Canadian circulation coins have come a long way in 25 years

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. Continue reading →

Alloy recovery program keeps Canadians’ pocket change fresh

Coin sorting machines such as those owned by Coinstar, are at the front line of a program to remove older coins from circulation.

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 →

Post offices offer an opportunity

On the surface, the term sell-out seems somewhat unambiguous. I mean either you have something or you sold it all, right. Well yes and no. The Royal Canadian Mint retails coins to collectors and wholesales them to dealers and distributors around the world. That means every time a coin is planned, the mintage is sort of divided up, so much for each market, and so many for direct sales. Admittedly that’s a somewhat simplified version, but you get the idea. There is an advantage for collectors, when a coin is launched it isn’t as if the dealers can phone up and order everything in stock. Dealers ask for what they want, and then see what they get. In some cases they don’t get what they hoped for because demand is high enough that there aren’t enough coins. Continue reading →

Superman clears the shelves faster than a speeding bullet

Two iconic comic book covers appear on these coins. Superman’s first appearance from 1938, and a classic one from 1972. The superman coins sold out quickly.

The Royal Canadian Mint’s (RCM) new Superman coins turned into super sellers, with the four coins selling out in just days. The coins were unveiled on Aug. 29, at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto by Peter Van Loan, leader of the government in the House of Commons, and Patrick Hadsipantelis, vice-president of marketing and communications at the Royal Canadian Mint. The coins went on sale on Sept. 2 at RCM boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver, as well as distributors and participating Canada Post outlets. By Sept. 8, the RCM’s inventory was gone, with all four coins listed as sold out at the Mint’s website. However some retailers may still have inventory. Continue reading →

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Although we cover the entire world of numismatics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

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