in special issue sets in 1989 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the GML and in 2002 as a five-coin set featuring holograms. In 1999, the coins featured the polar bear design appearing on the inner ring of the $2 circulation coin. [37]

Canadian circulation coins

V nickel

World War II saw low mintages of most coins, as the metals (especially copper and nickel) were needed for the war effort. The composition of the 5¢ coin was changed to tombac in 1942; and the design was changed to a V for Victory in 1943. The composition was changed again to nickel-chromium-plated steel in 1944.

The concept for the V design came from Winston Churchill's famous V sign, and the V denomination mark on the US 5¢ pieces of 1883–1912. [38] A novel feature was an inscription of Morse code on the coin. This International Code message meant "We Win When We Work Willingly" and was placed along the rim on the reverse instead of denticles. [38] The regular reverse and composition were resumed in 1946. Chromium-plated steel was again used for the 5¢ coin from 1951 to 1953 during the Korean War, but the reverse was unchanged.

Centennial of Confederation

In 1967, the mint introduced a series of commemorative coins in honour of the Canadian centennial. Designed by Alex Colville, every coin produced that year featured a creature native to Canada: a rock dove on the 1¢ coin, a rabbit on the 5¢ coin, a mackerel on the 10¢ coin, a lynx on the 25¢ coin, a howling wolf on the 50¢ coin, and a Canada goose on the dollar. A commemorative gold $20 coin was also struck for collectors' sets, with a coat of arms on the reverse. It is worth noting the Royal Canadian Mint wanted to commemorate Canada's 60th anniversary in 1927 with variant coin designs. [4]

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

For 1973, the usual 25¢ coin reverse depicting a caribou was replaced with a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer astride a horse, to celebrate the centennial of the founding of the North-West Mounted Police (now the RCMP).

In 2007, the mint also released a $75 coloured gold coin featuring RCMP officers astride their horses, as part of an extensive program of collector coins celebrating the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. This coin, designed by Cecily Mok, is composed of 58.33% gold and 41.67% silver.

The mint also issued two bullion coins in celebration of the RCMP. The first is a 1997 1-troy-ounce (31 g) gold coin, which was produced for the 125th anniversary of the RCMP. The second is a 2010 125-troy-ounce (1.2 g) gold coin and was designed by Janet Griffin-Scott.

"Loonie" and "toonie"

The major change to Canadian coinage in the 1980s was the introduction of a circulating $1 coin, widely known as the loonie because of the common loon gracing its reverse. A voyageur canoe had been planned initially, but the master reverse die was lost in shipment between Ottawa and Winnipeg, so a new design was necessary. Introduced in 1987, the coin began to replace the $1 banknote in February 1989. In 1996, the mint introduced a $2 circulating coin (known widely as the toonie) that featured a polar bear on the reverse and replaced the $2 banknote. The $2 coin was also a first for the mint in that it used a bi-metallic structure – the coin's centre is bronze-coloured and the circumference is nickel-coloured.

Saskatchewan Roughriders

In September 2010, the mint released 3 million $1 circulation coins in celebration of the Saskatchewan Roughriders' centennial. This coin's reverse is engraved with the Saskatchewan Roughriders' logo and a stylized "100" framed by the dates 1910 and 2010.

UFO-themed glow-in-the-dark coin

The Shag Harbour UFO incident on October 4, 1967, was commemorated in a glow-in-the dark coin launched October 1, 2019. [39]

This coin is the second in the Royal Canadian Mint's "unexplained phenomena" series. The first coin in the series was released in 2018 and depicts the UFO encounter near Falcon Lake (Manitoba) in 1967. [39]

The coin is not the first glow-in-the-dark coin released by the Royal Canadian Mint. The first coin depicts boaters gazing at the Northern Lights, and was released in 2017. [40]

Foreign coins

In October 1971, the Bank of Jamaica asked the RCM to produce a commemorative $10 coin in silver and a $20 gold coin of proof quality. Also in 1971, the RCM made coins for the Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Iran, and the Isle of Man. [23] An order for 100 million general-circulation five-centime and ten-centimo coins for Venezuela was received as well. By 1973, orders totalled 65 million coins, and 70 million blanks. By 1974, the Ottawa facility produced a facility record 1.2 billion coins (foreign and domestic). [23]

