Superman clears the shelves faster than a speeding bullet

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.

On Sept. 9, various online retailers were offering the coins, most at 30 to 50 per cent over the issue price.

The 2013 coins, issued to mark the 75th anniversary of Superman, sold out in a day.

As with last year’s issue, the coins drew on existing images used to portray Superman in the past. In this case four different comic book covers.

“Canadians from coast to coast to coast recall Superman’s adventures in the comic books of their youth and still follow his adventures today,” said Van Loan. “Our government is proud that the Royal Canadian Mint has created this coin series to preserve his legacy and to promote the values that the Man of Steel embodies.”

“Superman’s legend continues with these expertly crafted coins produced in stunning colour by Mint employees,” said Mr. Hadsipantelis. “The use of different finishes and engraving techniques bring the world’s most famous Super Hero to life and exemplify the Mint’s internationally renowned craftsmanship.”

Created by Canadians artist Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel, in 1933, the character was sold to Detective Comics in 1937. Reportedly, Superman’s city of Metropolis is patterned on Shuster’s hometown of Toronto, and his employer, the Toronto Star.

Superman took a few years to catch on, and they could not find a publisher until 1938.

The first coin of the second series is a $100 gold coin, with a close-up of Clark Kent, superman’s secret identity, peeling away his shirt to reveal his Superman outfit and signature icon.

It was taken from the cover of The Adventures of Superman No. 596, from September, 2001. The design is framed with a series of concentric rings and the hero’s muscles stand out in relief. The logo is coloured in red and black. Normally the logo appears on a yellow background, but the artists used black in this case, as a symbol of remembrance for those lost in the Imperiex War earlier in the story.

The coin has serrated edges and Proof finish, with a mintage of 2,000. It weighs 12 grams and has a diameter of 27 mm.

The second coin is a silver $10 reproducing the cover of Superman’s first appearance in Action Comics No. 1, which is arguably the most famous comic book of all time. In the scene, Superman foils the attempted abduction of Lois Lane by stopping the gangsters’ green car, hoisting it high above his head and smashing the front of it against a rock. The gangsters are shown fleeing the scene, including a particularly terrified villain in the foreground. Brilliant colour highlights Superman’s costume, as well as the now-damaged getaway car. With a world-wide mintage of only 10,000, the coin has a diameter of 34 mm and weighs 15.87 grams.

A silver $15 coin shows a classic scene from Action Comics No. 419, issued in December, 1972.

The reverse shows Superman with fists clenched and a determined grin, as he takes to the skies high above the bustling city below, while his cape flutters behind him. By overlapping the inner rim of the image’s field, Superman appears to emerge from the coin itself. Limited to a world-wide mintage of 10,000, it has a weight of 23.17 grams and diameter of 36.07.

A modern contemporary rendition is used on a $20 silver coin.

The revamped image has the superhero in Kryptonian battle armour, with a red belt and blue trunks. In the background are the crystalline structures of his Fortress of Solitude. The image appeared on the cover of Superman Annual 1, released in 2012.

The coin has a mintage of 10,000, diameter of 38 mm, and weighs one troy ounce (31.39 grams).

All of the silver coins have a purity of .9999.

The 2013-dated Superman coins, also released at Fan Expo Canada, consisted of three $20 silver coins,  one $15 silver coin, one $10 silver coins, one $75 gold coin, and a base metal lenticular image coin. The mintages of the gold and silver coins issued this year are the same as those issued in 2013.

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