What is the future for colorful world coins?

Royal Canadian Mint at forefront with colorful collector, circulation issues
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 01/22/15
Text Size

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 online areas. 

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 with success.

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, well, colorific.

Keep reading this series:

Which coin is the world’s first mint-colored coin?

Colorful fantasy coins pave way for official coins with color

Three main methods exist for adding color to world coins

More from CoinWorld.com:

2015 Ultra High Relief 24-karat gold coin from U.S. Mint to carry $75 denomination

Error allows U.S. Mint customers to order and receive Proof 2015-S U.S. Marshals Service half dollars early

2015 American Eagle silver bullion coins being struck only at West Point Mint currently

All 2015 Kennedy half dollars to bear 1964 obverse design sculpt employed on 2014 50th Anniversary coins

ANACS reports first example of Missing Edge Devices error for Enhanced Uncirculated 2014-D Native American dollar

Please  sign in  or  join  to share your thoughts on this story.

Keep up with all of CoinWorld.com's news and insights by  signing up for our free eNewsletters liking us on Facebook , and  following us on Twitter . We're also on  Instagram !

You are signed in as:null

Please sign in or join to share your thoughts on this story

No comments yet