A famous athlete-turned-coin collector will have a chance to add
very personal items to his collection: Hockey Hall of Fame player
Wayne Gretzky, nicknamed “The Great One,” is the subject of three new
noncirculating legal tender coins from Canada.
The RCM announced the coins Oct. 4. The coins will become
available Oct. 11.
Gretzky made numismatic headlines in 1990 for his purchase of a
set of 1873 Trade silver dollars at auction. Whether he retains those
coins is unclear, as is the scope of his collection; nevertheless,
three coins will now honor Gretzky in 2011, the year he turned 50
An oversized and colorized 25-cent coin joins a Proof silver $25
coin and a Proof gold $5 coin commemorating the famous Canadian; the
latter two coins also honor his father Walter, a semi-professional
player whose contributions to the younger Gretzky’s career famously
include building an ice rink in the family backyard so a
then-6-year-old Wayne Gretzky could practice the sport he still loves.
A gold-plated, copper-plated steel coin depicts the younger
Gretzky “in the blue and orange colours of the team he led to four
Stanley Cup victories in only five years,” an oblique reference to the
Edmonton Oilers, Gretzky’s first team in the National Hockey League.
A close-up image of Gretzky dominates the reverse design, created
by sports artist Glen Green, whose work includes a watercolor of
Gretzky called A Portrait of Greatness that offers similar
imagery of Gretzky.
All of the coins feature the Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen
Elizabeth II on the obverse.
The oversized 25-cent coin measures 35 millimeters in diameter,
compared to the 23.88-millimeter size of a standard circulating
25-cent coin. The oversized coins weigh 11.6 grams; the standard
25-cent coin, 4.4 grams. The Gretzy 25-cent coin has an unlimited
mintage and costs $34.99.
The RCM’s tribute to the father-son duo of Wayne and Walter
Gretzky is evident on the two Proof coins, which each carry a cameo of
the elder Gretzky on the reverse design, also by Green. The Proof
.9999 fine silver $25 coin also features a hologram bearing Wayne
Gretzky’s famous “99” jersey number.
The coin weighs 31.39 grams, measures 38 millimeters in diameter
and has a mintage limit of 19,999 pieces. It costs $99.99.
The third Gretzky collector coin, a Proof .9167 fine (22-karat)
gold $200 coin, features a laser engraving of Gretzky’s jersey number
on the reverse design.
The coin weighs 16 grams, measures 29 millimeters in diameter and
has a mintage limited to 999 pieces. It costs $1,299.99.
An unspecified portion of the sales of each coin will be donated
to the Wayne Gretzky Foundation, whose mission is to provide less
fortunate youth with the opportunity to experience the sport of hockey.
Prices are listed in Canadian funds.
United States distributors for the RCM carry the various coins at
fixed prices in U.S. dollars. Gatewest Coin Ltd., Brian Jenner Inc.
and Talisman Coins are all official distributors for the RCM.
To contact Gatewest inside the United States, telephone the firm
at 204-489-9112 or visit it online at www.gatewestcoin.com.
Write to Jenner at P.O. Box 2466-a, Pasco, WA 99302, or telephone
him at 509-735-2172.
Visit Talisman at its website, at www.talismancoins.com,
telephone the company at 888-552-2646, or fax the business at