1914 $10 gold coins top auction estimates

Two 1914 $10 gold coins, both certified as Mint State-65 by Professional Coin Grading Service and held in that firm’s Canadian Gold Reserve holder, have outperformed their estimates leading up to their auction south of the border later this week.

Offered as Lots 3448334484 in Heritage Auctions’ World’s Fair of Money sale, the coins are each expected to bring between $1,500 US (about $1,900 Cdn.) and $2,000 US (about $2,525 Cdn.) when they cross the block on Friday morning.

Auctioneers describe the first lot as an “attractively rendered jewel selection that exhibits free-flowing cartwheel luster over harvest-gold fields” and the second lot as a “shimmering gem example of the issue containing blooming, deep golden tone and fluid luster.”

As of Aug. 19 at noon, the top bid for the first lot is $2,300 US, and for the second lot, it’s $2,400 (both excluding buyer’s premiums).

1912-14 GOLD COINS

From 1912-14, the British Royal Mint’s Canadian branch in Ottawa (now the Royal Canadian Mint) produced $5 and $10 gold coins with a purity of 90 per cent (plus sovereigns for the British government with the now-famous “C” mint mark).

Because there was little demand for these coins, they were kept out of circulation at the beginning of the First World War as the government accumulated gold reserves to finance the war. The coins were then held at the Bank of Canada for more than 75 years as part of the federal government’s Exchange Fund Account.

The non-Canadian gold was sold in the 1970s; however, in 2013, the Mint announced about 30,000 of the coins would be sold to convert the proceeds into quality fixed-income securities. The remaining 200,000-plus examples were melted.

“The 1912-14 $5 and $10 Canadian gold coins are at the source of the Royal Canadian Mint’s reputation as a world-class refiner and producer of gold coins and we are delighted that these pieces of our history are back in the spotlight after a nearly century-long absence,” said Ian Bennett, then-president and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “By creating this unique opportunity to purchase Canada’s first gold coins proudly displaying national emblems, the Mint is excited to share these important artifacts with Canadians and collectors worldwide with the help of the Bank of Canada and the Department of Finance.”


The Mint offered the coins in “premium hand-selected” sets of all six denominations produced from 1912-14 in addition to selling “hand-selected” single coins.

The proceeds of this sale, excluding a fixed management fee, was returned to the Exchange Fund Account for the purchase of high-credit quality, marketable fixed-income securities in compliance with the fund’s mandate. According to the Mint, most of the gold for the coins came from the Klondike region in 1912 and from Ontario in previous years.

A total of 5,050 “hand-selected” 1912-, 1913- and 1914-dated $5 coins were sold by the Mint for $500 each.

A total of 18,950 “hand-selected” 1912-, 1913- and 1914-dated $10 coins were sold by the Mint for $1,000 each.

A total of 4,869 “premium hand-selected” 1913- and 1914-dated $10 gold coins were sold as singles by the Mint for $1,750 each. A total of 140 six-coin “premium hand-selected sets,” each featuring $5 and $10 coins struck in 1912, 1913 and 1914, were also issued for $12,000 each. All of these “premium” coins were hand-selected by Mint personnel for maximum eye-appeal and nearly pristine quality. Their luster is described as exceptional and the quality of their strike as superb.

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