Canada strikes first Canadian coin with King’s portrait

As King Charles III celebrated his 75th birthday on Nov. 14, , the Royal Canadian Mint struck the first Canadian coin featuring the effigy of the new monarch.

The 2023-dated $1 circulation coin becomes the first to display the portrait of a new monarch in 70 years after the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II graced Canada’s coins from 1953 to 2023. The contemporary portrait of King Charles III is the work of Canadian artist Steven Rosati, who also participated in the unveiling ceremony held at the RCM’s manufacturing plant in Winnipeg, Man.

Rosati is the third Canadian artist to have designed a royal effigy for Canada’s coinage since 1990. He is preceded by Dora de Pédery-Hunt (1990-2002) and Susanna Blunt (2003-2023).

The Mint plans to release a small volume of coins in all circulating denominations by this December through public coin exchanges and by meeting new market demand through the national coin management system. The Mint says that the addition of King Charles III’s effigy to the obverse of bullion and numismatic coins will also begin this December.

As well, the Mint says the following collector products are being issued in commemoration of this milestone:

Marie Lemay, president and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint, holds a 2023-dated $1 circulation coin — the very first Canadian coin struck with the effigy of King Charles III. Looking on at the right is designer and Canadian artist Steven Rosati. A press operator, left, at the Mint’s plant in Winnipeg. Man., assisted Lemay in striking the first coin today.

“Since opening its doors in 1908, the Mint has featured the portrait of the reigning monarch on Canadian coins. When the Government of Canada announced that the effigy of King Charles III would appear on Canadian coins, we were proud to once more uphold a longstanding Canadian tradition,” said RCM President and CEO Marie Lemay, during a live taping of the unveiling, streamed on YouTube. “Many of our employees worked as one to meet the historic challenge, and we are pleased to be ready for production on the day of His Majesty’s birthday.”

“The Royal Effigy on our coinage is an important Canadian symbol,” said Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s deputy prime minister and finance minister. “Steven Rosati’s portrait is a fitting tribute, and Canada is proud to mark His Majesty’s birthday with the striking of this first circulation coin.”

Following the Canadian government’s May 6 announcement that the obverse (heads side) of future Canadian coins would feature the effigy of King Charles III, the Mint says it immediately launched the process to create this new design. It invited experienced coin designers and Mint engravers to submit their concept of a “made-in-Canada” portrait of Canada’s new king. After many artists and engravers answered this historic call, Montreal-based Steven Rosati prevailed over a strong field of finalists.

Canadian artist Steven Rosati is only the third to have designed a royal effigy for Canada’s coinage since 1990. The official unveil occurred today (Nov. 14) at the RCM’s manufacturing plant in Winnipeg, Man.

“I am honoured and humbled to have had my design of His Majesty King Charles III’s effigy chosen for such a prestigious moment in the history of Canadian coins and very excited and proud to eventually see it in production,” said Rosati. “I am also very grateful to be among the many talented artists who have done designs for the Royal Canadian Mint.”

Meanwhile, in England on Nov. 14., the media reported King Charles III celebrated his milestone birthday with a rousing day of work—launching the charitable Coronation Food Project—and a private celebration with friends and family in the very same place he was born 75 years ago: Buckingham Palace.




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