Royal Canadian Mint offers Canada’s first gold coins 1912-1914

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December 6, 2012 – The Royal Canadian Mint puts a national treasure back in the hands of Canadians by offering the public the unique chance to buy part of a rare collection of Canada’s first gold coins, produced by the Mint from 1912 to 1914 and not seen since the outbreak of the First World War. Stored at the Bank of Canada for over 75 years after becoming part of the Government of Canada’s Exchange Fund Account, the highest quality of these $5 and $10 gold coins are now being offered for sale to convert the proceeds into quality fixed-income securities, while less visually appealing examples will be refined into 99.99% pure gold to liquidate the balance of the coin holdings.

Ian E. Bennett, President of the Royal Canadian Mint Board and Marc Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada unveil Canada’s first gold coins at the Mint’s Gold Refinery Vault in Ottawa, Ontario on November 28, 2012.

“The 1912-14 $5 and $10 Canadian gold coins are at the source of the Royal Canadian Mint’s reputation as a world-class refiner and producer of gold coins and we are delighted that these pieces of our history are back in the spotlight after a nearly century-long absence,” said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint, “By creating this unique opportunity to purchase Canada’s first gold coins proudly displaying national emblems, the Mint is excited to share these important artefacts with Canadians and collectors world-wide with the help of the Bank of Canada and the Department of Finance.”

“The Bank of Canada is proud to have safeguarded these national treasures for over 75 years and we are pleased that they have returned to the Mint so that Canadians can collect them as precious historical objects,” said Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada. “Though precious metal coins are no longer part of daily commerce, Canada’s first gold circulation coins endure as important symbols of our nation’s proud heritage.”

When it opened its doors for business in January 1908 as the Canadian branch of Britain’s Royal Mint, the Mint’s Ottawa facility was mandated to produce Canada’s circulation coinage as well as convert Canada’s growing gold resources into dollar-denominated gold circulation coins. From 1912 to 1914, the Mint therefore produced $5 and $10 coins of 90% pure Canadian gold and proudly displaying national symbols. Much of it from the Klondike region (1912) and Ontario (1913-14), and 10% copper, the reverse side of these first Canadian gold coins featured the inscription “CANADA” above a shield bearing the Arms of the Dominion of Canada in a wreath of maple leaves, beneath which appeared their year of issue and face value. The obverse bore the effigy of the newly crowned Sovereign King George V.

Canada’s short-lived experience with a domestic gold currency was abruptly ended by the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 as the Government of Canada recovered the majority of circulating $5 and $10 coins and withheld remaining stocks from circulation to help finance the war effort. Struck 100 years ago, and sealed for more than 75 years in the vaults at the Bank of Canada, a rare collection of the first truly Canadian gold coins have now returned home to the Royal Canadian Mint.

Approximately 245,000 King George V $5 and $10 gold coins dated 1912, 1913 or 1914 are currently held in the Exchange Fund Account (EFA), controlled by the Minister of Finance. To liquidate these physical assets and convert them into high credit quality, marketable fixed income securities, 30,000 of these coins were hand-selected for sale as high-quality treasures of Canada’s numismatic past. The remaining coins bearing imperfections from handling or environmental conditions will be melted and refined into pure gold by the Mint, which will convert them into a tradable, liquid asset.

The following coins are being made available to the public:

* Premium Hand-Selected 6-Coin Set (140 sets – $12,000 each)
* Premium Hand-Selected 1912, 1913 and 1914 $5 single gold coins (291 coins – $875 each)
* Premium Hand-Selected 1913 and 1914 $10 single gold coins (4,869 coins – $1,750 each)
* Hand-Selected 1912, 1913 and 1914 $5 single gold coins (5,050 coins – $500 each)
* Hand-Selected 1912, 1913 and 1914 $10 single gold coins (18,950 coins – $1,000 each)

These exclusive collectibles are being offered in Premium Hand-Selected and Hand-Selected categories to provide flexible pricing options while delivering the high product quality our customers expect.

Premium Hand-Selected Coins – Canada’s First Gold Coins
For collectors with the highest standards, Premium Hand-Selected coins were hand-picked by Mint personnel for maximum eye-appeal and nearly pristine quality. Their lustre is exceptional, as is the quality of their strike and their virtually unblemished surfaces.

Hand-Selected Gold Coins – Canada’s First Gold Coins
Hand-selected by Mint staff for a high quality appearance, with minimal evidence of wear caused by handling, storage, or environmental conditions, Hand-Selected coins offer the best combination of quality and affordability which gives a wide range of customers the chance to buy a special coin not seen on the market for nearly 100 years.

As the Royal Canadian Mint does not grade any of its products, these categories do not imply any form of coin grade, or suggestion thereof, derived from current numismatic grading standards.

To give all Canadians an equal opportunity to purchase these coins, the sale of Premium Hand-Selected coins, including the six-coin set, will be limited to one per household. Hand-Selected coins will be limited to three purchases per household.

Due to limited quantities, these products can only be ordered directly from the Mint, or by calling at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada and 1-800-268-6468 in the US.