The long-sought philosopher’s stone is located in the south eastern corner of Winnipeg. Here the dreams and ambitions of countless get-rich-quick artists over the centuries have come true. Here is what revenue-strapped monarchs and governments dreamed of for centuries, and perhaps still do.

In a glowing gold and glass building, hundreds of people work the ancient art of alchemy… the transmutation of common metals into gold or silver. Inside the 160,000 sq foot Royal Canadian Mint on Lagimodiere Blvd they create value from relatively low-cost raw materials. And it’s a lot of value. Since the loonie was launched, more than one billion have been produced in this building, about 30 coins for each one of us.

Bramwell Ryan recently produced a package of copy and photos for Canadian Geographic on Canada’s gold standard – the loonie – which turns 25 in 2012. Here are some images from that assignment that capture how the Mint stamps out value.

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