Return of commemorative coins leads to great loss in revenue for the Royal Canadian Mint

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by Annika Backe
translated by Christina Schlögl

17 August 2017 – “With pride and purpose“, was the title of the annual report for the fiscal year 2016, presented by the Royal Canadian Mint on 8 May 2017. However, a glance at the numbers will reveal that both pride and purpose may be somewhat tarnished. A program for the return of collector’s coins for their nominal value has caused the mint severe losses. 

The corporate head office of the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa. Photo: RealGrouchy / Wikipedia.

Incidentally, selling the coins with denominations of 20, 50 or 100 Canadian Dollars had been going well since 2011. Maybe too well, it would seem five years later. After the price of silver had fallen dramatically, many collectors took up the offer to return their coins for their nominal value. The mint, which was founded in 1908 and is located in Ottawa, had to pay people so much money – compared to the intrinsic value – for their collectibles with pictures of Superman, Bugs Bunny or Starship Enterprise, that the total profit for 2016 decreased by roughly 17 million dollars compared to the previous year, which is about 27 percent.

The production of the so-called “Face Value Series“, which was originally meant to be an incentive for new young collectors, was discontinued. By then, 4.2 million coins had been minted. Although the mint, which is subject to the Canadian ministry of finance, has decided to continue buying the silver coins for their nominal value, the profits in the first quarter of 2017 could be consolidated.

Going forward, the Royal Canadian Mint will not only continue to produce the circulation coins of Canada and 74 foreign states, it will also provide the collector’s market with new coins. After recent events however, it is highly unlikely that they will once again issue a series of silver coins at the value of raw materials with a similar return policy.

You will find the homepage of the Royal Canadian Mint here. 

And you can have a look at the business report for 2016 here.