By Mike Walsh
Demand for Canadian coins featuring the portrait of King Charles III temporarily shut down the Royal Canadian Mint’s online store shortly after the Crown corporation released details on the new strikes.
“I can say the level of customer interest in the launch of His Majesty’s effigy exceeded our expectations and did temporarily disrupt our online platform,” said Alex Reeves, the mint’s senior manager of public affairs. “The site has since been stabilized and we are thrilled to be sharing this special moment with many fellow Canadians and customers from around the world.”
As King Charles III celebrated his 75th birthday on Nov. 14, the Royal Canadian Mint’s president and CEO Marie Lemay struck the first Canadian coin featuring the effigy of the new monarch: a 2023-dated $1 circulation coin. The unveiling took place at about 2 p.m. ET at the mint’s manufacturing plant in Winnipeg, where every single Canadian circulation coin is made.
Shortly thereafter, the mint released details on three collector products featuring the new effigy of King Charles III:
• 2023 Classic Uncirculated Set, First Strikes
• 2023 50-cent Special Wrap Circulation Roll
• 2023 Special Wrap Roll Collection, First Strikes
It wasn’t long after this announcement that mint.ca crashed due to the heavy volumes. The website was down for about an hour.
The contemporary portrait of King Charles III is the work of Canadian artist Steven Rosati, who also participated in the unveiling ceremony. Rosati is the third Canadian artist to design a royal effigy for Canada’s coinage since 1990. He is preceded by Dora de Pédery-Hunt (1990-2002) and Susanna Blunt (2003-23).