By Jesse Robitaille
Long-time collector Steve Zimmermann has found a modern error on a 2014 silver coin with what’s supposed to be selective gold plating.
The Royal Canadian Mint issued 8,500 of the one-ounce silver coins, dubbed “Perched Bald Eagle,” in 2014. The proof-quality piece belongs to the Mint’s five-coin series of silver, gold and platinum coins – all issued that year – featuring various bald eagle designs; however, the example the Mint shipped to Zimmermann is entirely plated in gold, including on both the obverse and reverse designs plus the serrated edges, rather than selective gold plating.
“I don’t let it out of my sight,” said Zimmermann, who added he’s “sure it’s not a tarnish” (referring to the dark-coloured toning found on some silver coins) because the coin’s cameo and mirror finishes remain in place in the proper areas.
Both the obverse effigy and reverse eagle design feature the proper cameo finish while the background designs and field feature the proper mirror finish.
“It’s just like it’s supposed to be – but in gold instead of silver.”
A coin collector since the Mint issued its 1967 Centennial series, Zimmermann began focusing on modern material in about 2007, since which time he has purchased nearly $200,000 worth of coins – sometimes as much as $15,000 a year – from the Crown corporation.
In recent years, his collecting focus has been on coins whose themes and designs he enjoys. Once they’re delivered to him, he takes a quick look before storing them for future cataloguing, which he began this summer as he entered what he called “semi-retirement.”
It was early October when he once again came across the gold-plated silver piece he put into storage seven years earlier.
“It just didn’t make any sense to me,” he said, adding he was “unimpressed” when the coin first reached his hands in 2014, but upon closer inspection and further research this fall, he started to think he had something special.
To learn more about the coin, Zimmermann checked some common numismatic resources, including reference catalogues, dealer websites and online markets such as eBay and Kijiji.