An error version of the Royal Canadian Mint’s Proof Roaring Grizzly
.99999 fine gold $200 coin has been discovered.
Talisman Coin staff numismatists discovered Proof coins struck with
two different reverse dies, including one bearing part of a lasermark
Maple Leaf security feature that was intended only for the bullion version.
The lasermark is composed of an outer maple leaf containing another,
smaller maple leaf. The year date 16 inside the smaller leaf
identifies the year of issue.
Get our free report:
How to Invest in Rare Coins
A correct Proof coin (as the RCM intends to issue them) does not
include the lasermark, which is found on RCM bullion coins. The error
version, however, shows the outer outline of the laser mark.
The error version is obvious, according to distributor Talisman’s
The error die is a hybrid of the Proof and bullion versions of the
coin. It has the same Proof finish as the correct Proof reverse and
the designer’s initials PL (for Pierre Leduc) that normally appear on
the regular Proof version but are not intended for the bullion coin.
The combination of the maple leaf security mark and the PL initials
suggests that it wasn’t merely the case of a wrong die being used to
strike the errors.
Connect with Coin World:
Instead, Winkelmann suggests, the error likely occurred during the
digital die production.
“One guess we can offer is that somehow, during the computer-aided
design stage, in anticipation of die preparation, one layer present on
the bullion coin image (the outline of the outermost maple leaf) was
either transferred inadvertently or not erased from one of the proof
die files,” he said in a statement. “And dies were then hubbed or
generated from at least two different files for the Proof die.”
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.
In 2014, the RCM issued a small number of Proof Portraits of Power,
Bald Eagle silver $20 coins without edge lettering, which Talisman