100 year-old Royal Canadian Mint introduces landmark themes in first collector coins of 2008

     400th Anniversary of Quebec City, 200th Anniversary of Fraser River
     Descent lead first numismatic offering of the Mint's centennial year

    OTTAWA, Jan. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - One week after turning 100 years old, the
Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) today released the first new collector coins and
gift products of 2008. In keeping with its mandate of celebrating Canada's
values, history and culture, the RCM has chosen to devote the silver dollar,
in proof, brilliant uncirculated and selectively gold plated finishes, to
Samuel de Champlain, as a tribute to the 400th anniversary of the founding of
Quebec City. This figurehead of the RCM's annual collector coin program is
followed by the perennial $100, $200 and $300 face value gold issues featuring
themes which resonate from Canada's East to West coasts, as well as the
traditionally anticipated proof, uncirculated and specimen coin sets. The
popular annual coin sets featuring a unique painted 25-cent coin are once more
available in five different themes, as are annual baby and wedding gift sets.
    "Over 100 years, the Royal Canadian Mint has established a global
reputation as a leader in the minting industry", said Ian E. Bennett,
President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. "The quality and creativity
which are hallmarks of the Royal Canadian Mint shine through in the first new
collector coins of 2008. The themes they portray will resonate with Canadian
and international collectors alike".
    Below are several of the featured products that are being introduced this


    A pivotal figure in Canadian history, Samuel de Champlain landed on the
shore of the St. Lawrence River in 1608 at a place the local Algonquin people
called "Kebec" or "where the river narrows". 400 years later, the banks of the
St Lawrence are bursting with pride as millions of Canadians celebrate a
milestone anniversary in the history of Quebec City, one of North America's
oldest and most enchanting cities. The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to join
Quebec City, its citizens and its admirers across Canada and the world, in
marking the city's 400th anniversary on the 2008 proof silver dollar.
    This sterling silver dollar features a portrait of Samuel de Champlain
with the "habitation" he built at the foot of Cap-aux-Diamants, now Quebec
City, in the background. This design is the work of Longueuil, QC artist
Suzanne Duranceau. Limited to a mintage of 65,000, the 2008 Proof Silver
Dollar retails for a suggested $42.95 CDN. The brilliant uncirculated version
of this coin is also proposed at $34.95 CDN and limited to a mintage of
    The same design is reproduced on a selectively gold-plated proof dollar
coin, which is exclusive to the RCM's 2008 Proof Set. Only 60,000 sets, with a
suggested retail price of $89.95 CDN, are available world-wide.

    RIVER (1808-2008)

    Another historical milestone yields the RCM's 2008 $100 gold coin.
200 years ago, famed Canadian explorer Simon Fraser, a member of the North
West Company, defied conventional wisdom and successfully reached the Pacific
Ocean by descending the river which would become his namesake. This legendary
feat took Fraser and his 23 companions 36 days of steely determination and
later paved the way for the region's development.
    A dauntless Simon Fraser is profiled on this 14-karat gold coin with a
$100 face value. His striking figure is the work of Toronto artist
John Mantha. This coin is limited to a worldwide mintage of 5,000 and is
proposed at $386.95 CDN.


    The agriculture trade is the subject of the fourth offering in the
Historical Commerce 22-karat gold coin series. The attachment of humans to the
land transcends history and the emergence of organized agrarian societies is
the root of civilization itself. To Canadians, agriculture has sparked the
development of our expansive territory into one of the greatest nations on
    This proof-quality 22-karat gold coin features an iconic image of this
historic trade: a team of draft horses steadfastly plowing a field. Limited to
a mintage of 4,000, it is composed of 91.67% gold and 8.33% silver and retails
for a suggested $619.95 CDN.


    The RCM introduces a new $300 gold coins series devoted to the Official
Provincial Coats of Arms. This imposing, oversize coin celebrates the rich
heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador with a faithful reproduction of a
Coat of Arms, created in 1638, on the reverse of this proof finish 14-karat
gold coin. Only 1,000 of these coins have been minted, each proposed at
$1,541.95 CDN.


    The Common Eider duck graces the limited-edition aureate dollar coin
featured in the 2008 Specimen Set. This is the only RCM coin set to include
this limited-edition one-dollar coin gracefully designed by British Columbia
artist Mark Hobson. Also included are all of Canada's traditional circulation
coins (except the Common Loon dollar) in a unique specimen finish. The limited
worldwide mintage for this set is 40,000, and it is available at the suggested
retail price of $45.95 CDN.


    The RCM is once again issuing five 25-cent painted commemorative coins,
exclusively available as individual centerpieces of popular annual
uncirculated coin sets. Each unique 25-cent coin appears through a die-cut in
the cover of the collection folder, presented in five different themes: baby;
birthday; congratulations; wedding; and Oh Canada. Each set retails for a
suggested $19.95 CDN.
    The Royal Canadian Mint also introduces a 2008 uncirculated set limited
to a worldwide mintage of 75,000 sets. In keeping with the popular tradition
of commemorating weddings or the birth of new family members, the RCM is
introducing new 2008 gift products, including: baby keepsake tins with a
sterling silver dollar; a baby lullabies CD and sterling silver dollar set; a
special edition 2008 sterling silver coin set; and a 2008 wedding premium coin
set containing a full set of circulation coins fashioned in sterling silver.
    True to its tradition of minting collector coins which speak to Canada's
rich heritage and culture, the RCM will issue a special colourized 25-cent
collector coin to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Anne of Green Gables,
the famous tale by author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Details of the celebrations
being planned and "all things Anne", including the RCM's coin, becoming
available in mid-April 2008, can be found at www.anne2008.com.

    All of the Mint's products are available directly from the Mint at
1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in the US, or on the Internet at
www.mint.ca. The coins are also available at the Royal Canadian Mint's global
network of dealers and distributors.

    About the Royal Canadian Mint

    The Royal Canadian Mint, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in
2008, is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of
Canada's circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2000 certified company, the Mint is
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. For more information on the Mint's
history, its products and services, please visit www.mint.ca.

    Images and product details of the RCM's newest collection are available
by visiting ftp://communications:RCM2007@ftp.mint.ca.

For further information:

For further information: Alex Reeves, Manager, Communications, (613)
949-5777, (613) 949-9066, Fax: (613) 991-2628, Mobile: (613) 884-6370,

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