A total of 55 examples of the Royal Canadian Mint’s latest error coin
escaped the Mint, according to an RCM spokesperson.
As Coin World reported earlier (March 14 issue), one version
of the Proof 2016 Roaring Grizzly .99999 fine gold $200 coin was
produced with a die bearing a marking intended for only the bullion
version. The Proof coin is a limited mintage numismatic product, while
the bullion coin is geared toward the broader investment market.
The error coin displays part of a maple leaf security mark that is
intended for only the bullion version.
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The PL initials of coin designer Pierre Leduc that appear
intentionally on the Proof coin also intentionally appear, contrary to
earlier reports, on the bullion version.
Staff numismatists at distributor Talisman Coins identified the
error and reported it to Coin World. The coin sold out before it was
issued, and some buyers may not know that their coin is an error.
RCM Senior Manager of Communications Alex Reeves said that 55
examples (from a total of 56 struck using the “hybrid” die) were
shipped to distributors for the RCM. The number of errors represents
slightly more than 20 percent of the gold coin’s 250-coin mintage.
Reeves acknowledged that the error versions of the Proof 2016
Roaring Grizzly gold coin were produced with one die, toward the end
of the production run. The 56 errors were produced by that final die,
with the disposition of the one coin that remained at the RCM not explained.
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“It was down to human error,” Reeves said. “The wrong punch was used
to produce a die intended for the numismatic version. There was an
error — there’s no question about that.” (The “punch” is what the U.S.
Mint calls a hub. The tool is used to make dies.)
According to Reeves, the laser security mark is laser-engraved on
the die after it has been hubbed by the punch. The punch creates the
pocket for the security mark. A bullion punch (with the maple
leaf-shaped pocket) was accidentally selected (by hand) when it came
time to hub the last numismatic die, he said.
“We’re reviewing quality assurance practices to make sure it doesn’t
happen again,” Reeves said.
At press time March 4, Coin World could not identify any
online sales records at sites like eBay.com for an error version.