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Commemorative circulation coins

In the world of Canadian circulation coins, the reigning British monarch rules. In fact, an effigy of the king or queen has appeared on every Canadian coin produced by the Mint since 1908. But look at the flip side of a circulation coin, and you’re likely to see a design that celebrates Canada’s history, culture or achievements.

Here are some popular series of commemorative circulation coins:

Centennial of Confederation: In 1967, the Mint introduced a series of commemorative coins designed by artist Alex Colville. Each coin depicted an animal native to Canada.

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The Millennium series: To mark the turn of the century, the Mint struck 24 different 25-cent coins, one for each month of 1999 and 2000. The featured artwork was chosen from more than 66,000 entries submitted by Canadians. To meet the huge demand, the Mint produced more than 500 million of these coins.

The “Poppy”: The Mint produced the world’s first coloured circulation coin in 2004. Commemorating the poppy, Canada’s flower of remembrance, the 25-cent piece was designed with a stylized red poppy on the reverse. Since then, the Mint has used colour in coins for breast-cancer awareness, the top three Canadian Winter Olympic Medals Moments and additional Poppy releases.

Vancouver 2010 Winter Games: In honour of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the Mint produced 17 circulation coins bearing unique designs related to the sports of the Winter Games, including the top three Canadian medals moments in Winter Games history. It was the most extensive circulation-coin program ever conceived by a mint and the first coin series to recognize the Paralympic Games.


This slideshow discusses and celebrates the symbolism, artistic and cultural impact, and historical importance of coins by the Royal Canadian Mint.


On the next page:

Coins of the world

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Quiz :

Which international event did the Mint commemorate in 2010?

Vancouver Winter Olympics
Canada's 145th birthday
The Queen's diamond Jubliee