Two years later, the Monetary and Foreign Exchange Authority of Macau commissioned the Royal Canadian Mint to create a commemorative coin to recognize the transfer of the Macau region to the People's Republic of China. The coin is silver and features a gold cameo. The face value is 100 patacas, and the coin has a diameter of 37.97 mm and a guaranteed weight of at least 1 troy ounce (31 g), while most 1 oz silver RCM coins weigh 31.3 grams. The Royal Canadian Mint item number is 644309 and the issue price is $102. The coin features a Portuguese ship and a Chinese barque sharing coastal waters. The historic Ma Gao Temple (Pagoda de Barra) appears in the cameo.

In 2009, the Mint produced coins and blanks for 18 countries, including the decimo de balboa (10-cent coin) for Panama. [41]

Numismatic coins

In 2006, the Royal Canadian Mint issued the $50 Four Seasons 5-troy-ounce (160 g) 0.9999 silver coin. This was the first 5 oz pure silver coin issued by the mint, and had a limited mintage of only 2,000 coins worldwide. High-grade examples of this coin fetch $1500 to $5000 at auction. Demand for the coin has been unprecedented, and it was the lowest mintage 0.9999 silver coin ever produced by the Royal Canadian Mint until the 2009 release of "Surviving the Flood", a 1 kilo 0.9999 silver coin which has a worldwide mintage of only 1500. [42]

On October 19, 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint issued ten new collector coins, including a 25¢ coin minted to commemorate the 60th wedding anniversary of Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; and a $15 sterling silver coin bearing the effigy of Victoria, the first from the series of five coins illustrating the effigies of the previous Canadian monarchs. [43]

Toronto Transit Commission tokens

From 1954 to 2006, the mint supplied the Toronto Transit Commission with 24 million tokens. These tokens were taken out of service in 2007 for official use. The lightweight token was replaced due to the ease in duplicating counterfeit versions. Current TTC tokens are manufactured in the United States by Osborne Coinage.

Canadian Tire

In October 2009, the mint produced trade dollars for Canadian Tire which temporarily replaced their regular $1 coupons. The initiative called for the production of 2.5 million nickel-plated steel tokens, as well as 9,000 brass-plated steel tokens. As part of the limited-time offer, the trade dollars were distributed in 475 stores nationwide. [44]

Notable medallions

  • In 1983, the RCM issued a medallion to commemorate the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. The composition of the medal is 50% pure silver and has a diameter of 36 mm. The coin had a production limit of 100,000 and its issue price was $24.50.
  • The RCM created a medallion to honour Elvis Presley. The medal features the word Graceland (above an image of the mansion and its gates) and an actual denomination of $10. The reverse of the medal features an engraving of Elvis, along with the words "The Man/The Music/The Legend". The medallion itself is undated, but as the medal is 10 troy ounces (310 g), one would assume it was made for the 10th anniversary of the singer's death. Additional information can be found in the certificate of authenticity which states this Elvis Presley medal was authorized by Legendary Coins and struck by the Royal Canadian Mint. The packaging bears a copyright date of 1987, and states the "medal is for commemorative purposes only" and is "not legal tender". [45]
  • Medallions honouring hockey legends have also been created. To commemorate Mario Lemieux's induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, a special set honouring all the inductees was issued in 1997. In 1999, a nickel medallion was issued to honour Wayne Gretzky's retirement. The issue price was $9.99 with a mintage of 50,000.

Notable innovations

Multi-ply plating

In 2000, the mint patented an improved, money-saving production method called multi-ply plating technology. Since that year, the mint has used this technique to produce 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, and 50¢ pieces of Canadian circulation coinage, all of which were minted from nearly pure nickel alloys. Similarly, a copper-plated steel blank was used to produce the 1¢ coin until production ceased in 2012. Also in 2012, multi-ply plating was introduced for the $1 and $2 coins.

