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Hey, It’s Just 20 Bucks
February 09, 2012

Do collectors respond better to new coin issues whose face value is below bullion value, or whose face value is above bullion value?

Around the world it is a debatable point.

Canada has been hitting home runs with its new $20 coins for $20 series. The third one featuring a polar bear is now on sale.

Buyers pay face value and receive a slightly larger than quarter-sized coin that contains a quarter ounce of silver.

With silver at $34 an ounce, that works out to $8.50 in silver value. Silver would have to rise to $80 an ounce before it would exceed the $20 face value.

The Canadian dollar is presently even with the U.S. currency in foreign exchange markets.

The first issue sold out its 200,000 mintage in approximately one month. The second issue, which got my attention when I saw it advertised, sold out its 250,000 mintage in a similar period of time. I expect the third issue with the polar bear will likewise reach the 250,000 maximum.

Though I very much liked the canoe design on the second piece and that is what caught my eye, I think the clincher for me in deciding to buy it was not the relationship between the silver value and the face value but the attractiveness of the $20 price point. I figured such a sum wouldn’t ruin my monthly budget and I was free to act on impulse (Yes, I do think this way).

My colleagues here in the office, Lisa Bellavin and Tom Michael felt the same way and I ordered three pieces for us.

Affordability is not something we collectors tend to put up front in our thinking, but at the end of the day, that is what matters most.

More Coin Collecting Resources:

State Quarters Deluxe Folder By Warmans

• Subscribe to our Coin Price Guide, buy Coin Books Coin Folders and join the NumisMaster VIP Program

Strike It Rich with Pocket Change, 2nd Edition

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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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