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Ottawa, Ontario, December 6, 2011 – The Royal Canadian Mint was honoured today to host His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada to strike a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, marking the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty's accession to the throne in 1952. A total of 60,000 of these medals, which will serve to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians as they are awarded throughout 2012, are being proudly handcrafted by the Royal Canadian Mint, at its Ottawa facility.
"For over 70 years, the handcrafting of medals has been integral to the Royal Canadian Mint's role in commemorating Canadian achievement and we are proud to continue that tradition with the production of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal," said Ian E. Bennett, the Mint's President and CEO. "The Mint is delighted to join fellow Canadians in paying homage to Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee through the production of this medal, as well as by issuing an exciting array of collector coins celebrating this exceptional milestone in Canadian royal history."
The design of the medal, created by the Canadian Heraldic Authority, as part of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, was first unveiled by the Governor General at Rideau Hall on February 3, 2011. The Royal Canadian Mint transformed this two-dimensional drawing into an ultra high-relief work of art which pays tribute to Her Majesty's historic legacy and to the exceptional accomplishments of 60,000 Canadians. This is the second such commission for the Mint, which was also privileged to produce the 2002 Golden Jubilee Medal.
Composed of nickel silver and featuring a proof finish, the obverse of the medal depicts a crowned image of the Sovereign, in whose name the medal is bestowed. The reverse marks the sixtieth anniversary of the accession to the Throne of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The anniversary is expressed by the central diamond shape, by the background composed of a pattern of diamonds, and by the dates 1952-2012. The Royal Cypher consists of the Royal Crown above the letters EIIR (i.e., Elizabeth II Regina, the latter word meaning Queen in Latin). The maple leaves refer to Canada, while the motto VIVAT REGINA means "Long live The Queen".
The ribbon uses a new arrangement of the blue, red and white colours found in the 1953 Coronation Medal, the 1977 Silver Jubilee Medal, and the 2002 Golden Jubilee Medal.
The inaugural presentation ceremony of the Diamond Jubilee Medal will take place in February 2012.
The Mint has already begun to count down to the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty's reign with an extensive collection of coins dedicated to this theme. In May 2011, the Mint released a pure silver and crystal coin as its first collectible and several other collector keepsakes, including a world-first gold coin incorporating a genuine diamond, followed in October. More collector coins will join the diamond Jubilee celebration in March 2012.
About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada's circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2008 certified company, the Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. For more information on the Mint, its products and services, visit www.mint.ca.
Images and information on the Diamond Jubilee Medal are available from the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General's web site at www.gg.ca.
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For more information, please contact:
Senior Manager, Communications
Royal Canadian Mint
(613) 949-5777 (Tel)
(613) 884-6370 (Cell)