This particular plating process uses a steel core that is electro-magnetically plated with a thin layer of nickel, then a layer of copper and finally another layer of nickel. [46] As a smaller quantity of copper and nickel is required, this process has reduced circulation coin production costs. The composition of plated coins is more durable, thereby reducing the number of damaged coins in circulation and increasing their overall efficiency. By varying the thicknesses of the alternating layers of nickel and copper, the Mint can create coins with unique electromagnetic signatures, preventing fraud and producing the most secure circulation coins on the market.

Coloured coins

In 2004, the Royal Canadian Mint issued the world's first coloured circulation coin. The 25¢ coins were produced at the Mint's facility in Winnipeg and feature a red-coloured poppy embedded in the centre of a maple leaf over a banner that reads: "Remember / Souvenir". The obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt. The process of adhering colour to the coins surfaces involved the utilization of a high-speed, computer-controlled and precision inkjet process. Approximately 30,000,000 coins went into circulation in October 2004 and were available exclusively at Tim Hortons locations across the country. U.S. Army contractors travelling in Canada filed confidential espionage reports describing the coins as "anomalous" and "filled with something man-made that looked like nano-technology". [47]

In 2006, the Mint produced a second colourized circulation coin in support of a future without breast cancer. The 25¢ coin features the pink ribbon symbolizing breast cancer awareness.

More recently, the Mint produced two other 25¢ poppy circulation coins in 2008 and 2010, both of which feature colourized designs.

In 2008, the Mint also produced 50-toea colourized coins for Papua New Guinea. These coins were manufactured using a robotic mechanism that oriented the coins in a way that ensured all the colourized designs faced the same direction. [48]

This new technology was also used to produce the "Top Three Moments" coins. These 25¢ coins are part of the Mint’s Vancouver 2010 circulation coin program and feature designs celebrating the top three favourite moments in Canadian Winter Games history. The men's hockey gold medal at Salt Lake City in 2002 was voted by fans as the No. 1 Canadian Olympic Winter Games Moment of all time – out of 10 moments — in an online contest hosted in 2009 by the Mint and Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium. Coming in at No. 2 was the Canadian women's hockey gold medal at Salt Lake City 2002, followed by Cindy Klassen at No. 3 and her five long-track speed skating medals at Turin 2006. The coins marking these top three favourite moments were launched into circulation on September 29, 2009, November 17, 2009 and January 5, 2010 respectively.

Physical vapour deposition

The Mint succeeded in extending the life of the die beyond that of past chrome-coated dies, with the adaptation of the physical vapour deposition (PVD) technology to coat its dies.[ citation needed ]

Vancouver Olympics

In 2006, the Mint entered a partnership with the Vancouver Olympic Committee and became an Official Supporter of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. As such, the Mint embarked upon an extensive three-year program of circulation and collector coins in honour of both the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Their Vancouver 2010 coin program included the largest circulation coin series in relation to the Olympic and Paralympic Games ever conceived by any mint worldwide. It included the production of 17 circulation coins, 15 of which were of the 25¢ denomination and two of which were $1 ‘Lucky Loonies.’ The Mint was the first Mint in the world to commemorate the Paralympic Games on a circulation coin. These commemorative 25¢ coins were distributed across the country through participating Petro-Canada and Royal Bank of Canada locations.

Regarding the circulation coins, one of the novelties is that D.G. Regina (dei gratia regina, or "by the grace of God queen") will be removed from the Queen's effigy, making the 25¢ coins the first "godless circulating coins" since the 2001 International Year of the Volunteer 10¢ piece. On the 1911 issue of King George V, the inscription was accidentally left off. [49] The first circulating $1 coin will be dated 2008 but the obverse will be the standard effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt with the wording "ELIZABETH II" and "D.G. REGINA" with the Circle M privy mark. [49]

In addition to its circulation coin program, the Mint introduced a series of 36 collector coins ranging from multi-coloured sterling silver Lucky Loonies to premium gold coins. Most notably, two $2500 Kilo Gold Coins were produced as part of this program, marking the first time the Mint has issued a pure gold coin with a guaranteed weight of one kilogram. [50]

The program also included the production of two Sterling silver Lucky Loonies in 2008 and 2010, with mintages of 30,000 and 40,000 respectively.

