The Royal Canadian Mint is pleased to honour Canada’s iconic “penny” circulation coin, whose production officially ended on May 4, 2012, with an exquisite array of fine silver and gold collectibles, as well as gift products, which pay respect to the penny’s unforgettable legacy as both a pillar of Canadian commerce and an integral part of our cultural history. These limited-edition products include a miniature pure gold coin; a selectively gold-plated silver coin; a five-ounce silver coin; and a five-coin set of fine silver “penny-sized” coins showcasing the evolution of one-cent circulation coin designs since the Mint first opened for business in 1908. Launch plans for the last one million pennies produced for circulation will be announced at a later date.
“After helping satisfy the needs of Canada’s trade and commerce since Confederation, the Canadian penny is retiring with honour and distinction thanks in part to the launch of beautiful gold and silver collector products commemorating this historic coin,” said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “The maple leaf design of the penny became a Canadian icon 75 years ago and we are proud to celebrate it on new collector products which are as unforgettable as the coin which inspired them.”
The Royal Canadian Mint's "Farewell to the Penny" Collector Coins
On May 4, 2012, the striking of Canada’s last one-cent circulation coin marked the end of an era in Canadian coinage history. Despite its changing role as a tool of Canadian commerce, the penny remains a vibrant part of our language and popular culture. By appearing on all one-cent circulation coins from 1937 to 2012 except for the celebration of Canada’s 1967 Centennial, the iconic maple leaf design of the penny is one of the most enduring symbols of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mint is pleased to capture it on an impressive assortment of finely crafted collector coins.
The Mint’s farewell tribute to the penny begins with a 1/25 ounce, 99.99% pure gold coin featuring the timeless maple leaf design created by artist George Edward Kruger-Gray in 1937. The image of two upright five-lobed maple leaves, one slightly overlapping the other, appears on the reverse of this classic coin, along with the date of the penny’s last production, “2012,” its face value, and the word “CANADA”. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt. Limited to a world-wide mintage of only 12,000 examples, this coin retails for $124.95 CDN. This coin is also featured in exclusive jewelry products consisting of a ladies’ pendant and men’s cufflinks, both set in sterling silver and retailing for $229.95 and $299.95 CDN respectively.
Another stunning take on the penny’s signature design graces the reverse of a half-ounce 99.99% pure silver coin with a one-cent denomination. G.E. Kruger-Gray’s maple leaves, selectively plated in pink gold, leap from the mirror-like surface of this proof silver keepsake measuring 34 mm in diameter (nearly twice the size of a regular penny). Only 30,000 of these 2012-dated coins are available world-wide, each retailing for $54.95 CDN.
An even more striking tribute consists of a five-ounce, 65mm-wide, 99.99% pure silver coin capturing every detail of the G.E. Kruger-Gray penny design. Through boldly contrasting finishes, its frosted maple leaves and twig stand out from the coin’s richly textured background. Uniquely denominated at one cent in face value, this coin also has an exclusive mintage of only 1,500 examples world-wide and retails for $495.95 CDN.
The final homage to our one-cent circulation coin is a five-coin fine silver set which takes us back to the penny’s Canadian beginnings, when Lady Grey, wife of then-Governor General of Canada Earl Grey, struck our first domestically-produced penny at the opening ceremony of the Mint’s Ottawa facility on January 2, 1908. The coin has since undergone five design changes, each of which appears on individual 99.99% pure silver coins, each the same diameter as a regular penny. Each coin also features the effigy of the monarch who reigned at the time of their issue. Limited to 5,000 sets whose certificate recounts the entire history of Canada’s penny, this product celebrates the pennies of 1902-10; 1911-20; 1920-1936; 1937-2012: and the exceptional 1967 Rock Dove design by legendary Canadian artist Alex Colville, commissioned for the celebration of Canada’s centennial. Presented in a luxurious beauty box, these sets retail for $149.95 CDN.
All of these products can be ordered by directly contacting the Royal Canadian Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in the US, or on the Internet at www.mint.ca. These coins will also be sold at the Mint's boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver as well as through the Mint’s global network of dealers and distributors, including participating Canada Post outlets.