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Canadian Call of the Wild heard South of the Border

April 16, 2018 0 Comments

Buying bullion coins combines an interest in investment in precious metals with an interest in coins. Although American buyers often stick to US Mint bullion, there is no need to do that – expand your collection and add foreign bullion too. These coins can have some rarity value on top of their melt value, and certainly add interest to any collection.

Canada really is a separate country, just across the northern border, and its Royal Mint is a reputable and world-renowned maker of bullion. Like the US Mint, bullion coins are not sold directly from the mint, as circulation and proof coins are. Instead they are sold through dealers. Congress prohibits the US Mint from selling bullion directly, and most other mints, including Canada’s, fall into line and do the same.

To buy bullion coins you must go to a reputable dealer, and it’s worth shopping around for the best prices. Unlike buying gold ingots, bullion coins will always have a numismatic mark-up, based on their collectability, and that is where competition comes in, so look before you buy.

Canada’s standard bullion coin is the gold maple leaf 1 oz, which is right up there with the American Eagle for instant recognizability. But since 2014 the Royal Canadian Mint has had another interesting bullion series. Canada’s Mint should not to be confused with the Royal Mint, which makes the United Kingdom’s coins. Both countries share a Queen, with the likeness of Queen Elizabeth II as the obverse of every coin, but the similarity ends there.

This Canadian series is called ‘Call of the Wild’, because each coin features on the reverse the head of a large wild animal, mouth open and calling out. This powerful symbolism gives these coins value as collectibles. The animals for each year are:

2014 – Howling Wolf

2015 – Growling Cougar

2016 – Roaring Grizzly

2017 – Wild Elk

2018 – Golden Eagle

Each coin weighs one troy ounce, or 31.11 grams. They are 99.999% pure gold, with a diameter of 30 mm. These are the highest denominated bullion coins available, with a face value of $200 Canadian. The reverse is laser micro-engraved with an anti-counterfeiting security mark – a small maple leaf containing a number only readable with a special device, which links the coin to the Mint’s own registration system.

The reverse shows each animal against a background of broad radial bands suggestive of the Northern Lights. Above is the word CANADA, and below, FINE GOLD 99999 1 OZ OR PUR. The words, ‘or pur’ are French for ‘pure gold’. Canada is officially a bilingual country, with both English and French as the official languages. The ‘five nines’ is a hallmark of the highest purity gold.

The obverse has a profile bust of Queen Elizabeth II, in a modern style, without a crown, but wearing a string of pearls. Above is the date of issue, to the left the words, ELIZABETH II, to the right, D.G. REGINA, and below, 200 DOLLARS.

These handsome coins make a great alternative for a bullion purchase, and are sure to hold their value, and perhaps even gain some from their numismatic interest.

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