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Can You Resist?
October 14, 2011

Is the world ready for a quarter-size silver coin with a face value of $20?

The Royal Canadian Mint thinks it is.

An ad for the new coin appears in the Oct. 25 issue of Numismatic News.

Because the RCM is a very sophisticated marketer, I expect a lot of research went into its creation.

The art staff is second to none and the design is a very clever use of a canoe with a boy in it reaching to a reflection in the water that actually is a canoe with an Indian from long ago paddling it.

While the art catches the eye, the automatic calculator in the brain of every collector starts to work.

$20, huh? Canadian funds.

Well, presently that is about $19.40.

The coin contains 7.56 grams of .9999 fine silver. A troy ounce is 31.103 grams. That means each coin contains 0.243 ounces of the precious metal.

I checked the handy Kitco website to find out that silver is $32.22 an ounce.

So, .243 X $32.22 gives us a silver value of $7.83.

The coin is slightly larger than a U.S. quarter with a diameter of 27 millimeters compared to the U.S. coin’s 24.3mm.

The silver content of the old U.S. quarter is also less at $5.83.

I give this information for comparison.

Will buyer’s go for it?

Here is the clincher:

The ad says the RCM will exchange $20 for $20.

Who can resist that? Coins for face value.

The RCM even throws in free shipping if you order the maximum three per household and give them the promo code: NumismaticNews20.

The number to call is (866) 744-8248.

Why am I telling you all this?

It’s partly nostalgia.

I wouldn’t be sitting at this desk today were it not for a very clever ad in 1967 that Coins Magazine did to entice me to subscribe by offering to sell the Flying Goose dollar for face value as the bait.

The ad worked. It changed my life.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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