The Royal Canadian Mint is issuing a new $ 2 circulating coin that celebrates the fact that, 100 years ago, four researchers achieved a Canadian medical breakthrough that changed the world forever. In 1921, the collaboration between Frederick Banting, Charles Best, James Collip, and John Macleod led to the isolation and purification of insulin and offered vital treatment for people whose lives would previously have been shortened by diabetes. Celebrating a life-saving Canadian medical discovery, the coin will begin circulation today.
“The 1921 Canadian Nobel Prize-winning discovery of insulin is one of the most recognized medical developments of the 20th century, saving millions of lives in Canada and around the world,” said the Honorable Chrystia Freeland, Vice First Minister and Minister of Finance. “Parliament passed legislation last month to establish a national diabetes framework and we are delighted that this commemorative coin is being distributed from coast to coast as a tribute to one of Canada’s greatest scientific triumphs, and as a reminder of the critical importance of the next century of diabetes research.”
A unique privilege
“The Mint is uniquely privileged to create lasting reminders of Canadian achievements through coins, and is proud that its newest $ 2 circulating coin celebrates the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin in Canada.” said Marie Lemay, president and CEO of the Mint. “This commemorative circulating coin is a heartfelt and lasting ‘thank you’ to the talented researchers behind a Canadian medical breakthrough that has saved millions of lives over the past 100 years and continues to do so today.”
The reverse of the circulating $ 2 coin commemorating the 100th discovery of insulin as a treatment for diabetes was designed by Jesse Koreck, an artist from Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. A focal point of the design is a monomer, a component of the insulin molecule. Scientific instruments used in the early formulation of insulin (vial, mortar and pistil and Erlenmeyer flask) are also presented on a maple leaf, red blood cells, glucose and insulin molecules. The words “INSULIN” / “INSULINE” appear on the outer ring of the coin, as do the years “1921” and “2021”, highlighting the anniversary.
The laboratory instruments represent the “working tools” of the four researchers behind the discovery and application of insulin for human use. Frederick Banting developed the theory that a pancreatic substance could be removed as a possible treatment for diabetes and led the research; John Macleod provided a laboratory and equipment at the University of Toronto and appointed Charles Best as a laboratory assistant; and biochemist Charles Collip purified the insulin extracts for use as an effective treatment for diabetes.
Reminder of the revolutionary scientific advance that took place here in Canada
“The new circulating coin, commemorating the 100th anniversary of insulin, is a visual reminder of the revolutionary scientific advance that took place here in Canada,” said Laura Syron, President and CEO of Diabetes Canada. “Although insulin brought a miraculous change in life expectancy and quality of life for millions of people around the world, it is not a cure. Together with the support of Canadians and Canadian researchers, we will continue the legacy of Frederick Banting, Charles Best, James Collip and John Macleod to End Diabetes “.
In total, two million units in color and one million units without colors will begin to circulate as of today. The colorful coins feature the insulin monomer in the same blue color used for diabetes awareness. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Canadian artist Susanna Blunt in 2003.
The Mint joins this commemoration with a collectible set that includes both versions of the commemorative circulating coin, packed with non-circulating versions of our classic 2021 circulating coins (5 cents to $ 2). It sells for $ 24.95 and will be minted 100,000. Also offered are 10,000 limited edition color and uncolored coin wrapping rolls containing 25 non-circulating coins each, available for $ 79.95. Lastly, an exclusive $ 200 pure gold coin with a large-scale version of the design on the reverse of the circulating coin is available for $ 3,999.95 and limited to 450 coins worldwide.