Hadfield puts polymer $5 in orbit, new $10 on track

The setting was appropriate, since the note features images of Canadarm2 and Dextre, Canadian robotic innovations used to build and maintain the station. “I try to inspire young Canadians to aim high,” Hadfield said. “This new $5 bill should do the same. By giving prominence to Canadian achievements in space, this banknote reminds us that not even the sky is the limit.” Continue reading →

Bison won’t roam anywhere near circulation

Legal tender does not mean an item can be converted into another form of cash, but simply that it can be used to pay a debt. When a merchant or bank agrees to swap four 25-cent pieces for a dollar or vice versa, it is doing a favour. The redemption of coins is the prerogative of the federal government, if it so chooses. It also has limits. Sure we all hear about people offering to pay their tax bill or some fine in pocket change as a form of protest, but it doesn’t quite work that way. Continue reading →

Mint ups ante to $100 for $100 with new bison coin

The coin is described as the first in a series called Wildlife in Motion. It is not known how many coins will be in the series, or if they will all be offered as $100 for $100 coins. The Mint’s previous issues of “face-value” silver coins have been limited to a series of coins being sold for $20, with much less silver. Those issues have proven popular, usually selling out in a relatively short period of time. Continue reading →

Discarded cent makes some noise among numismatists

Now that all 1-cent coins are being recalled and melted, any survivors out in general use will disappear within the next 24 months. Finally, and this point bears remembering, there are plenty of cases of people poring through rolls and even boxes of 2006 coins and not finding a single error. Those failed searches don’t make headlines. What we can say for sure is that this discovery has dramatically increased the number of certified examples, and more than doubled the number of known examples. Continue reading →

Louisbourg settlement’s 300 years marked by coins

The Royal Canadian Mint has issued two new coins marking the 300th anniversary of the founding of the settlement of Louisbourg, on Cape Breton Island. Founded in 1713 by 150 colonists from France, the settlement quickly grew into a fortress with one of the largest military garrisons in North America. Construction of the fortification was mostly done between 1730 and 1740. Continue reading →

R&D facility a tribute to a visionary

Ever since the new $1 and $2 coins rolled out last year, all of our coins have been made on blanks produced in Winnipeg; the excess capacity is for producing non-Canadian coins in the highly competitive world minting market. Of greater interest is the Hieu C. Truong Centre for Excellence for Research and Development. The name is admittedly a bit over the top, but the work to be done there will impact our coins on a day-to-day basis. Truong was described as a leading innovator at the Mint. That was an understatement. In my opinion, Truong has been an unsung hero at the Crown corporation. Continue reading →

Mint expands plating plant, opens research facility

The centre will “double the Mint’s capacity to innovate and will open new and exciting opportunities to market our proprietary technologies and processes,” said Ian Bennett, master of the Royal Canadian Mint said. “The expansion of our plating facility supports the growth of the Mint’s foreign business as a key priority as we pursue the objective to own 15 per cent of global market share by 2020.” Construction of the 70,000-square-foot expansion began in the fall of 2011, and cost an estimated $60 million. Continue reading →

Demand, rarity do not always go hand in hand

One of the really difficult things for burgeoning collectors to grasp is the concept of how rarity affects the price of a coin. That is usually because they fail to look at demand. Take, for instance, errors. By definition most of the really spectacular errors are unique; freak coins produced when something went horribly wrong. They are often, when the nature of the error, year, and denomination are considered, literally one-of-a-kind coins. Continue reading →

Secord coin makes trek into Canadian pockets

"Honouring the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 with this special circulation coin pays tribute to one of our greatest national heroes and reminds us that women and men of all backgrounds played instrumental roles on the road to Confederation,” said Nicholson. “Our government encourages Canadians to take this unprecedented opportunity to learn more about our heroes and history and to take pride in our traditions by collecting this new circulation coin dedicated to War of 1812 hero Laura Secord.” Continue reading →

You’ve got to know enough to study the book

The reason I mention it here is that I was immediately reminded of one of the first things I learned about coin collecting. That old maxim “buy the book before you buy the coin.” In this case the reason the collector found a great rarity was because he knew enough to know what to look for, and wasn’t afraid to act on his knowledge. Established collectors know that, all other things being equal, whoever knows the most makes the best deal. I discovered this early on, when purchasing one of my first Victoria silver crowns. Continue reading →

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