Royal Canadian Mint celebrates 100th anniversary

    Special commemorative products to be issued

    OTTAWA and WINNIPEG, Jan. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - One hundred years ago today,
Governor General Earl Grey activated the press to strike a fifty-cent piece,
Canada's first domestically produced coin. What would become known as the
Royal Canadian Mint was officially open for business.
    "To celebrate the centennial of the Mint is to celebrate the history of
Canada," said Mr. Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian
Mint. "Over the past century, the Mint has played an important role in the
economic and social fabric of our nation, by creating circulation and
commemorative collector coins which are a true testament to Canada's rich
heritage and values."
    The Mint's Ottawa facility, which occupies the same premises on which the
Mint was founded, produces hand-crafted collector and commemorative coins,
gold bullion coins, medals and medallions. Established in 1976, the Winnipeg
Mint is a high-tech, high-volume manufacturing facility where Canada's
circulation coinage is produced, as well as coins for countries around the
    "Throughout 2008, the Mint is celebrating its employees who, both past
and present, have contributed to its remarkable success," added Mr. Bennett.
"Their combined efforts and overwhelming dedication have made the Mint one of
the most innovative and respected in the world."
    To commemorate its centennial, the Mint is producing a high-quality
limited edition book which will describe the corporation's rich history in
both text and photography. Numismatic coins marking this special anniversary
will also be issued mid-year. In addition, Canada Post has announced that, in
June, it will recognize the occasion by issuing a commemorative stamp in the
Mint's honour.
    This year, the Mint is inviting visitors to stop by its Ottawa and
Winnipeg facilities, to take a tour, browse the boutique and be a part of its
anniversary celebrations. To mark the occasion, the 100th visitor every day
will receive a special commemorative gift. The Mint will also be taking an
opportunity on Canada Day to open its doors and celebrate its centennial with
fun-filled family activities.

    For highlights of some of the significant moments in the Mint's history,
please see the attached backgrounder. To learn more about the Mint's products
and services, visit


    Over the last century, the Royal Canadian Mint has emerged as a global
leader in minting. Some memorable events in its dynamic history include:

    - 1908 - 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.
    - 1911 - The Mint opened its gold refinery and by year's end, a record
      number of gold sovereigns were produced.
    - 1931 - The Mint transformed from a branch of Britain's Royal Mint to
      the Royal Canadian Mint, a wholly Canadian institution.
    - 1953 - 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.
    - 1969 - The Mint became a Crown Corporation with a mandate to operate as
      a profitable business, rather than simply a supplier for Canada's
    - 1976 - 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.
    - 1987 - 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
    - 1999 - 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.
    - 2004 - 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.
    - 2005 - 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.
    - 2006 - 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.
    - 2007 - 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.

For further information:

For further information: Christine Aquino, Director, Communications,
Royal Canadian Mint, (613) 993-9999,

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