Legal tender and Circulating legal tender

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July 10, 2012 – A Scarborough man was in need of money. He owned some of the Canadian 20 dollar pieces struck on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond jubilee. His idea was to change one coin into cash or to have its equivalent transferred to his account. First he went to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), then he tried the Royal Bank and the Bank of Montreal. None of them was willing to recognize the coin as real money.

They were correct, said Alex Reeves on behalf of the Royal Canadian Mint. Coins produced by the mint are legal tender, but only circulating legal tender can be spent and traded at business and banks. Reeves said that “business can accept the money at face value, if they choose, but they’re also free to reject it.”

Of course this statement was discussed. Here are some interesting reactions of readers.

Money isn’t Money anymore! Banks aren’t Banks anymore!
serf4, July 5, 2012

Another big reason to avoid products from the Mint, in addition to them not being worth much unless you hold them for a century.
Soapbox, July 5, 2012

That’s the most FEEBLE Excuse I’ve ever heard from both The Royal Mint and the Banks!
ICANSEE, July 5, 2012

If the coins are made by the Canadian Mint and advertised as legal tender then a Canadian bank should accept them as legal tender at their par value. I can see a Canadian bank refusing US collectible coins and Canadian Tire $ but not refusing Canadian Minted coins at face value. If Canadian Minted coins are legal tender and not being accepted by a Canadian bank is that not fraudulent?
Haywoody, July 5, 2012

All coins are not legal tender. Only bills are legal tender. All coins can be refused by the vendor when making a purchase. Just try to purchase a car with 30,000 loonies. The dealer is going to refuse to accept payment.
Fundamentals, July 5, 2012

Did you miss the part about the coins being legal tender as said by Alex Reeves of the Royal Canadian Mint? I never knew that there was a difference between “legal tender” and “circulating legal tender”. Did you? Why blame Orest Fokine?
skidaddle, July 5, 2012

I believe Mr. Fokine is a bullion collector not a numismatic. I believe that the RCM is misleading people by NOT making the distinction between legal tender and circulating legal tender. Not Fokine’s fault.
Glass_half_full, July 5, 2012

Read the currency act before making statements like that. Coins ARE legal tender and DO have to be accepted within reason. These coins ARE LEGAL TENDER. As the mint itself advertises, and verified in the article.
RetroDeviant, July 5, 2012

what rcmint has done is stamped the coins for 20.00, sold them for 20.00, and given them legal tender status. Though these bullion coins (not collectors as mintage is way too high) are not really accepted by banks as legal tender. Thus this is misleading buyers into thinking that the coins ARE legal tender meaning they can be used freely for debts and exchanged into other forms of currency.
realmoney, July 6, 2012

If you want to read the full article including all reactions, please click here.