The Royal Canadian Mint
Shaping Canadian History Since 1908
For over 100 years, the Royal Canadian Mint has issued internationally-renowned circulation coins, collectible coins, coin gifts and bullion. The Royal Canadian Mint is also proud to issue globally recognized minting milestones like the world’s first Million Dollar Gold Bullion Coin, the world's first coloured circulation coin – a 25-Cent Poppy Coin in 2004 – and the world’s most highly refined gold standard know as “five nines”.
For passionate coin collectors, the Royal Canadian Mint produces some of the world's most stunning commemorative coins, treasured for their rarity, historic significance and craftsmanship. Canadian coins celebrate Canadian culture and milestones, its natural splendour, as well as the technological and athletic achievements that make Canadians proud.
Innovative engineering, unparalleled craftsmanship, backed by state-of-the-art proprietary technology have earned the Royal Canadian Mint notable awards and accolades for coins featuring:
- Double holograms
- Selective plating
- Laser enhancement
- Innovative shapes and sizes
The Royal Canadian Mint is more than just a respected part of the Canadian experience – it’s an iconic brand that’s been honouring Canadian achievements and themes since 1908.
The Royal Canadian Mint is also recognized as one of the largest and most versatile Mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. As a dynamic, market-driven Mint that competes for the production and sale of circulation coinage, precious metals, refinery services, collector products and medals in the Canadian and international markets, the Royal Canadian Mint has over 800 employees between its facilities in Ottawa and Winnipeg.
Canadian collector coins are struck meticulously, one by one in Ottawa at the Royal Canadian Mint's original home, crafted from initial designs by Canadian artists. Many Canadian coins have been honoured with international recognition and awards.
The Mint's high-tech plant in Winnipeg produces over 1 billion circulation coins each year and it’s also the facility that produces coins for over 70 countries around the world.
On January 2, 1908, Governor General Earl Grey activated the press to strike the Dominion's first domestically produced coin, a fifty-cent piece. As an audience of dignitaries looked on, the Countess Grey closed the ceremony by striking Canada's first bronze cent. The Ottawa branch of Britain's Royal Mint was officially open for business.
In 1931, the heritage building on Sussex Drive, the surrounding land and the entire minting enterprise passed into Canadian hands, making the Mint a wholly Canadian institution.
From Rough Gold to Fine
The creation of the Royal Mint coincided with an era of burgeoning gold production in the Yukon and British Columbia. A refinery was needed to perform the complex work of bringing rough gold up to coinage standards.
The Canadian Mint's original refinery was completed in 1911. It rendered distinguished service to the British Empire throughout the Great War, producing the large quantities of gold bars with which Britain paid its debts to other countries.
A new refinery facility, designed to meet any possible demand for many years to come, was built in 1936 to refine gold for mines and central banks throughout the world. Still in operation today, the refinery has produced 9999 fine gold bars since 1969. In 1982, it became the world's first refinery to produce 9999 fine gold bullion coins. Then in 1999, the Royal Canadian Mint excelled again by being the first to achieve 99999 fine gold purity.