Vancouver 2010 Winter Games medals

The Mint also produced the athlete medals for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Vancouver 2010 gold medals are each made of sterling silver plated with six grams of 24KT gold. The silver medals are sterling silver while the bronze medals are composed mostly of copper. Their composition is governed by International Olympic Committee regulations.[ citation needed ]

Each medal features a piece of one of two contemporary Aboriginal artworks and weighing 500 to 576 grams each. The design appearing on each of the Vancouver 2010 medals is based on two large master artworks of an orca whale (Olympic) and raven (Paralympic) by Corrine Hunt, a Canadian artist of Komoyue and Tlingit heritage based in Vancouver, BC. Each medal features a unique, hand-cropped section of her artwork. The Vancouver 2010 medals are also undulating rather than flat. They had to be struck nine times each in order to achieve this unusual shape.[ citation needed ]

The medals were on display throughout the 2010 Winter Games at the Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion in Vancouver. There, visitors waited in line to see and hold the medals, sometimes for over seven hours.[ citation needed ] During the Olympics, the Mint Pavilion at the Segal Centre entertained 140,639 visitors, while the medal display at the Vancouver Public Library during the Paralympics saw 30,000 visitors.[ citation needed ] With so much interest generated by their Vancouver 2010 program, the Mint opened an additional retail outlet in Vancouver. This store is at 752 Granville Street, between Georgia and Robson streets.

Award-winning coins

Coin markings, including mint marks and privy marks


Revenue by segment 2004 [54]

Business LineRevenue (in millions)
Canadian Circulation 63.4
Foreign Coin   25.1
Cdn. Numismatic   52.6
Bullion and Refinery 183.9

Revenue by segment 2005 [55]

Business LineRevenue (in millions)
Canadian Circulation 111.2
Foreign Coin   43.8
Cdn. Numismatic   56.5
Bullion and Refinery 224.4

Revenue by segment 2006 [56]

Business LineRevenue (in millions)
Canadian Circulation 131.2
Foreign Coin   25.3
Cdn. Numismatic   56.7
Bullion and Refinery 280.7

Revenue by segment 2007 [57]

Business LineRevenue (in millions)
Canadian Circulation 174.3
Foreign Coin   115.0
Cdn. Numismatic   56.3
Bullion and Refinery 286.3

Revenue by segment 2008 [58]

Business LineRevenue (in millions)
Canadian Circulation 186.5
Foreign Coin   98.7
Cdn. Numismatic   67.5
Bullion and Refinery 1,039.6

Revenue by segment 2009 [59]

Business LineRevenue (in millions)
Canadian Circulation 185.3
Foreign Coin   65.0
Cdn. Numismatic   72.3
Bullion and Refinery 1,700.0

Revenue by segment 2010 [60]

Business LineRevenue (in millions)
Canadian Circulation 133.1
Foreign Coin   39.8
Cdn. Numismatic   71.3
Bullion and Refinery 1,965.4

Revenue by segment 2011 [61]

Business LineRevenue (in millions)
Canadian Circulation 136.7
Foreign Coin   34.0
Cdn. Numismatic   93.0
Bullion and Refinery 2,895.7

Revenue by segment 2012 [62]

Business LineRevenue (in millions)
Canadian Circulation 152.5
Foreign Coin   30.3
Cdn. Numismatic   145.1
Bullion and Refinery 2,255.4

Revenue by segment 2013 [63]

Business LineRevenue (in millions)
Canadian Circulation 133.4
Foreign Coin   78.2
Cdn. Numismatic   167.0
Bullion and Refinery 2,996.5

Revenue by segment 2014 [64]

Business LineRevenue (in millions)
Canadian Circulation 123.9
Foreign Coin   72.8
Cdn. Numismatic   177.3
Bullion and Refinery 2.1 (billion)


