Canadian Geographic
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Geography of coins

Leading technologies

A major reason the Royal Canadian Mint is one of the leaders in the global minting industry is its success in research and development. In 2010, it allocated $3.1 million for research and development.

The Mint currently holds 14 patents in innovative technologies. These innovations range from adding a hologram or colour to a coin and enhancing security to improving the silver and gold refining process and reducing the cost of production with multi-ply plated steel technology.

Consider the $20 sterling silver coin issued in 2007 to mark the 125th anniversary of the first International Polar Year. Seven thousand of these coins were issued with the reverse side finished in stunning metallic-blue hues, evoking the frigid polar climate. A world first, the blue was achieved through an electrically induced plasma effect.

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And with its record-breaking 100-kilogram “Million Dollar” Gold Maple Leaf bullion coin, the Mint earned the distinction of producing not only the world’s first 99999 fine gold bullion coin but the largest coin in the world in 2007 (Later surpassed in the fall of 2011, however, when the Perth Mint in Australia introduced its 1,000-kilogram gold coin.)


This slideshow illustrates how the Royal Canadian Mint stays on the cutting edge of coin design and production. The piece shows how innovative technologies achieve various results including coloured coins, unparalleled levels of purity, holograms, selective oxidation, laser etching and embedded crystals.


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Quiz :

How much money does the Mint invest every year in research?

$3 million
$750 000
$10 million