The Story of Canada’s First Mint as told by Dr. Lorne Hammond

In this episode of the Gold Rush Trail storyteller series, we return to the Royal BC Museum to hear another story from the museum’s Curator of History, Dr. Lorne Hammond. What many British Columbians today don’t know is that BC had a mint established in 1861! It was created as there was a shortage of money in the province, despite the gold being found during the rushes. Operating in New Westminster, Francis Claudette became the master of the mint and people could come to him to have their gold and silver turned into solid gold and silver coins. Due to these coins being extremely expensive to make, the mint only lasted one year which means that today, these coins are extremely rare. So rare in fact, that only one of the locations of the silver coins is known today. Here, Dr. Hammond shows us the museum’s collection of the mint which actually predates the Canadian federal mint. It’s the oldest mint in Canada and it was right here on the Fraser River!