Royal Canadian Mint Protective Services employs full-time and casual security officers who are responsible for the security and inspection of RCM facilities. They wear a distinctive black uniform with body armour and carry a 9mm Glock Model 17 while on duty. Their duties include: [65]

Recent issues concerning Royal Canadian Mint assets include:

Notable firsts

See also

Related Research Articles

Loonie Canadian coin

The loonie, formally the Canadian one-dollar coin, is a gold-coloured coin that was introduced in 1987 and is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint at its facility in Winnipeg. The most prevalent versions of the coin show a common loon, a bird found throughout Canada, on the reverse and Queen Elizabeth II, the nation's head of state, on the obverse. Various commemorative and specimen-set editions of the coin with special designs replacing the loon on the reverse have been minted over the years.

American Silver Eagle Silver bullion coin of the United States

The American Silver Eagle is the official silver bullion coin of the United States.

The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf (GML) is a gold bullion coin that is issued annually by the Government of Canada. It is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.

A bullion coin is a coin struck from precious metal and kept as a store of value or an investment rather than used in day-to-day commerce. A bullion coin is distinguished by an explicit statement of weight and fineness on the coin; this is because the weight and composition of coins intended for legal tender is specified in the coinage laws of the issuing nation, and therefore there is no need for an explicit statement on the coins themselves. The United Kingdom defines investment coins more specifically as coins that have been minted after 1800, have a purity of not less than 900 thousandths and are, or have been, legal tender in their country of origin. Under United States law, "coins" that fail the last of these requirements are not coins at all, and must be advertised as "rounds" instead. The American Eagle and Canadian Gold Maple Leaf series are the only coins available in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

Perth Mint Australias official bullion mint, situated in Perth, Western Australia

The Perth Mint is Australia's official bullion mint and wholly owned by the Government of Western Australia. Established on 20 June 1899, two years before Australia's Federation in 1901, The Perth Mint was the last of three Australian colonial branches of the United Kingdom's Royal Mint intended to refine gold from the gold rushes and to mint gold sovereigns and half-sovereigns for the British Empire. Along with the Royal Australian Mint, which produces coins of the Australian dollar for circulation, The Perth Mint is the older of the two mints issuing coins that are legal tender in Australia.

Platinum coin

Platinum coins are a form of currency. Platinum has an international currency symbol under ISO 4217 of XPT. The issues of legitimate platinum coins were initiated by Spain in Spanish-colonized America in the 18th century and continued by the Russian Empire in the 19th century. As a form of currency, these coins proved to be impractical: platinum resembles many less expensive metals, and, unlike the more malleable and ductile silver and gold, it is very difficult to work. Several commemorative coin sets have been issued starting from 1978 and became popular among coin collectors. The major platinum bullion coins include the American Platinum Eagle, the Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf, the Australian Platinum Koala, the Isle of Man Noble, the Chinese Platinum Panda and several series by the Soviet Union and later by the Russian Federation.

Canadian Silver Maple Leaf

The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf is a silver bullion coin that is issued annually by the Government of Canada. It is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.

The coins of Canada are produced by the Royal Canadian Mint and denominated in Canadian dollars ($) and the subunit of dollars, cents (¢). An effigy of the reigning monarch always appears on the obverse of all coins. There are standard images which appear on the reverse, but there are also commemorative and numismatic issues with different images on the reverse.

One of the most profitable aspects of the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) is its numismatic product line. The first numismatic coin from the RCM was arguably the 1935 dollar commemorating the Silver Jubilee of His Majesty King George V. Though intended for circulation, it was the first Canadian coin commemorating an event. The decision to issue this coin was made in October 1934 by then-Prime Minister R.B. Bennett. There were economic and patriotic motivations for the release of a silver dollar, including a hope to boost the silver mining industry. In future years, the silver dollar would have a more emotional meaning for many Canadians because it was also the first coin to have the Voyageur motif on its reverse.

Since the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, the Royal Canadian Mint has struck Summer and Winter Olympic coins to mark Games held in Canada.

