The Canada Hoards

Resurfaced from the Bank of Canada Vaults after 100 Years...

The Bank of Canada hoard is the most notable treasure hoard and precious cache of gold coins discovered in recent years. The gold coins in this hoard are phenomenal rarities and hold the unique distinction of being Canada’s first-ever gold coins.


First Mintage

In 1908 the Royal Canadian Mint was commissioned by the British Royal Mint to mint the gold reserves extracted from the north-western Indian area into the first gold coins for circulation in Canada. Four years later, in March of 1912, the first gold coins that were Canadian in every aspect - from raw material to reverse image design - were struck. The first gold coins produced were a $5 and $10 coin, minted from a quarter ounce and half ounce of gold. The design bore the image of King George V on the obverse and a shield bearing the Arms of the Dominion of Canada on the reverse.

Almost all of the gold used to manufacture them came from the nearby Klondike River Valley in the Yukon Territory, the site of one of the largest and most frenzied gold rushes in history. With its name deriving from the gold reserves of the Canadian government of the time, the 'Canada Hoard' was minted by the Royal Canadian Mint from 1912-1914.


Outbreak of War

In 1914, just two years after the coins were introduced, the First World War began. The short-lived, experimental Canadian gold coin program was closed in 1915 in favour of producing lifeless gold bars, leaving behind only a small supply of gold coins for future generations of collectors to get their hands on!

As Canada engaged in the war sending its troops to fight with the Allies on the battlefields of Europe, the government of Canada took a tight hold of its gold reserves, with most of the gold coins produced for circulation never reaching the hands of Canadians.

“We are delighted that these pieces of our history are back in the spotlight after a century long absence. The Mint is delighted to share these important artefacts with collectors worldwide.”

Ian E. Bennett; former President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint

21st Century

A Golden Discovery

The coins were entrusted to the secure vaults of Canadian banks, the Department of Finance and eventually, the Bank of Canada, where they remained undisturbed in cloth bags. Nearly a century later in 2012, the hoard was discovered deep in the vaults of the Bank of Canada.

Between 2000 and 2005, Canada started selling off its gold reserves, leaving only the 1912–1914 coins. By 2015 Canada had dissolved its own gold reserves to finance the state budget.


A Legacy Saved

The Bank of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mint announced that they would be issuing 30,000 of the $5 and $10 coins. The remaining coins - almost 200,000 of them - were to be melted down. Recognised as a “high-quality treasure of Canada’s numismatic past”, a batch of uncirculated $ and $10 coins, minted between 1912-1914, were spared from the melting pot.⁠

Featuring the crowned head of King George V on the obverse and the old military coat of arms of the four (then) British provinces of Canada on the back, all coins offered to the public sold out, with fewer than 1,000 graded coins being in existence.

Hand-selected by Mint officials for their high-quality appearance and little indication of wear brought on by handling, storage, or environmental circumstances, these coins are remarkable examples of Canadian numismatic history. They provide the best value in terms of quality and price, allowing clients to purchase a unique coin that hasn't been available for purchase in almost a century.

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