Most here know that my Canadian non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) focus is on the RCM
's 36 millimeter silver dollar series. As I completed my set of these interesting commemorative coins about two years ago, the opportunities to add to my SD collection are basically limited to each year's new issues (unless a previously unknown-to-me item pops up somewhere!). While this certainly makes collecting the series easy, it does generally lack for challenge.
So, I've decided to expand my Canadian NCLT collection while at the same time keeping it familiar. I'm going to pursue the RCM
's $5 commemorative coins that have been struck on the same 36 mm planchets as the SDs. Over the years, I've picked up a couple directly from the RCM
upon their release, but I will need to buy the majority of $5 coins on the secondary market. My initial focus will be on the $5 coins that are single-year commemorative pieces that celebrate a specific person/place/event vs. the RCM
's multi-year topical sets. (Of course, who knows what changes to my approach the future might bring!?) The RCM
has issued $5 coins in various sizes and metal compositions, but I will only be collecting the silver issues struck on 36 mm planchets.
first used the 36 mm silver planchet for its $5.00 coins in 2005. At the time, I wondered why the RCM
decided to use the planchet it had previously reserved for its silver dollar with the higher denomination coins. Was it because there were five different SD products slated for 2005 (all related to Canada's flag) and the Mint believed that was enough? Did the Mint believe that its SD collectors would also buy $5 coins if they were the same size? Did the Mint not want to develop a planchet of a different size specifically for the $5 coin? Did the Mint have an over supply of 36 mm planchets that it needed to draw down? To this day, I don't know the answer and the RCM
Communications department was of no help when I contacted them years ago.
As these $5 coins will never replace my SDs as my core Canadian NCLT collection, I plan on being selective regarding the coins I purchase and have decided I don't need to have every issue to feel my collection is complete. To that end, I have put a few guidelines in place for my pursuit:
1. I will only add coins that are true commemorative pieces, not topical pieces. For example, I don't plan on adding the four $5 "Traditions of Hunting" coins to my collection as I view them as part of a topical series of coins without a specific anniversary being commemorated. I like true commemorative coins -- being NCLT does not make a coin a commemorative!
2. I will look for opportunities to add the desired coins for $40 CAD or less (~$30 USD or less) each. As with just about all of Canada's NCLT pieces, the current market is soft; I believe I will be able to get good prices on each of the coins and thus be able to build an interesting and attractive collection on a reasonable budget.
3. I have to like the coin! If I don't like a coin's design, I won't buy it! It's my collection after all.
As there aren't any scarce coins in the series - all are generally available - I expect my only potential "difficulty" will be finding the coins in my desired price range. Scanning dealer price lists and eBay, I find there is quite a range of prices being asked for each coin.
I've put together the following list of $5 commemorative coins on 36mm planchets with RCM
issue prices in ()s. Definite Inclusions
2005: Saskatchewan Centennial ($49.95 CAD)
2005: Alberta Centennial ($49.95)
2006: Breast Cancer / Ribbon of Hope ($59.95)
2009: 80th Anniversary of Canada-Japan Friendship ($47.95)
2012: Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary of Man-in-Motion Tour ($69.95)
2012: Georgina Pope - Women in the Canadian Military ($69.95)
2013: Devil's Brigade ($59.95)
2013: Royal Infant with Toys ($74.95)
2014: WWI Canadian Expeditionary Force ($64.95)
2014: Alice Munro ($69.95)
2014: Princess to Monarch ($64.95)
2015: Today's Monarch, Yesterday's Princess ($64.95) Potential Inclusions (Maybe once I've assembled the coins above)
2013-2015: Canada Bank Notes Series (4 coins; $64.95 each)
2015: Cornelius Krieghoff Set (3 coins; $66.65 per coin)Likely Exclusions
2006: Snowbirds Coin & Stamp Set ($59.95; I don't like holographic coins, especially when the hologram is essentially 100% of the design.)
2013-2014: Traditions of Hunting (4 coins; $69.95 each)
The combined issue price for the 12 coins I am currently seeking is $747.40 CAD, an average of $62.28 CAD per coin. My goal is to assemble the set for $480 or less - less than two-thirds of issue. As my two RCM-direct purchases were at full issue price, my other purchases will have to make up for the $45 that I am already over budget!
hasn't issued a $5 commemorative over the past few years; its focus appears to be on higher denomination coins (i.e., $10, $20 and up!). If it does re-introduce the $5 36 mm commemorative coin in 2020 or beyond, however, I will likely buy it/them upon release vs. waiting five or ten years. (I don't think I could ignore an active collection for five years!)
Please let me know if I've missed any $5 coin or coin set. I've tried to be thorough, but I certainly could have missed something!
As I make progress on my new RCM
NCLT collecting endeavor, I will post about new purchases!