Press Releases

The Royal Canadian Mint’s Recognition Medal Wins International Award for Best Currency Initiative in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Recognition Medal raised almost $750,000 for Breakfast Club of Canada

OTTAWA, ON, Sept. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Royal Canadian Mint is honoured that its Recognition Medal earned the International Association of Currency Affairs (IACA) special award for the Best Currency Initiative Implemented in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic (Other Organization).  Launched in June 2020, the Recognition Medal was an employee-led undertaking that transformed the by-product of a circulation coin manufacturing contract into an artful, meaningful and lasting way to say thank you to front line workers and everyday heroes who made it possible for Canadians to safely continue their daily lives throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  All net proceeds from the sale of each medal were donated to Breakfast Club of Canada’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund.  In all, the Mint raised $743,845.88 to help Canadian children and their families fight food insecurity during the pandemic.

The Royal Canadian Mint's Recognition Medal

“The Mint has won several international awards for innovation in the past, but IACA’s special award is especially meaningful to our employees, who banded together to transform spare coin-making materials into positive change for communities across Canada at a very challenging time in our history,” said Marie Lemay, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “This recognition by our industry peers, and the response of Canadians who helped us donate so much to children in need have inspired us to do even more to help fellow Canadians still challenged by the pandemic.  Due to this success, we are alooking forward to announcing a new medal later this year.”

One side of the Recognition Medal features a heart and maple leaf icon representing the collective spirit of Canadians. The maple leaf and heart as one symbolize Canadians banding together to help those in need. A complex array of micro-mirrors covering the heart creates a pulsating light effect that evokes Canada’s strong heartbeat.

The second side represents our nation’s grateful spirit. The heart in the centre of the group symbolizes Canadians coming together in appreciation for our essential workers.  We recognize their dedication and bravery, and the micro text represents the thankful voices of a nation.

It was the first time the Mint’s pulsating technology was applied to plated circulation material.  This machining of thousands of tiny cubic micro-mirrors, reflecting light at different angles to simulate motion, had previously been limited to silver collector coins, produced in much smaller quantities.

Producing over 100,000 medals with this effect proved that we could achieve strong die life and consistent quality of the optical feature on harder circulation coin products. The bi-metal coin slugs were also reshaped through a retooled blanking process to ensure proper electroplating and high speed striking.

All this was conceived and implemented in less than two months.

Complete background on this project, including videos and still photography can be found here .

About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada’s circulation coins. 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, its products and services, visit  Follow the Mint on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

About IACA
Working hand in hand with the public and private sector, IACA’s goal is to provide an international exchange for consultation and collaboration on matters of interest to stakeholders in the cash payments cycle and to give back to the industry through the benefits provided from our various project work, programs and information resources. Member companies include all stakeholders in the cash payments cycle, including: central banks; currency issuing authorities; ministries of finance; state and commerical printworks; state and commercial mints; cash management companies; currency industry suppliers and cash handling suppliers.

Alex Reeves, Senior Manager, Public Affairs, (613) 884-6370,

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