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Royal Canadian Mint

royal canadian mint

Introduction To Royal Mint Canada


The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM), also known as Monnaie Royale Canadienne is the creator of all circulated Canadian coins as well as one of the world’s largest national mints. It is owned and controlled by the Crown corporation that operates commercially, with its headquarters within Ottawa, Canada. Another division of RCM opened in Winnipeg in the year 1976. This Ottawa building houses the refinery. The Winnipeg Branch is in charge of domestic and foreign coins for circulation.

Royal Mint Canada produced coins for over 60 nations all over the world. In the years since 1911, the Mint’s primary source of income has been the world-renowned refinery for precious metals which produces numismatic coinage as well as silver and gold bullion grains, wafers, medals and medallions. 


In 1982, the refinery in Ottawa was the first to make .9999 bullion 24K gold coins. The most recognizable coin created from the refinery is the silver and gold Canadian Maple Leaf bullion coins which are among the most sought-after gold coins.


Royal Canadian Mint bars are accepted by the world’s most important gold exchanges (New York, London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Dubai) and are included as part of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) gold Good Delivery List since 1919.

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History of the Royal Mint Canadian


Creating a Canadian branch was permitted by the mint in 1901. Coins that were intended to circulate within the Canada. Province of Canada were first produced in 1858 by the Royal Mint in London or the private Heaton Mint in Birmingham, England.


Production moved to Canada because the country was becoming more established and was more in demand for money. The new facility located in Ottawa was opened on January 2 1908. The first coin that they put in was a sovereign gold coin bearing the “C” for Canada.


A few years later, their business was expanded to include bullion refining. The gold refinery was rebuilt in 1936. The mint first struck Canadian silver coins in 1912. They were entirely Canadian products in every aspect, in their materials all the way to their design, which featured the first image of Canada to be seen on the gold coin.


The Ottawa mint was granted autonomy from the British Royal Mint in 1931 in the Great Depression. The mint’s status as a Crown corporation was granted on April 1st, 1969, following 38 years of operation as a part of the Canadian Department of Finance. It is now a part of the Department of Finance of Canada.


Royal Mint Canadian now reports to the Parliament via the minister of Finance. In 1976, the branch of the Royal Canadian Mint located in Winnipeg was inaugurated and introduced its Maple Leaf bullion coin program in 1979, introducing the 1 ounce Gold Maple Leaf coin.


In 1988, 1 oz Platinum Maple Leaf coins were first introduced. In 2005, the RCM inaugurated a refinery for silver. In 1982, it was the first refinery to make 9999 bullion coins. Then, in 1998, the company was able to achieve 99999 purity.


In 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint made the Guinness World Records, certifying that they had created the largest coin ever produced: the masterpiece 100kg, 99.999% pure $1 million gold bullion coin. In 2010, the Canadian Royal Mint partnered with the Winter Olympics to launch a three-year circulation program in addition to collector’s coin.


Organizational Structure of the Canadian Royal Mint


The Royal Canadian Mint is an official Crown corporation as per the Royal Canadian Mint Act. It is a Crown corporation under the Royal Canadian Mint Act. Mint has been classified as a Schedule III-II Corporation according to the Financial Administration Act, meaning it’s an organization that conducts commercial operations while being self-sufficient.


It is an entity of the government and is entitled to conduct commercial ventures without taxpayer support. The average consumer is unable to purchase a bar or investment coins direct from the Mint however, it is the RCM has a network of distribution of dealers around the globe, including big US wholesalers like MTB, Dillon Gage, CNT and A-Mark.


It is believed that the Mint acts as an official agent for Queen Elizabeth II who is currently the monarch for Canada (2021). It is a part of the Queen Elizabeth II Monarchy. Mint includes an Executive Board of Directors made up of three directors: a chairman of the board, president and CEO as well as eight directors. The Mint’s Executive team has 12 members. The CEO and the President are also known as “Master of the Mint”.


President Marie Lemay was appointed in 2019 and her chairman is Phyllis Clark. The Mint is organized with four primary business areas:


  • Canadian Circulation
  • Circulation Products and Solutions
  • Numismatics Products and Services
  • Bullion Products and Services


These business functions are aided by the corporate administrative functions that are listed beneath “Royal Canadian Mint – General Services” and “Internal Services”. Canadian circulation coins production happens at the Mint’s facility located in Winnipeg in which up to two million circulated Canadian coins and currency are produced every year. 


The facility also has developed an elaborate scheduling and distribution method to ensure the availability of Canada coins throughout the country in an economically and fiscally prudent way. The most important information associated with coinage is gathered through the Mint and is relayed to the minister of Finance.


