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Updated 01/30/2024

The Royal Canadian Mint & 
Canadian Bullion Coins

History of the Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM), constructed in Ottawa, Ontario, from 1905-1908, was initially built to be a satellite branch of the Royal Mint in London, England.

Prior to the satellite branch's construction, most Canadian coins were struck in London, England, using gold mined during Canada's gold rush in British Columbia and the Yukon.

During the opening ceremony for the Royal Canadian Mint's facility in early 1908, Canada's Governor General, Earl Grey, activated the press that struck Canada's first domestically produced coin, a fifty-cent piece.

Before the end of the opening ceremony, the Countess Grey struck
Canada's first bronze cent, signifying the official opening of the Ottawa branch of Britain's Royal Mint.

Royal Canadian Mint - East View from Sussex Drive

(Photo Courtesy of HMdb.org)

In the Mint's early years, it produced gold sovereigns, Canadian coins, and it refined millions of ounces of gold.

The new branch of the Royal Mint carried out its services for the British Empire throughout World War I; this included making gun part for British troops.

Royal Canadian Mint

On December 1, 1931, the Canadian branch of the Royal Mint was transferred to Canada's Government and renamed the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM).

After years of setting new coinage and refining records, the RCM was established as a Crown Corporation in April 1969 under the Royal Canadian Mint Act to mint coins and conduct related operations.

The Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa designs and tools the dies for striking coins, and it refines and produces precious metal in various forms, including Canadian bullion coins, numismatic coins, bars, wafers, grains, medals, and medallions.

In 1982, the Ottawa refinery of the RCM achieved the world's first purification of gold to .9999, a purity level with only one hundred parts per million of impurities.

The Winnipeg Mint

In order to meet the demand for coins, the Royal Canadian Mint constructed a second mint in Winnipeg in 1976 when its main facility in Ottawa reached capacity.

The Winnipeg Mint is a high-volume manufacturing plant covering a total area of 59,000 square feet that produces all Canadian coins for circulation.

In 2019, for the first time in 43 years, the Royal Canadian Mint's Winnipeg facility struck pure gold and fine silver numismatic coins.

These special coins are the product of a unique marriage of expertise between Winnipeg and Ottawa employees who collaborated to create "made in Manitoba" tributes to the Mint's world-renowned Maple Leaf bullion coins.

On June 13, 2013, the Royal Canadian Mint opened a new 70,000-square-foot, $60 million plating facility expansion and the Hieu C. Truong Center of Excellence for Research and Development.

The plating expansion enables the Mint to increase production of multi-ply plated steel blanks and other advanced plated products by two billion pieces per year.

The new Center of Excellence, named for one of the Mint's most celebrated innovators, will ensure that the Corporation remains at the leading edge of minting technology.

Innovative Tech & .99999 Refining

The Royal Canadian Mint is globally known for its innovation, attention to detail, and achievements in technology, which include:

  • Patented, cost-saving plated coin technology
  • Patented locking mechanism for high-security bi-metallic coinage
  • Patents pending for colored coin technology, hologram technology, and silver and gold refining processes.

As mentioned earlier, in 1982, the Royal Canadian Mint achieved the milestone of refining gold to a purity of .9999; in 1999, the RCM surpassed that milestone by refining the first .99999 (five 9's) gold with a purity of only ten parts per million.

The Royal Canadian Mint is the only Mint in the world crafting coins from .99999 pure gold.

Royal Canadian Mint - One Million Dollar Coin - Reverse Side

The Royal Canadian Mint has repeatedly celebrated this milestone by issuing many bullion coins composed of .99999 gold, including a million-dollar bullion coin.

The 2007 Canadian gold bullion coin, named "The Big Maple Leaf," is a unique 100kg (3,215 troy ounces) showpiece designed as a one-of-a-kind item.

Several well-financed investors thought otherwise and came forward showing interest in owning one of these "one of a kind" gold bullion coins.

Five of the 100 kilogram gold "The Big Maple Leaf" bullion coins have been purchased from the Royal Canadian Mint, but only four remain due to a 2017 theft, as this article details here.

The "Call of the Wild"

In 2014, the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) introduced the .99999 Gold 'Call of the Wild' bullion coin series, minted in the purest 'five 9s' gold bullion coin on the market.

Its reverse side features iconic wildlife that inhabits the Canadian wilderness.

The gold bullion coin features curved lines representing the sound waves of each animal's 'Call of the Wild.'

New Anti-Counterfeiting Tech

From 2013 to 2018, the Royal Canadian Mint came out with several new technological innovations to their bullion coins to combat counterfeiting.

  • Radial Lines on Obverse and Reverse sides of the coins
  • Laser Mark - Micro Engraving
  • Bullion DNA, a unique new authentication process
  • MINTSHIELD surface protection found exclusively on Silver Maple Leaf bullion coins to stop "Milk Spots"  (click graphic to enlarge)

Canadian Bullion Coin Values

The "Face Value" of a bullion coin does not represent the "Intrinsic Value" of a precious metal bullion coin.

In regards to a coin, a coin's intrinsic value is determined by what it consists of and how much it weighs.

Canadian Bullion Coins are bought and sold based on the current market spot price of gold, silver, or platinum, plus a premium to cover minting, handling, distribution, and marketing costs.

Furthermore, the lower the mintage of a coin, the more a collector's premium will be attached to it.

Only recently did the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) start to offer "Premium Bullion Coins" to the public in special assay cards. 

Overall, the RCM wholesales their bullion coins in large volumes to a global network of bullion distributors who have the required infrastructure to meet market needs. 

SourceThe Royal Canadian Mint

Royal Canadian Mint - The Worlds Most Secure Bullion Coins

Free Ground Shipping on all RCM orders over $100 (Canada & US).

Gold Maple Leaf
Canadian Bullion Coins

1979 - Present

cdn maple leaf

1 oz. Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Bullion Coin

1/2 oz. Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Bullion Coin

1/4 oz. Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Bullion Coin

1/10 oz. Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Bullion Coin

1/20 oz. Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Bullion Coin

Anniversary Gold Maple Leaf
Canadian Bullion Coin


Gold Maple Leaf Bullion Coin

1 oz. 40th Anniversary Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Bullion Coin

.99999 Gold 'Call of the Wild'
Canadian Bullion Coin

2014 - 2020

99999 Gold

1 oz. Canadian .99999 Gold 'Call of the Wild' Bullion Coin

Silver Maple Leaf
Canadian Bullion Coins

1988 - Present

silver maple leaf

1 oz. Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Bullion Coin

Silver Maple Leaf
Canadian Bullion Coins

2013 & 2018

25th anniversary silver maple leaf

1 oz. 25th Anniversary Silver Maple Leaf Bullion Coin

30th anniversary silver maple leaf

1 oz. 30th Anniversary Silver Maple Leaf Bullion Coin

The  1oz. Canadian Wildlife Silver
Bullion Coin Series

2011 - 2013


Timber Wolf





silver wolf






Wood Bison

2006 1/2 oz. Silver Timber Wolf
 Canadian Bullion Coin

half oz silver timber wolf

1/2  oz. Silver Timber Wolf Bullion Coin

Platinum Maple Leaf
Canadian Bullion Coins

1988 - Present

platinum maple leaf

1 oz. Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf Bullion Coin

 Canadian Bullion Coins

2005 - Present

palladium maple leaf

1 oz. Canadian Palladium Maple Leaf Bullion Coin

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