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Fire at Winnipeg - Royal Canadian Mint
January 22, 2008

Fire at RCM in Winnipeg The Royal Canadian Mint facility in Winnipeg experienced a fire early Sunday evening which caused about $300,000 in damage. Fire officials think the cause may have been an electrical short near an electroplating vat. In terms of building I think that Winnipeg may be the more current of the two mint plants operated by the RCM, having been built in the mid 1970's and opened in 1976. Ottawa may be an older building dating back to 1908, but I think it has more high tech equiptment in use today, as it strikes the majority of commemorative coins, while Winnipeg does the circulation issues, using modern high speed equipment. This is at least the third fire at the Winnipeg plant of the RCM since 2005. A fire in 2007 closed down the coin plating line. Problems with sprinkler installation have been a sore point for the RCM and were at the root of the second fire. Visitors can get a tour of the Winnipeg manufacturing plant for $5.00, though I am not sure how this fire might effect that option. The RCM Headquarters at Ottawa can also be toured for the same price. Seeing that the RCM tends to be an innovator in the world of commemorative coinage, touring their facilities might be well worthy of a summer trip.
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About the Author
Tom Michael has been Krause Publications primary market analyst on more than 80 world and United States coin catalogs produced over the last 20 years. He came to KP in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts degree in economics and a history of coin collecting stretching back to the 1960s. He began collecting world coins as a child by asking friends and relatives to bring coins back from overseas trips, visiting flea markets and having his mother watch for foreign coins in her register at the local grocery store. Today he works with a dedicated base of over 200 contributors to provide accurate market values for the five-volume Standard Catalog of World Coins series, as well as many specialty catalogs, including Coins & Currency of the Middle East and the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins.

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