Ottawa, Ontario, December 22, 2008 – As the Royal Canadian Mint’s centennial year draws to a close, the Mint is pleased to highlight several developments which add to the legacy of success it has celebrated throughout 2008. These include: a new and improved mint.ca website; a coloured circulation coin for Papua New Guinea, a world first outside of Canada; development of a new coin painting line robot at the Mint’s Winnipeg facility; the release of a new 99.999% pure Gold Maple Leaf bullion coin, as well as multiple awards for the Mint’s annual report, coin technologies and vendor quality.
New Mint Web Site
Upon hearing feedback from our valued customers, the Mint determined that several improvements were required to enhance the overall user experience and reliability of mint.ca. After a thorough evaluation of customer needs and available technologies, the Mint, with the valued support of Bell Web Solutions, upgraded its web site with a focus on ease of navigation, accessibility and many other added features such as personalization, larger product and packaging images and an improved search function.
As web sales are an integral part of the Mint’s business, ease of use and security of its website were also an utmost consideration. With over 1.1 million unique visitors and 10.2 million page views in 2008, the Mint has chosen to test and certify its site daily to pass the McAfee® Secure Security Scan. To help address concerns about the security of customer confidential data, and the safety of visiting this site, the “live” McAfee® Secure mark confirms the Mint’s commitment to protecting consumer information.
Information on the Mint that mint.ca users have come to appreciate is also featured on the new website, including: facts on the wonders of circulation coins production, including mintages and technical specifications of Canada’s coin denominations; details on the passion and pursuit of coin collecting and the intricate work that goes into the Mint’s numismatic coins; features on the advanced technologies for which the Mint is renowned throughout the world; an on-line catalogue; frequently asked questions; and a new “Meet our people” section providing an inside look at the Mint through profiles of its employees. Visitors can also look forward to continuous feature additions and improvements such as the ability to publish product reviews and a new Media Portal in early 2009.
Papua New Guinea 50 Toea Coloured Circulation Coin
The Royal Canadian Mint continues to expand its offering of circulation coin solutions to foreign customers, and the coloured coin technology which has made the Mint’s poppy and pink ribbon 25-cent coins famous is no exception. In 2008, the Mint’s Winnipeg facility was proud to accept a contract from Papua New Guinea for a coloured circulation coin, making the 50 Toea coin the first coloured coin entering circulation in a country outside Canada. In addition to adding a painted design to more than three million coins, the Mint was required to identically orient the design on every coin. To accomplish this, the Mint, in collaboration with Canadian robotic equipment manufacturer PharmaCos Machinery, developed its own robotic arm to “pick and place” each coin on the painting line, creating yet another capability unique to the Royal Canadian Mint and its Winnipeg facility.
Papua New Guinea is a long-standing customer of the Royal Canadian Mint. In 2005, Papua New Guinea changed the composition of its 5, 10, and 20 Toea coins to convert to 50 million new coins to the Mint’s patented multi-ply plating technology. This process, consisting of plating alternating layers of nickel, copper and nickel over a steel core, produces a very economical coin with superior finish and durability. Multi-ply plated coins also offer enhanced security as a distinct electro-magnetic signature can be produced by manipulating the thickness of each metal layer. Papua New Guinea has ordered 40 million more multi-ply plated coins from the Mint in 2008.
Foreign Circulation Coin Contract Wins
The Mint’s reputation for innovation and quality continues to generate high volumes of international business, with 1.7 billion circulation coins struck to date for countries from around the globe. The Mint competes for international contracts and its Winnipeg facility has produced coins and coin blanks for over 60 countries in the last 25 years. Among the countries which are placing new or repeat orders for Royal Canadian Mint circulation coins are: Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Paraguay, Panama and the Philippines.
The international contracts won by the Mint in 2008 have established the Royal Canadian Mint as one of the world’s leading suppliers of coins to foreign countries. In 2007, the Mint’s Foreign Business division was responsible for the minting of over 2.2. foreign circulation coins and revenues of $115 million. Thanks to unique abilities such as multi-ply plating and coin painting technology, as well as considerable investments in new high-speed coining and blanking presses, the Mint is ready to do even more business with the world in the future.
2008 99.999% Pure Gold Maple Leaf Bullion Coin
A sequel to the world’s purest gold bullion coin is a guaranteed best-seller. For 2008, the Mint has breathed new life into the iconic interpretation of maple leaves found on the one-cent coin by engraving them in 99.999% pure gold on the face of the newest edition of the purest gold bullion coin in the world. This design was engraved by Mint Engraver Jose Osio.
Since its appearance in 1979, the Gold Maple Leaf bullion coin has repeatedly set the standard for purity and quality in the field of gold bullion. In 1982, the 99.99% purity level of the Mint’s Gold Maple Leaf set a new benchmark for gold bullion coins, which was bested again when the Mint introduced the world’s first and only 99.999% pure gold bullion coin in 2007.
Gold Maple Leaf coins are distributed through an extensive network of bullion dealers and offer investors an attractive way to add precious metals to their investment portfolios. Interested buyers seeking additional information about these and other investment products are invited to visit the Mint’s web site at www.mint.ca or to call 1-866-677-1477.
On the heels of reporting its most profitable year ever, the Mint’s 2007 Annual Report has earned two separate awards of excellence. It was first recognized by Mercomm Incorporated’s 2008 ARC Awards for overall excellence in annual reporting, honouring noteworthy and vital writing, as well as imaginative and original design. It was also recognized by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants with a Corporate Reporting Award for small Crown corporations for best practices in corporate reporting and disclosure.
The Royal Canadian Mint, with its lenticular solution provider RR Donnelley, were also honoured by PrintSolutions Magazine’s Print Excellence and Knowledge (PEAK) Award for the innovative use of lenticular printing on coins. This exceptional application is found on the Mint’s series of 50-cent holiday lenticular collector coins begun in 2007. Lenticular printing is a technology in which a lenticular lens is used to produce images with an illusion of depth, or the ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles. In 2007, the Mint used it to simulate blinking lights on a Christmas tree and the movement of a snowman’s arms and upper body in an oversized brass-plated 50-cent collector coin in 2008.
The Royal Canadian Mint’s Vancouver 2010 commemorative circulation coin program also earned a “Runner Up” distinction in the ‘Best New Coin Award’ category of the International Association of Currency Affairs’ (IACA) 2008 Excellence in Currency Awards. The IACA acknowledged that all runners-up “demonstrated the highest standards of technical expertise and innovation to deliver practical, eye-catching and cost effective currency products”.
Petro-Canada, National Partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and one of the official distributors of the Mint’s Vancouver 2010 commemorative circulation coin program, recently rewarded the Mint with a Dreambig Petro-Canada Key Vendor Award. Petro-Canada was especially impressed by the creativity of the promotions and merchandising surrounding the Mint’s collector card versions of the 25-cent coins exclusive to Petro-Canada. The Mint was one of only three vendors to be recognized for leadership in areas such as collaboration on building programs; product, promotion and merchandising innovation; and growing Petro-Canada’s retail channel.
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 of the Mint’s 2008 “99999” Gold Maple Leaf bullion coin and new holiday lenticular coins are available by visiting ftp://communications:RCM2007@ftp.mint.ca