Yenra : Collecting : Canadian Poppy Coin : First colored circulation piece commemorates soldiers who gave their lives in service to Canada

Poppy Coin

The Royal Canadian Mint together with the Royal Canadian Legion have unveiled the world's first colored circulation coin, minted with a high speed coloring process. The 25-cent coin features a red poppy, the symbol that pays homage to the 117,000 brave Canadians who gave their lives in the service of the nation.

The red poppy is Canada's flower of remembrance. Each Remembrance Day, Canadians show their abiding respect for those who have freely given their lives for the cause of freedom, justice and peace by wearing a poppy. On the eve of the 2004 Remembrance Day commemorations, the Royal Canadian Mint is proud to launch a landmark colored circulation coin that will remind Canadians in a singular way of our proud role in world history and to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom.

"The poppy is a hallowed symbol to our members and to all Canadians" Said Mary Ann Burdett, Dominion President, The Royal Canadian Legion. "As the guardian of the memory of lost comrades and friends, the Legion has a solemn responsibility to ensure that the poppy is always used in a dignified manner. I want to express my deep appreciation to the Royal Canadian Mint for designing a coin whose unique colored design will make the 2004 Remembrance Day commemoration truly special."

"We owe our veterans a debt we can never repay and the Mint is to be congratulated for having the technical ingenuity to produce a colored coin," said Minister of National Revenue and Minister responsible for the Royal Canadian Mint, the honorable John McCallum. "This will serve to remind all Canadians every day of the importance of supporting the Legion's Poppy and Remembrance Campaign."

"The Mint felt very strongly about dedicating the world's first colored circulation coin to Canada's war veterans," said David C. Dingwall, President and C.E.O. of the Royal Canadian Mint. "The self sacrifice and courage symbolized by the poppy is universally understood by all Canadians and it also epitomizes Canada's pride of place in world history. I want to thank the Royal Canadian Legion for allowing us to use the poppy image, and to congratulate our Mint production team for making this world first possible. More importantly, I hope that the poppy coin will inspire Canadians to support the Legion's 2004 Poppy and Remembrance Campaign, which helps provide needed services and support for our veterans."

Beginning on October 21, 2004, the new poppy coin will be available from Tim Hortons locations across Canada. Tim Hortons, a distinctive Canadian enterprise, is the Mint's exclusive distribution partner for the poppy coin. Because coins are produced to meet demand, poppy coins will also be available at financial institutions in the months following the coin's unveil.

"The Mint has created one of the most unique coins in the world that features a special symbol that all Canadians can relate to and be proud of," said Bill Moir, Executive Vice President, Marketing, for Tim Hortons. "Canadians have supported Tim Hortons for 40 years and our Veterans and current members of the Canadian Forces are some of our most loyal customers. So when the Mint approached Tim Hortons, we knew we had to be a part of this commemorative launch."

To meet the engineering and design challenges entailed in producing the world's first colored circulation coin, the Royal Canadian Mint perfected a high speed coloring process that will generate 30 million coins. The process ensures that the color adheres to the metal and is resistant against wear from daily use or from exposure to common household products and detergents. With normal wear and tear, the color should remain for one to three years, but can be removed with harsh chemicals or friction. A permanent poppy has been struck on the coin, which will retain its full value, even if the red color has been removed.

In addition to the circulation coin, the Royal Canadian Mint is proud to announce that it has minted a 2004 Special Edition Proof Silver Dollar The Poppy. It will feature a finely struck version of the circulation coin design, encapsulated and presented in a display case lined with flock and protected by an outer box. It will be sold for $49.95. Earlier this year, the Mint unveiled a Sterling Silver collector coin to commemorate the D-Day anniversary.

All Royal Canadian Mint products and individual coins are available directly from the Mint. The coins are also available at Canada Post and the Royal Canadian Mint's global network of dealers and distributors.

The Royal Canadian Mint mints and distributes Canada's circulation coins.

The Royal Canadian Legion is Canada's largest veterans organization.