Monday Morning Brief: Bullish about boutique bullion

Canada and the Royal Mint have both issued new bullion coins with special designs. Senior Editor Jeff Starck explores how world mints began expanding their precious metal programs while revealing designs for both new releases.

Full video transcript: 

Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Brief. I’m Jeff Starck of
Coin World.

Today I want to share some exciting news for silver stackers and gold bugs and collectors alike.

In recent days the Royal Canadian Mint and the Royal Mint have both launched new bullion coins.

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These coins, though, aren’t your standard Maple Leaf, Britannia or Sovereign.

The Royal Mint continues its series of bullion coins featuring mythical and other creatures known as the Queen’s Beasts, while Canada celebrates the famous attraction on the American border known as Niagara Falls.

You might call these issues “boutique bullion,” a class of coins that could be described as: bearing special designs, featuring limited mintages and that are available at prices just slightly above or in line with standard bullion coins.

There has been a veritable explosion of such issues over the last decade, through ever-changing precious metal prices, with themes as varied as super heroes and wildlife and warfare and so much more.

The move toward custom minted bullion really began with special privy marks employed for the silver Maple Leaf coin in Canada.

One notable issue depicts the Titanic on a 1998 coin – the release didn’t mark a milestone anniversary, but it was issued when Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were entertaining moviegoers in James Cameron’s mega-hit.

Another high water mark came in 2006 with the Royal Canadian Mint’s release of a half-ounce silver wolf coin. The design proved so popular – even if the size was not – that the design was revived when Canada began a six-coin Wildlife series a few years later.

Since then we’ve seen Superman, Star Trek, bears and Birds of Prey from Canada and silver recovered from shipwrecks and lunar animal themes from the United Kingdom, to name a few.

The 10-ounce silver Niagara Falls coin is the first in a series to showcase the splendor of Canada, while the second issue in the Queen’s Beasts program depicts imagery associated with England’s King Edward III.

The latest release features three gold coins and one silver coin depicting a griffin, the mythical lion-slash-eagle hybrid. Get a case of these and you’ll really have a monster box!

The proliferation of these products must be working, because world mints have kept them coming with no sign of a slowdown.

For someone who wants to stack silver or own gold, they are wonderful alternatives to the standard, static designs on traditional bullion issues.

Frankly, I love the concept! As long as the design isn’t too gimmicky, and there isn’t a flood of them like with collector coins, I’m bullish on boutique bullion!

Now I want to know what you think and invite you to join the conversation. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, find us at Facebook, online at and of course in print in your mailbox.

For Coin World, I’m Jeff Starck. Happy collecting!

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