RCM unveils ‘R+D Lab Collection’

The Royal Canadian Mint has launched what it calls the “R+D Lab Collection” featuring new experimental products “delivered straight from the test bed to the customer.”

The first of two products showcasing the Mint’s latest technological forays were issued today and offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Crown corporation’s research and development teams in Ottawa and Winnipeg.

“The products in our ‘R+D Lab Collection’ are tried, tested and true examples of forward-thinking technology that could re-define the future of domestic and foreign coins,” said Xianyao Li, chief technology officer at the Mint.

“I am very proud of working with talented experts in Ottawa and Winnipeg who are behind the Mint’s leadership of the coin industry and I am delighted that their achievements can be publicly celebrated through the ‘R+D Lab Collection.’”

The double concave coin features Robert Ralph Carmichael’s loon design, which is on the reverse of Canada’s $1 circulation coin.


This new product offering consists of real trial pieces produced as the Mint tests new technologies for future coins.

First in the collection is a 2018-dated $1 Fine silver double concave coin engraved with Robert Ralph Carmichael’s common loon design, which graces Canada’s $1 circulation coin. The piece is the Mint’s first-ever 10-ounce silver dollar. The coin is also a piedfort, meaning that it has an extra thick edge, traditionally used when creating a special showpiece of a smaller sized coin.

The unique dimensions of the edge allowed the Mint to strike deep concave contours of more than six millimetres in curvature on both the obverse and reverse sides of the coin. The coin is also enclosed in a unique double concave protective capsule to help collectors appreciate its dramatic and unusual shape. Measuring 60 millimetres in diameter and retailing at $1,999.95, only 112 of these coins were produced.


The second offering in the collection is “R+D” security test token set. This six-piece set is replete with special features highlighting the Mint’s coin security.

Retailing at $49.95 and limited to a mintage of 10,000 sets, it includes:

One of the test tokens features microtext in the animal’s fur, raised and sunken maple leaves and positively and negatively embossed beads.

  • the Mint’s first-ever tri-metallic coin, featuring a brass plated steel outer ring, with an inner core of nickel plated steel and copper-plated steel on the opposite side. Made with the Mint’s multi-ply plated steel (MPPS) technology, it expands the ability to manipulate the electromagnetic signature of a coin, producing an even more complex covert security feature;
  • moose and caribou tokens, featuring microtext, raised and sunken maple leaves as well as positively and negatively embossed beads around their circumference. The microtext on these tokens is hidden in the animal’s fur and it also creates the maple leaf shape that appears above their lower neck;
  • a pair of MPPS tokens engraved with the Mint’s official logo (one brass-finished and the other nickel) also featuring raised and sunken maple leaf and bead patterns; and
  • a pie chart token using various groupings of microtext to create visibly distinct pie- shaped segments. High magnification reveals that the different shadings are actually produced by microscopic letters using laser technology. The microtext can be smaller than 50 microns.

For more information, visit mint.ca.

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