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The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) is one of the world’s most respected mints, renowned for its record-breaking gold quality and sophisticated anti-counterfeiting technology that often sets trends worldwide. Plus, they’ve completed many outstanding feats, like the groundbreaking Million Dollar Coin, a 100 kg, 0.99999 pure gold bullion coin with a gigantic $1 million face value.
But how did the mint reach such heights?
The Royal Mint of London produced Canada’s coins starting in the 1850s (remember, Canada was a colony of the UK until 1867). However, in 1908, the first coins were struck on Canadian soil in Ottawa under the supervision of Governor Earl Grey and Countess Alice Grey.
While the bronze cent minted in Ottawa was still produced by a branch of the Royal Mint of London, the 1908 domestic coin production marked the beginning of Canada’s own minting operations. The Royal Canadian Mint was officially founded in 1931 and began producing circulation coins and bullion bars en masse.
In 1969, the mint became a Crown Corporation, a government body that reports directly to the Canadian Parliament. This unusual public/private hybrid functions both as a business, able to operate somewhat independently, under governmental oversight. The Royal Canadian Mint has gone on to produce coinage for circulation in 89 countries as well as Canada itself.
The RCM mints all the coins used in Canada, including bullion coins in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. It also produces bullion bars in gold.
Famous products include the 1 oz gold maple leaf coin, the oldest modern 24-karat gold coin in the world. (While the Krugerrand was the first modern bullion coin, recall that it’s minted in 22kt crown gold – that’s what sets the maple leaf apart.) Queen Elizabeth II is featured on the obverse side, updated in 1990 by Susana Blunt to portray the Queen in her later years.
The reverse side shows a Canadian maple leaf in plain view, with an anti-counterfeiting measure, a micro-engraved maple leaf added in 2013, that is completely invisible to the naked eye. Radial lines were added two years later to further deter counterfeiters.
The 1 oz silver maple leaf is perhaps equally popular and in high demand throughout the world’s bullion market, while the 2 oz silver twin maple is double the fun.
The mint produces gold bullion bars as large as 1 kg, all of which adhere to the standards of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA)’s Good Delivery requirements, with a purity of 0.9999 fine gold. Silver bars are available in 0.999 fine silver, offering a cost-effective way to invest in silver at low premiums.
The mint is also known for its special series of coins, many of which depict beautiful scenes of nature from Canada’s wilderness.
For example, the 1/4-oz gold Canadian Wolverine reverse proof coin from the mint’s Animal Portrait Series proved particularly popular, captivating investors with its fearsome design of Canada’s wolverine.
The mint also produces:
The mint was the first ever to produce a bullion coin in 0.9999 fine gold, a groundbreaking achievement in gold refining practices. The mint went on to demonstrate its prowess and innovation in 1999 by minting the first-ever 0.99999 (“five nines”) fine bullion coin, and it remains the only mint ever to have done so.
The first-ever “$1 million coin” was produced by the RCM, a 100kg version of its famous gold maple leaf bullion coin.
The RCM developed MINT SHIELD Technology, a new method of preventing and reducing the occurrence of white spots on silver bullion coins which often detract from the appearance of the affected coins.
Micro-engraved security marks, such as the micro-maple leaf on the gold and silver 1 oz maple leaf coins, protect against counterfeiting. Additionally, “Bullion DNA,” essentially the coin’s unique digital fingerprint, is used to verify the authenticity of RCM products. Customers can purchase bullion from a registered Bullion DNA dealer to ensure authenticity.
Own your own piece of Canadian history and cutting-edge bullion technology today!