In launching its fourth wave of 2016 collector coins, the Royal Canadian Mint explores the vital importance of water here on planet Earth with its first-ever coin featuring “a unique 3D dome effect in the shape of a water droplet.” “Mother Earth” – the $20 Fine silver coin displaying a three-dimensional impression of a real drop of water – also features engravings of Canadian fauna and flora designed by artist Alexandra Lefort. Surrounding the 3D droplet and an inset image of Earth are the diverse fauna and flora that live across Canada, including in its waters and skies as well as on its land. The coin’s lower-left section represents the country’s terrestrial environment with a Red Fox gazing at the water droplet. Above the fox is a red-headed Woodpecker on a western flowering Dogwood tree that flows upwards and around the top of the coin to an American kestrel that represents an aerial environment. Below, an Orca breaches over the waves with mountains in the background. Continue reading →
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I recently did my first podcast, on the wonderful world of non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) coins. Whenever I hear those words, I always do a quick check for the exits, because it rarely ends well. The good news is that this time Canada came out looking pretty good. For those of you who don’t know, NCLT describes all those coins which have a dollar value, but never see use as money. It includes commemorative coins from the Olympics, the scores of gold and silver coins issued each month, and even provides a technical basement for bullion issues. You can laugh at that, but I remember a time when the $5 face value of a silver maple was higher than the melt value. It also includes the wildly popular series of face value issues, such as the $20 for $20 coins. Those issues are popular because, unlike most NCLT issues, the purchase price is the same as the issue price and because it could go up in value, it creates the idea of a zero risk investment. That program was so successful, both in terms of sales and the acquisition of new customers, that it has been expanded by the Royal Canadian Mint and copied by others. Among those copycats is none other than the venerable Royal Mint, mother of our own.
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