Coins, stamp celebrate Sir John’s birthday

As Canada approaches the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Royal Canadian Mint is proud to launch a two-dollar circulation coin celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.

The coin was unveiled Sunday at Sir John A. Macdonald community birthday celebrations in Kingston.

“Today we are celebrating the Right Honourable Sir John A. Macdonald, an architect of Canada’s Confederation and one of our country’s most important political figures,” said Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Royal Canadian Mint. “His profoundly influential story as a historic nation-builder and fierce defender of our values and borders now has a permanent place on a circulation coin which will touch Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”

“The Mint is proud to share great Canadian stories, including the remarkable Sir John A. Macdonald on our coins,” said Marc Brûlé, Interim President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint.  “As Canada counts down to the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Mint will continue to honour people and events which have shaped our nation and we will soon ask Canadians to actively participate in our program.”

The coin’s reverse image was designed by Canadian artist Glen Green and is inspired by archival photographs of Sir John A. Macdonald. Limited to a mintage of five million coins, Canadians can start looking for this coin in their change, attend coin exchanges at special events in select locations across Canada and at the Mint’s Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver boutiques, or obtain limited quantities through an online coin exchange at (limited to Canada only).

To further commemorate this milestone anniversary, related numismatic coins are also available to order now and will be available at Mint boutiques as of January 13th:

•  A $10 silver coin with selective gold plating featuring an original
portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald by Canadian artist Joel Kimmel ($69.95);
•  A $20 ‎silver coin featuring a striking portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald
by Canadian artist William Lazos, against the backdrop of the original
Parliament Buildings ($89.95); and
•  A $100 14-karat gold coin featuring an original portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald
by Glen Green along with one of Macdonald’s achievements,
the completion of the Canadian Pacific railway ($599.95).

macdonald coin



  • mirrorfinish says:

    The stamp and toonie were unveiled at a private, invitation-only ceremony in Kingston. And while top officials from both Canada Post and the Mint were present, neither one spoke at the event. In fact, not a word was said about the design of either the stamp or the coin as they were unveiled. Time was allotted for Kingston’s mayor, Ontario’s Lt.-Governor, and the Prime Minister, whose words centered on Macdonald, but there was nothing noted about the stamp and coin. Later, the hall was opened to the public, and, thankfully, the Mint was on hand to sell the new coin. Canada Post, however, was nowhere to be seen. They should have occupied a table and had the new Macdonald stamp for sale, plus first day covers, AND offer a hand-back cancellation featuring the first day postmark. Otherwise, what kind of first day ceremony is this?

    Key points for future First Day ceremonies:
    1) Always have a ceremony open to the public. A stamp or coin is a public commemoration, and issuing them privately, behind closed doors, runs counter to the spirit and intent of a public release.
    2) Have products on hand to sell. Collectors and the general public will happily take an interest in the new items, amid the excitement of the event.
    3) Have the first day postmark available. The postmark which appears nationwide on first day covers needs to be available in the place selected for the honor of being the first day city. If you can’t get a first day postmark in the first day city on the first day of issue, there is no integrity to the cancellation.

  • mirrorfinish says:

    TAILS, YOU LOSE: When a country honors one of its Founding Fathers, you’d think it would put his image on the front of a coin–the ‘heads’ side. Here, the Mint marked John Macdonald’s 200th birthday this week by putting his face on the BACKside.
    It’s shocking, but no Canadian has EVER appeared on the obverse of a Canadian coin. It’s time to change who’s on our change, and honor our own people. Let’s tell the Mint it’s time to start making sense.

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