First impressions can be unforgettable, and in 2022, the Royal Canadian Mint gives you the opportunity to collect first impressions for yourself. In this context, “first impressions” refer to the first circulation coins to be struck for 2022 at the RCM facility in Winnipeg. Canadian coin rolls in each denomination are collected and displayed side-by-side in a special box for presentation.
What Is the History Behind the Royal Canadian Mint’s Winnipeg Location?
Rising up majestically from the prairie surrounding it, the Winnipeg location for the Royal Canadian Mint is an impressive glass-panelled building that is roughly the shape of a triangle. The Number Ten Architectural Group collaborated with Design Architect Etienne Gaboury to create the design. The year 1976 saw the official opening of the Winnipeg facility.
The history of the Royal Canadian Mint dates back to 1908, the first time that coins intended for circulation in Canada were produced here. Prior to that date, Canadian coins were minted in England and shipped over. Based in Ottawa, the Mint had reached its capacity in 1960, requiring the Mint to outsource the production of many Canadian dimes to the Philadelphia Mint in the United States. The Master of the Mint and the Minister of Finance agreed on the need for a new facility to relieve the pressure on the Ottawa facility.
The location of the proposed new facility was debated for over a decade. Winnipeg was suggested as a site as part of restitution for closing many military bases in Manitoba. There were pros and cons to the Winnipeg proposal. It would be easier to purchase the raw materials in Alberta and ship them to Manitoba rather than all the way to Ontario, and this would reduce the need for making the purchases from outside of Canada. On the other hand, the distance between the Winnipeg and Ottawa locations could make distribution and communication between the two sites more difficult. There were also questions regarding the legality of producing Canadian money outside the region of the capital.
Ultimately, the legal and logistical issues were settled to everyone’s satisfaction, the Winnipeg facility was agreed upon, and construction began in 1972. Today, the Winnipeg facility produces all Canadian circulation coins, as well as coins for several other countries, while numismatic coins are still produced in Ottawa.
What Is Significant About the Images on the Reverse of Canadian Coins?
Every coin tells a story, and images on the reverse of Canadian circulation coins each communicate something important about our country. The reverse image on the 10-cent coin is unique because it is the only one not to feature an animal since the discontinuation of the one-cent coin in 2013. Instead, the image on the back of the dime is a famous sailing vessel called the Bluenose, which represents Canada’s history of maritime endeavours.
The beaver has been iconic in Canada’s early history for centuries but has only been the image on the back of the five-cent coin since 1937. The hard-working beaver symbolizes qualities that Canadians value, and fur trapping and trading were important to Canada’s early economy.
The caribou, polar bear, and common loon on the 25-cent, two-dollar, and one-dollar coins respectively are each an example of wildlife that is significant to both the ecosystem and Canadian identity.
What Is Special About This Collection of Canadian Coin Rolls?
In addition to containing some of the first coins struck for 2022 in each denomination, each of these coin rolls bears a special label. Within a Canadian maple leaf insignia is a holographic recreation of the reverse image on each denomination of coin, making each roll similar but unique.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and similarly, there is a limited number of coins that can be called the Royal Canadian Mint’s first strikes of 2022. The RCM is only selling 5,000 of these collectable sets. They are available for sale at Colonial Acres while supplies last.