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When the Bank of Canada decides to sell its gold coins in order to balance the books … or pay the public debt

According to the Globe and Mail, The Bank of Canada would have decided to melt down more than 200.000 gold coins from the years 1912 to 1914. Some collectors have been curious to find out what had happened to the $5 and $10 gold coins that Ottawa had pulled out of circulation. Finally, the Bank of Canada informed that they would be offering 30.000 of the bank’s 246.000 coins for sale to collectors.

This sale is just one of the recent moves of the federal government which has decided to unload public assets as it moves to balance the books by 2015, so they say ….

Just like many other foreign governments, they have decided to sell public assets at low prices so to pay off their debts. We are talking about public assets such as foreign embassies, port lands, gold or silver coins, paintings and so on … For example, the $10 dollar coins were sold for either $1,000 or $1,750 each, depending on their quality and premium. This sale created a kind of gold rush among the collectors.

Some buyers are very proud to hold gold coins that had been sitting at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa for several decades and were officially recorded as part of Canada’s gold holdings in the Exchange Fund Account of foreign currency.

On the other side, some collectors are quite unhappy about this public sale since it drove down the value of their collections.

So far the federal government has not published the official figure of the coins sold although the sale is closed at the present time. Needless to say that the Canadian government can expect to make some profit from the coin sales. The Canadian government will consider other options for the remaining gold coins either melting them down or plan any resale …

Let’s not forget the main explanation provided in a private agreement between the Department of Finance, the Royal Canadian Mint and the Bank of Canada  which objective was to improve the liquidity of the government’s assets, provide a piece of Canadian history to coin collectors and to “extract value from coin sales for the government and taxpayers.


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"For a mountaineer, the important things are the effort, the posture and the muscles. The rope that holds him serves no purpose when everything works but it gives him a sense of security. In the same way, all gold does is ensure confidence; it's a safe haven."