The following is a press release from the Royal Canadian Mint
Ottawa, Ontario, June 18, 2012 -- Two hundred years after the start of the conflict in 1812, the Royal Canadian Mint is proud to announce the launch of a series of five new commemorative circulation coins celebrating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The first of these coins, which begins circulating today, is a two-dollar circulation coin commemorating HMS Shannon, famed for its defeat and capture of the USS Chesapeake and its escort of the American war prize into Halifax harbour.
This historic naval battle in June 1813 resulted in the death of 23 Shannon crewmen. Graves of fallen crewmen are marked in the Royal Navy Burying Ground and at the Old Burial Ground, administered by St. Paul's Church in Halifax. Shannon's bell is currently on display in Halifax at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
"The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to celebrate Canada's history, culture and values through inspirational coins and we are delighted to join Canadians in celebrating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 by launching a new series of commemorative circulation coins dedicated to these pivotal moments in early Canadian history," said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. "The two-dollar circulation coin featuring HMS Shannon's dramatic victory at sea allows Canadians far and wide to collect a coin as prized for its visual beauty as for its historical meaning."
"Honouring the bicentennial of the War of 1812 with this special circulation coin pays tribute to some of our greatest national heroes and a crucial moment on the road to Canadian nationhood," said the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Royal Canadian Mint. "Our government encourages Canadians to take this unprecedented opportunity to learn more about our history and take pride in our traditions by collecting these exciting new circulation coins from the Royal Canadian Mint".
Key historical figures which influenced the successful fight for Canada in the War of 1812 will also be honoured on four new 25-cent circulation coins to be released later in 2012 and 2013. Our ancestors who valiantly defended British North America and ushered 200 years of peace on the North American continent will be represented by: General Sir Isaac Brock, Chief Tecumseh, Charles de Salaberry and Laura Secord. The designs of these coins will be revealed in conjunction with their official circulation date, from 2012 to 2013.
Limited to a mintage of five million coins, the HMS Shannon two-dollar commemorative circulation coin begins circulating on June 18, 2012. The public is encouraged to look for it in their change, exchange it on-line at http://www.mint.ca/1812, or visit one of the Mint's boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg or Vancouver to trade in their loose change (Please see below backgrounder for further information).
In January 2012, the Mint also dedicated its annual silver dollar collector coin to the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. It can still be purchased in proof and brilliant uncirculated finishes, and with selective gold-plating available exclusively in the 2012 Fine Silver Proof Set, from http://www.mint.ca; the Mint's boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver; and through our network of distributors, including participating Canada Post outlets. These products can also be ordered by directly contacting the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada and 1-800-268-6468 in the US.
More collector products inspired by the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 will be available as of July 2012, as well as in future product launches this year and in 2013. Those wishing to be among the first to receive news of these new products are encouraged to sign up for the Mint's e-mail newsletter at http://www.mint.ca/store/mint/customer-service.