The Royal Canadian Mint is delighted to put a national treasure back in the hands of Canadians by offering the public the unique chance to buy part of a rare collection of Canada’s first gold coins, produced by the Mint from 1912 to 1914 and not seen since the outbreak of the First World War.

Stored at the Bank of Canada for over 75 years after becoming part of the Government of Canada’s Exchange Fund Account, the highest quality of these $5 and $10 gold coins are now being offered for sale to convert the proceeds into quality fixed-income securities, while less visually appealing examples will be refined into 99.99% pure gold to liquidate the balance of the coin holdings.

The 1912-14 $5 and $10 Canadian gold coins are at the source of the Royal Canadian Mint’s reputation as a world-class refiner and producer of gold coins and we are delighted that these pieces of our history are back in the spotlight after a nearly century-long absence,” said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. By creating this unique opportunity to  purchase Canada’s first gold coins proudly displaying national emblems, the Mint is excited to share these important artefacts with Canadians and collectors world-wide with the help of the Bank of Canada and the Department of Finance.”

Ian E. Bennett, President of the Royal Canadian Mint and Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada unveil Canada's first gold coins at the Mint's Gold Refinery Vault in Ottawa, Ontario on November 28, 2012. Produced by the Mint from 1912 to 1914 and previously stored at the Bank of Canada for over 75 years, the coins are now available for purchase from the Mint. (CNW Group/Royal Canadian Mint)

“The Bank of Canada is proud to have safeguarded these national treasures for over 75 years and we are pleased that they have returned to the Mint so that Canadians can collect them as precious historical objects,” said Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada.  “Though precious metal coins are no longer part of daily commerce, Canada’s first gold circulation coins endure as important symbols of our nation’s proud heritage.”

When it opened its doors for business in January 1908 as the Canadian branch of Britain’s Royal Mint, the Mint’s Ottawa facility was mandated to produce Canada’s circulation coinage as well as convert Canada’s growing gold resources into dollar-denominated gold circulation coins. From 1912 to 1914, the Mint therefore produced $5 and $10 coins of 90% pure Canadian gold and proudly displaying national symbols. Please see attached backgrounder for further product information.

While a small number of coins bearing the date 1912, 1913 or 1914 have remained in the hands of individual collectors, the bulk of these coins were kept out of circulation at the beginning of the First World War as the government accumulated gold reserves to help finance the war effort.

Today, the Mint is offering these historical coins in highly exclusive premium hand-selected sets of all six denominations produced from 1912 to 1914, in addition to selling single coins in premium hand-selected and hand-selected quality. The proceeds of this sale, less a fixed management fee, will be returned to the Exchange Fund Account for the purchase of high credit quality, marketable fixed-income securities, in compliance with the fund’s mandate.

Due to limited quantities, these products can only be ordered directly from the Mint at, or by calling at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada and 1-800-268-6468 in the US.

About the Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada’s circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2008 certified company, the Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. For more information on the Mint, its products and services, visit.

1912-1914 Canadian $5 and $10 Gold Coins

The Canadian Branch of Britain’s Royal Mint opened in Ottawa in January 1908 for the purpose of producing circulation Canada’s circulation coinage, as well as to finally refine Canada’s growing gold resources on domestic soil for conversion into Canadian dollar-denominated coins.  This part of the Mint’s mandate was realized from 1912 to 1914, when $5 and $10 gold coins proudly displaying national symbols were produced in the same Ottawa facility where the Royal Canadian Mint continues to refine and produce world-class gold coins and investment products.

Made of 90% pure Canadian gold, much of it from the Klondike region (1912) and Ontario (1913-14), and 10% copper, the reverse side of these first Canadian gold coins featured the inscription “CANADA” above a shield bearing the Arms of the Dominion of Canada in a wreath of maple leaves, beneath which appeared their year of issue and face value. The obverse bore the effigy of the newly crowned Sovereign King George V.

Our short-lived experience with a domestic gold currency was abruptly ended by the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 as the Government of Canada recovered the majority of circulating $5 and $10 coins and withheld remaining stocks from circulation to help finance the war effort.  Struck 100 years ago, and sealed for more than 75 years in the vaults at the Bank of Canada, a rare collection of the first truly Canadian gold coins have now returned home to the Royal Canadian Mint.

Approximately 245,000 King George V $5 and $10 gold coins dated 1912, 1913 or 1914 are currently held in the Exchange Fund Account (EFA), controlled by the Minister of Finance. To liquidate these physical assets and convert them into high credit quality, marketable fixed income securities, 30,000 of these coins were hand-selected for sale as high-quality treasures of Canada’s numismatic past. The remaining coins bearing imperfections from handling or environmental conditions will be melted and refined into pure gold by the Mint, which will convert them into a tradable, liquid asset.

The following coins are being made available to the public:

  • Premium Hand-Selected 6-Coin Set (140 sets – $12,000 each)
  • Premium Hand-Selected 1912, 1913 and 1914 $5 single gold coins (291 coins – $875 each)
  • Premium Hand-Selected 1913 and 1914 $10 single gold coins (4,869 coins – $1,750 each)
  • Hand-Selected 1912, 1913 and 1914 $5 single gold coins (5,050 coins – $500 each)
  • Hand-Selected 1912, 1913 and 1914 $10 single gold coins (18,950 coins – $1,000 each)

These exclusive collectibles are being offered in Premium Hand-Selected and Hand-Selected categories to provide flexible pricing options while delivering the high product quality our customers expect.

Premium Hand-Selected Coins – Canada’s First Gold Coins

For collectors with the highest standards, Premium Hand-Selected coins were hand-picked by Mint personnel for maximum eye-appeal and nearly pristine quality. Their lustre is exceptional, as is the quality of their strike and their virtually unblemished surfaces.

Hand-Selected Gold Coins – Canada’s First Gold Coins

Hand-selected by Mint staff for a high quality appearance, with minimal evidence of wear caused by handling, storage, or environmental conditions, Hand-Selected coins offer the best combination of quality and affordability which gives a wide range of customers the chance to buy a special coin not seen on the market for nearly 100 years.

As the Royal Canadian Mint does not grade any of its products, these categories do not imply any form of coin grade, or suggestion thereof, derived from current numismatic grading standards.

To give all Canadians an equal opportunity to purchase these coins, the sale of Premium Hand-Selected coins, including the six-coin set, will be limited to one per household.  Hand-Selected coins will be limited to three purchases per household.


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