The Royal Canadian Mint is honored 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 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 looking 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 the nation’s grateful spirit. The heart in the centre of the group symbolizes Canadians coming together in appreciation for the essential workers. Their dedication and bravery is recognized, 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.
For more information on the medal go to the Royal Canadian Mint website.