The RCM employs ArtCam’s CADCAM software to generate designs and tooling for the abundance of new issues it releases monthly.
Both versions clearly show mirrorlike fields and the contrasting frosted cameo devices and legends of a Proof issue, he said, and images Talisman provided confirm that.
The Proof finish is indisputably distinct when compared with the bullion coin finish (which is a version of the RCM’s lined Specimen finish), according to Winkelmann.
Talisman purchased a significant quantity of the Proof coin’s 250-piece mintage, and there was an almost equal distribution of both versions of the coins, he said. Whether that distribution pattern is in effect for all 250 coins, however, is unknown.
How was this not noticed at the Mint?
“That’s a good question — the error is visible to the naked eye, and there were only 250 coins (the maximum under the mintage limit) issued. Furthermore, the Royal Canadian Mint commemorative coins are triple-inspected before being passed. And yet these passed, were issued and escaped the Mint.”
This raises the question of “why two different dies were prepared for a press run of 250 total gold coins,” Winkelmann said. “Granted, some would indubitably be rejected, but even a total press run of 500 shouldn’t necessitate more than one single die pair, should it?”
RCM Senior Manager of Communications Alex Reeves said, “The Mint is currently looking into the matter,” at press time Feb. 25, but inclement weather in Ottawa limited staff attendance.
The Proof $200 coin is sold out at the RCM and its distributors, and there does not appear to be any market awareness of the differences, and thus no difference in price. Talisman shipped to customers all of the Proof $200 coins it had, and distributor Gatewest Coins in Winnipeg, Canada, was also sold out at press time Feb. 25.
This is the third minting error discovered by Talisman since 2011, when the firm discovered that the Perth Mint issued the Love Forever silver 50-cent coin for Tuvalu using a Cook Islands obverse die.