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Royal Canadian Mint History

By Royal Canadian Mint | Saturday, August 30, 2008

On January 2nd, Governor General Earl Grey activated the press to strike a fifty-cent piece, Canada's first domestically produced coin at the Mint's Sussex Drive facility, which is the site of the present-day Mint.

The Mint opened its gold refinery and by year's end, a record number of gold sovereigns were produced.

The Mint transformed from a branch of Britain's Royal Mint to the Royal Canadian Mint, a wholly Canadian institution.

The first effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II appeared on Canada's coins. Over the past five decades, the Queen's effigy has been updated three times, most recently in 2003.

The Mint became a Crown Corporation with a mandate to operate as a profitable business, rather than simply a supplier for Canada's coins.

The Mint's ultra-modern production facility opened in Winnipeg. All of Canada's circulation coins as well as coins for countries around the world are produced in this facility. Over the past 25 years, the Mint has produced coins for over 60 countries around the world.

The one-dollar circulation coin, affectionately known as the "Loonie", rolled off the assembly line in Winnipeg and into the pockets of Canadians. The bi-metallic two-dollar circulation coin followed in 1996.

The Mint's patented multi-ply plating technology made its debut and quickly revolutionized the industry. It delivers tremendous cost efficiencies and produces coins of increased durability and brilliance.

The Mint became the first in the world to issue a coloured circulation coin with the introduction of the "red poppy" 25-cent circulation coin, which was issued to pay homage to the brave Canadian men and women who have died while in the service of the nation.

Terry Fox became the first Canadian-born individual featured on a Canadian circulation coin when the Mint issued a one-dollar coin to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his Marathon of Hope.

The Mint became an Official Supporter of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Over the next four years, it will produce the most extensive Olympic circulation coin program ever conceived by any Mint worldwide and offer 36 numismatic products. The Mint will also strike the athlete medals for the Games, as it did for the XXI Olympic Games in Montreal.

The Mint unveiled a 100-kg, 99999 pure gold bullion coin with a $1 million face value as a flagship of its new line of one-ounce, 99.999% pure Gold Maple Leaf coins - the purest gold bullion coins in the world.

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