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Coin Production

Coin Production

A high-tech world leader

Coins in hand

Our Ottawa headquarters and Winnipeg manufacturing plant form one of the world's most sophisticated minting operations, equipped with incredibly advanced coin production technologies.

We're proud of our patents and industry firsts:
• Patented, cost-saving plated coin technology
• Patented locking mechanism for high security bi-metallic coinage
• Patents pending for coloured coin technology, hologram technology, and silver and gold refining processes
• The Royal Canadian Mint produced the first 9999 fine gold bullion coin
• We also produced the largest 99999 fine gold coinage

In-house research and development

We lead the global minting industry in blank burnishing and blank polishing, two advanced technologies that were perfected here by our in-house research and development team.

Our engineers also innovate by identifying new, previously discovered uses for applications, procedures and even machines.

Multi-ply plated steel: more secure, less costly

Volatile base metal prices and rising production costs have created global demand for an alternative to the conventional coin. The Mint's revolutionary patented multi-ply plated steel technology offers significant advantages:

  • Substantial savings in time and materials: multi-ply plating uses less nickel, copper or bronze than usual methods, and is dramatically quicker than single-ply
  • Superior performance: nickel plate resists tarnishing better than cupronickel and ferritic stainless steel
  • Heightened security: multi-ply coins possess optimum electromagnetic readability, to ensure security and prevent vending machine fraud

Since 2000, the Canadian government has saved millions of dollars thanks to multi-ply plated steel. Our customers throughout the world also benefit from the Mint's advanced technology.

Metal refining

Refining metal

5 steps from ore to pure
The gold used by the Mint is refined in five major stages:

1. Pre-melt
Doré bars in purities ranging from 5% to 95% are melted in a furnace. Dip samples are taken from the molten gold to determine its purity.

2. Chlorination
Chlorine gas is injected into the molten metal mix. All metals but gold float to the surface to form a slag of molten chloride. The resulting 995 fine gold is poured into an anode mould.

3. Degolding
Soda ash is added to the molten chloride slag recovered from chlorination. The reaction causes gold particles to collect in a silver-gold alloy 'button' that settles at the bottom of the crucible.

4. Electrolysis
This process brings gold to 9999 purity. The gold anode is placed in a bath containing a solution of hydrochloric acid and gold chloride. The anode is then subjected to an electric current. The anode dissolves, and the dissolved gold plates onto a titanium cathode. Impurities (mostly silver) fall to the bottom of the cell or form soluble chlorides.

5. Final pour
9999 fine gold is cast into bars of various sizes or turned into granulation gold.

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