World Coins

RCM confirms 55 Grizzly error coins enter market

The Royal Canadian Mint issued two different varieties of the Proof 2016 Roaring Grizzly .99999 fine gold $200 coin. The normal Proof coin, not shown here, has no security mark below the bear’s throat. The error variety, however, at left, features remnants of a maple leaf security feature that is supposed to be found only on the RCM’s Roaring Grizzly bullion coin, represented at right. The mark is centered above the space before 1 OZ OR PUR.

Coin images provided by Talisman Coins.

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 for an error version. 

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