The numismatics line includes collector coins, medals, and coins and tokens that are available to domestic and foreign customers.

The Mint produces an array of military-themed decorations that are used by the Department of National Defense including the Sacrifice Medal and the Canadian Forces Decoration and Clasp and the General Campaign Star, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Bars as well as the General Service Medal, the Special Service Medal, the Operational Service Medal, the Memorial Cross, and the Canadian Victoria Cross.


The Mint also makes military ornaments that are used by Veterans Affairs Canada, as also long-service awards from the RCMP and awards for artistic achievement to the Governor-General of Canada. 


The mint also created the medals awarded to athletes at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games, as well as the medals of the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The mint made six15 Olympic as well as 399 Paralympic medals at their headquarters in Ottawa for the 2010 Winter Games.


This Bullion Products and Services business function produces and sells high-end silver, gold-palladium, platinum and gold bullion coins, wafers, and bars for the market of investment in addition to silver and gold granules used in the jewellery industry and industrial uses.


The Mint also runs refineries for silver and gold which offer Canadian and international customers an integrated solution for processing silver and gold as well as a source for low-cost precious metals to its numismatic and bullion businesses.


Notable Collectible Coins And Numismatics from Royal Canadian Mint


Through the years over the years, over the years, Royal Canadian Mint has accumulated an extensive silver and gold catalogue of products. The primary source of revenue is the bullion coin program. It accounted for 76% of Mint’s total income in 2016.


The Gold Maple Leaf (GML) bullion coin and Silver Maple Leaf (SML) bullion coins are two of the top-selling gold and silver coins made by the Royal Canadian Mint.


Each year, the Mint comes up with a range of styles for its Maple Leaf coin, which is available in platinum, silver, gold and palladium.


The Royal Canadian Mint’s Gold and Silver Maple Leaf bullion coins are well-known throughout the world due to their iconic design and unparalleled quality. They are also extremely pure. Gold Maple Leaf is the first 24K gold bullion coin and was introduced in 1979. The reverse of the Maple Leaf coin features Canada’s national symbol which is that of the maple leaf.


The reverse features the Queen’s Majesty Elizabeth II, which was created in 2003 by Canadian portrait artist Susanna Blunt. Its silver counterpart, the Silver Maple Leaf was first released in 1988 and is the exact identical style like is the Gold Maple Leaf coin. The Gold Maple Leaf coins are produced in sizes that are fractions of a troy ounce of 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10oz, 1/15 oz, 1/20 Oz, 1/25 Oz as well as in set sizes that include one or more of these weights. Silver Maple Leafs come in 1 Oz,1/2 oz, ¼ Oz, 1/10 oz and sizes of 1/20 oz.


The Platinum Maple Leaf (PtML) was also introduced in 1988. The PtML is among the purest platinum coins on the market, constructed from .9995 platinum. It is only available in 1oz sizes. This coin, known as the Palladium Maple Leaf (PdML) was produced for a few years starting in 2005 before being it was withdrawn but was reintroduced in the year 2015. Platinum Maple Leaf, .9995 fine purity, and 1oz denominations. It is the Platinum Maple Leaf was the top-selling coin in the world in 2012.


The Royal Canadian Mint became the first mint in Canada to create 1 gram gold coins, known as the Canadian Maple Gram. Maple Grams were released in the past few years to provide an option that is affordable for investors in gold. Maple Grams are available in sleeve packs of between 8 and 25. The convenient size Maple Grams give you more flexibility in liquidating your holdings.


Special edition coins were created to commemorate a number of significant milestones in the institution. In honour of the 10th anniversary of the Gold Maple Leaf in 1989 and celebrating the 25th-anniversary celebration of the Gold Maple Leaf, and the year 125 of the Royal Canadian Mint (1997).


According to the Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, the Silver Maple Leaf coins were sold in sets of four coins which included two animals including the Arctic Fox (2004) as well as the Canada Lynx (2005). Each coin was issued with a distinct value and featured the animals in distinct poses. The use of colour and selective gold-plating were also applied to specific issues of Silver Maple Leaf.


Holograms were used in Silver Maple Leaf Coins in the years 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005.


In 2021, PRNewswire announced that the Royal Canadian Mint celebrated the 95th anniversary of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by releasing a special coin set featuring exquisite silver mementoes crafted by The Royal Canadian Mint and Britain’s Royal Mint.