Although the first Olympic coin can be traced back to 480 BC, the modern Olympics did not see its first commemoratives until 1951. The original concept of Olympic coins was that the Greeks believed that coins brought the general public closer to the Olympic games. The premise was that those who could not attend the games could at least have a tangible souvenir of the event.

The Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf is the official bullion platinum coin of Canada. First issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 1988, it was available until 2002 in five different denominations, all of which are marked as containing .9995 pure platinum. The bullion coin was partly reintroduced in 2009 in the form of the 1 troy ounce denomination in .9999 purity, featuring a new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. The coins have legal tender status in Canada, but as is often the case with bullion coins, the face values of these coins is lower than the market price of the material they are made from.

One of the most highly profitable aspects of the Royal Canadian Mint’s enterprise is in its Numismatic product line. The euphoria surrounding the year 2000 led to the birth of the Millennium 25-cent coin program. The numismatic line included proof quality coins sold individually or as a complete set. This level of excess would come to signify the coming decade. The number of numismatic releases would increase on an annual basis starting in 2003. Numismatic three cents, five cents, and ten cents would be introduced, along with numismatic three dollars and eight dollars. Luxury coins would not be immune to the dramatic increases that ensued. Coins with face values of 250, 300 and 350 dollars would be introduced by 2006.

The Royal Canadian Mint has made coins with various themes. Most recently, ice hockey has been used for many numismatic releases. The first known ice hockey coin was for the 1988 Winter Olympics. Issued on February 25, 1986, the coin featured a goalie on the coin. Edge lettering was also used for the coin, the first time that it was used on silver coins.

Yvon Gariepy was the President of the Royal Canadian Mint from 1975 to 1981. In later years, he worked for Canada Post. Mr. Gariepy was a professional member of the Order of Engineers of Quebec, Professional Corporation of Urbanists of Quebec, Canadian Institute of Planners and the Institute of the Public Administration of Canada.

Starting in 1997, the Royal Canadian Mint started to sell hockey medallions to the public. To commemorate the induction of Mario Lemieux in the Hockey Hall of Fame, a set was issued honouring all three inductees. One set was issued in Sterling Silver while another was issued in Nickel. The success of the release led to future issues.

Gold coin coin made from gold

A gold coin is a coin that is made mostly or entirely of gold. Most gold coins minted since 1800 are 90–92% gold, while most of today's gold bullion coins are pure gold, such as the Britannia, Canadian Maple Leaf, and American Buffalo. Alloyed gold coins, like the American Gold Eagle and South African Krugerrand, are typically 91.7% gold by weight, with the remainder being silver and copper.

Vienna Philharmonic (coin) bullion coin

The Vienna Philharmonic, often shortened Philharmonic, is a bullion coin of gold, silver, or platinum, produced by the Austrian Mint. It is named for the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra, which inspires the design of both sides of the coins. The one troy ounce (ozt) gold version was first introduced in 1989 with a face value of 2,000 Austrian schillings (ATS) and is generally one of the world's best selling bullion coins. In 2002, with the adoption of the euro currency, the nominal value of the one ounce coin was changed to €100. In 2008, the Mint introduced a one-ounce silver version of the coin with a nominal value of €1.50. The silver coin is also one of the top selling bullion coins, ranked third in 2013. In 2016, the mint introduced a one ounce platinum coin with a face value of €100.

Big Maple Leaf

The Big Maple Leaf (BML) is a set of six $1 million (CAD) gold coins each weighing 100 kilograms (220 lb). They were produced by the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) in 2007, at their Ottawa facility where the first BML produced remains in storage. As of March 2017, the market value of a single Big Maple Leaf had reached approximately $4 million (USD). On 27 March 2017, one of the coins was stolen from a Berlin museum.

The Canadian Palladium Maple Leaf is the official bullion palladium coin of Canada. It is issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in .9995 purity. The coins have legal tender status in Canada, but as is often the case with bullion coins, the face values of these coins is lower than the market price of the material they are made from. Unlike the gold, silver and platinum maple leaf series, the palladium maple leaf is subject to the GST/HST tax.


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