RCM ‘recognition medal’ wins international award

Medal raised nearly $750,000 for Breakfast Club

The Royal Canadian Mint’s “recognition medal,” issued in June 2020 to raise funds for the Breakfast Club of Canada’s COVID-19 emergency fund, has earned a special award from the International Association of Currency Affairs (IACA).

The IACA award, which recognizes “the best currency initiative implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” honours the Mint’s employee-led undertaking that has since raised more than $743,000 to help Canadian children and their families fight food insecurity. All net proceeds from the sale of each medal were donated to Breakfast Club’s pandemic emergency fund.

“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 Mintmaster Marie Lemay, who began her five-year term at the helm of the Crown corporation in 2019. “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.”

The Mint issued its recognition medal (die shown) in June 2020.


The Mint issued the medal on June 29, 2020 (“RCM issues fundraising medal to honour COVID-19 ‘heroes,’” CCN Vol. 58 #8).

The Mint’s first donation – for $100,000 – came less than a month later, and by the end of last year, the Crown corporation donated another $400,000. So far this year, sales of the medal have added more than $340,000 to the fund.

One side of the wearable medal, struck in nickel-plated steel, features a heart and maple leaf icon, representing Canadians’ “collective spirit,” according to Mint officials. An array of micro-mirrors covering the heart also creates a “pulsating light effect that evokes Canada’s strong heartbeat.”

The medal marked 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,” reads a statement issued by the Mint on Sept. 28.

“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.”

The project was conceived and implemented in less than two months, according to the Mint.

The medal retails for $9.95 and includes a magnet so it can be worn on either side.

1 Comment

  • MissCassidy says:

    I like them. I purchased two: one for wearing and one for my collection. I like that they can be worn with the magnet, so they have an additional purpose.

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