The set of two coins features elegant imagery of Her Majesty on both sides of a 1 oz pure silver coin. The reverse displays a reproduction of The Queen Elizabeth II Equestrian Monument, sculpted by Canadian artist Jack Harman and unveiled in 1992 by Her Majesty on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. This majestic monument, showing the Queen astride her horse Centennial, presently graces the entrance to Rideau Hall, the official residence of Canada’s Governor-General. The obverse is a numismatic history showcase, with fine engravings of all four effigies of Queen Elizabeth to have appeared on Canadian coins throughout her reign.”


In 2006, The Mint joined forces with the Vancouver Olympic Committee. In the year 2010, The Royal Canadian Mint made the medals for athletes to be used at Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Each gold medal is constructed from sterling silver and then plated by 6 grams of 24K gold. Silver gold medals contain sterling silver. The bronze medals consist of the majority of copper. The medals weigh between 500 and 576 grams.


It also features artwork by Corinne Hunt an artist from Canada. Canadian artist with a native Komoyue as well as Tlingit ethnic background. On each medal is an image from her pair of modern Aboriginal art pieces that include Orca Whale (Olympic) and raven (Paralympic). At the time of the Olympics, the medals were displayed for people to look at and touch within the Mint Pavilion in Vancouver and the Vancouver Public Library. The Mint has opened a second retail store in Vancouver in response to the popularity of the Vancouver Olympic medals program for 2010 athletes.


The Mint produced tokens to Toronto Transit Commission from 1954 to 2006. 24 million tokens were issued until 2007 when the supply was cut off.


The Winnipeg coinage facility was established in 1976. It is an industrial plant of 59,000 square feet that produces Canadian and foreign coins, utilizing the Mint’s standards of technology and expertise.


Coinage is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint for places like Singapore, Bahamas, Bermuda, Iran, Cuba, Norway, Yemen, Colombia, Iceland, Indonesia, Thailand, Uganda, Barbados, Venezuela, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. The Mint has clients that range from treasuries, governments, and central banks. In 2005, it was reported that the Royal Canadian Mint facility in Winnipeg produced 1.062 billion blanks and coins for 14 nations. Between 1980 and 2005 the RCM has produced approximately 52 billion coins for 62 nations.


Bullion Production & Refinery – The Royal Canadian Mint


The Royal Canadian Mint facilitates one of the most technologically advanced and recognizable refineries of silver and gold around the world. The Royal Canadian Mint is one of the few government mints that produce not just the coin series, but also a range of high-end investment gold and silver bars and wafers, and custom-designed products. Since 1911, the Mint Refinery in Ottawa began refining gold to 9999 fine purity in the mid-1960s.


The Royal Canadian Mint also maintains its own, high-security storage and vaulting facilities. It also provides vaulting services to dealers in metals to store precious metals. These facilities are available only to corporate accounts that hold RCM brand bullion. This is because the Bank of Canada, Canada’s central bank, is the one that holds gold reserves for central banks that include Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden. It has also moved its vault. Bank of Canada moved its vault from the location it was in beneath its headquarters building located on Wellington Street in Ottawa, which is currently under renovation.


The Mint establishes a high-industry standard for sampling and assaying with its precious metals analytical laboratory that ranks among the top in the world. This Royal Canadian Mint laboratory boasts the reputation as a participant in the process testing program run through the American Society for Testing and Materials. A globally acknowledged fire assay guarantees the Mint a position as a leader in the industry Mint.


“The accepted method for settlement assays on mine doré and similar materials, the fire assay is based on standard test method E-1335-96 of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Inherent in this approach is a proof correction to ensure the accuracy of the results as well as quality assurance measures, including twin and independent parallel analysis, control samples and a weight calibration program.” [5]


Advanced spectrometric techniques are employed to analyse high-purity metals and to find the presence of impurities in the feed material. These comprise flame-atomic absorption, graphite furnace atomic absorption, spark ablation ICP Atomic emission as well as x-ray fluorescence, as well as laser ablation ICP mass spectrometry.




Ottawa and Winnipeg facilities are accessible to the public and provide tours throughout the year. Royal Canadian Mint retail boutiques are located in Ottawa, Vancouver, and Winnipeg selling RCM branded products and collector coins.


Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Yes, Canadian Mint Coins are known and respected for their high purity and reputation. Canadian Mint coins hold their value and are worth buying.

Royal Canadian Mint coins hold their value over time and give good profit margins later on. It may be worth buying if you have money lying around.
Royal Mint coins are of the highest purity and very liquid. With gold prices skyrocketing, Royal Mint coins seem like a good investment.
The 1 oz Canadian gold bars are worth the spot price and a slight premium. The premium is a certain percentage of the gold bar you are buying.

References and Links

















[17]  Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins 2006, p.89



[20] Royal Canadian Mint 2006 Annual Report, page 25

[21] Royal Canadian Mint 2006 Annual Report, page 27





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