Thanks to a little-known program operated by the Royal Canadian Mint, Canadians may have the newest coins in their pockets at any time since Confederation. Called the alloy recovery program, it is system where older-composition coins are culled out of circulation and replaced with new versions. The old coins are mutilated and then melted for the value of the metal, mostly nickel for most coins. The program was instituted in 2004, shortly after the introduction of plated-steel coins. It was introduced for the recovery of coins from five cents through to 50 cents. While the older five-cent coins were struck in cupro-nickel, the other values were all solid nickel. The program also solved a problem for the vending industry, as the newer coins were slightly lighter than the old nickel pieces. That meant machines had to be calibrated with broader tolerance for differences in weight than normal. Continue reading →
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I don’t think I’d be going out on a limb if I said that most of today’s collectors started out with pocket change. I have told before the story about how I went through the family penny jar, or in our case a tube that originally contained some sort of rye, sorting out coins and picking up the ones I liked, so I won’t bore you by rehashing that old tale. The truth is, a fairly large number of people I have talked to over the years have had similar stories. Variety in pocket change is a great way to get the attention of new collectors. It also helps that the coins can be acquired with no risk. When you pull a coin out of circulation, you essentially sell it to yourself for face value. If you decide you don’t want it later on, you can still simply spend it and get back your investment.
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