Editor's note: This is the final part of a multi-part series
prepared by Rita Laws for Coin World's February 2015
monthly issue about the world's first mint-colored coin.
What does the future hold for this collecting specialty? Twenty-one
years after the world’s first colored coins debuted, many nations
belong to the “Color Club.” As of this writing, 7,736 listings in
world and Canadian coin areas on eBay bear the words “color” or
“colour” and their past tense versions in the title. Another 6,517
listings showed up in the recently sold categories of those same
Color coin enthusiasts are happy to see the trend continue to grow,
in part because there is little reason to hope that the United States
of America will have an officially colored coin any time soon.
Millions of aftermarket colored U.S. State quarter dollars, silver
American Eagles and Kennedy half dollars attest to U.S. demand for
colorful coinage, but the U.S. government has shown no interest in
authorizing an issue with color.
This world color coin popularity is collector-driven, of course,
because the technology does not yet exist to create color that can
stand up to the rigors of everyday circulation.
Canada issued the world’s first colored circulating coin in 2004 in
the form of a 25-cent coin with a poppy design. The flower’s color was
protected in a dimpled cell in the center of the coin, but the concave
center was not enough to keep the color from wearing away.
Newer attempts by the highly innovative Royal Canadian Mint with
circulating colored coins for Canada and Papua New Guinea have met
This year, the RCM issued the first two in a series of enameled
coins that look like miniature stained glass windows, but without any glass.
And the RCM is not alone in pushing the envelope on this technology.
The Perth Mint is mixing color with various metallic surface
treatments and with dome-shaped coins. The Cook Islands recently
issued a 3-D cloisonné enameled coin, a new twist on an ancient
process that raises the design up using wire-created cells for the color.
The future for these and many more unusual coins looks bright and,
Keep reading this series:
coin is the world’s first mint-colored coin?
fantasy coins pave way for official coins with color
main methods exist for adding color to world coins
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