Royal Canadian Mint

Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) was founded in 1908 and produces all of Canada’s circulation coins and also does so on behalf of other nations. There are two facilities that make up the Royal Canadian Mint. The headquarters is based in Ottawa, and with the opening of the Winnipeg facility which handles the circulation coins, Ottawa is free to design and produce hand-crafted collector and commemorative coins, gold bullion coins, medals, and medallions. Master tooling, gold refining and advanced engineering operations are also done here.

Image of Red 2010 Poppy Quarter Canada's $2 coin or "toonie"e;
You be the judge–does this look like a spy device? It takes 10 pounds of pressure to separate these two metals…

 

The Royal Canadian Mint has always been a leader in currency innovation. They made the world’s first coloured circulation coin–the 2004 Remembrance Day quarter with a red poppy in the center. This was the quarter that caused certain Americans to suspect that it was a “spy” device (it was actually just the protective coating that prevents the red ink from smudging!) The RCM also holds the patent for the distinctive bi-metal coin locking mechanism used in the manufacturing of the “toonie”, (Canada’s $2 circulation coin).
The RCM produces some of the most stunning commemorative coins that celebrate times of historic significance, our culture, technological and athletic achievements, milestones, and our beautiful land, all from initial designs by Canadian artists.

GOLD REFINERY

The original gold refinery was completed in 1911. It served the British empire by producing large quantities of gold bars throughout the Great War. A new refinery was built in 1936 and is still in operation today. It has produced 9999 fine gold bars since 1969, and in 1982 became the world’s first refinery to produce 9999 fine gold bullion coins. In 1999, the Mint became the first to achieve 99999 fine gold purity.

Ever wonder how much a bar of gold weighs? Under the watchful eye of a security guard, you can heft a gold bar in the Store.(It’s chained to the stand though–in case you get any ideas). The bar is surprisingly weighty–kind of puts holes in the stories of a duffel-bag full of gold bars being toted around by bank robbers…

LOCATION

Image of the Royal Canadian Mint Ottawa Headquarters

The Royal Canadian Mint (Ottawa) is located in a beautiful historic building on
320 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 5C7

 

The Royal Canadian Mint Ottawa Headquarters
Wikimedia Commons

www.mint.ca

 

 

TOURS

The guided tour covers the process from metal refining, design, hand crafting to mass production. The RCM holds patents and industry firsts in the field of coin minting.

Guided tours of the mint are available from Monday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The tour takes about 45 minutes. The Boutique is open Monday – Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. You can make reservations for a tour at 613-993-8990, or 613-993-8997. You can also call toll-free at 1-800-276-7714.

ADMISSION

Prices for tours are reasonable between $2.25 – $6.00, family passes for $11.25 – $15.00 with prices being cheaper on the weekends. Kids 4 and under are free. They also offer discounted prices for groups of 20 or more but will require a deposit when reserving.

Canada's $1 million gold coin

Ever wonder what $1 million looks like? Canada’s gold one million dollar coin weighing 100 kg!
Ludek Kovár, Wikimedia Commons

GUINESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS

The mint is in the Guiness Book of World Records for the largest gold coin ever–a 100-kg 99.999% pure gold bullion coin with a $1 million face value. The maple leaf was designed by Stan Witten, on the obverse side is an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

OF INTEREST ON THE WEB

Check out some award-winning coins at the mint: Click here to see the 2010 Olympic coins (opens in new window) or read about the stories behind the making of the medals for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

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