Canada to liquidate first gold coins

Canada to liquidate first gold coins

Image by CNW Group/Royal Canadian Mint

After more than 75 years of sitting in bags inside the Bank of Canada vault, the country’s first gold coins went on sale this year as part of a government’s scheme to save taxpayers some money and help balance the books.

First announced in November 2012, the sale includes a plan to melt more than 200,000 gold produced by the Mint between 1912 to 1914, when Ottawa suspended the gold standard.

The $10 coins sold for either $1,000 or $1,750 each, reports The Globe and Mail, depending on whether they were “premium” quality or not.

Canada to liquidate first gold coins

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The objective od the sale, which ended recently, was to improve the liquidity of the government’s assets, provide a piece of Canadian history to coin collectors and to “extract value from coin sales for the government and taxpayers,” according to last year’s statement.

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.

While official numbers won’t be known until the spring, an insider confirmed The Globe they came very close to selling all the coins.