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Mint Ownership Arrangements Vary
By Richard Giedroyc, World Coin News
July 17, 2013

This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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All the stock in the Royal Canadian Mint is owned by the Canadian government. What is the ownership arrangement regarding the Mint of Finland?
The Mint of Finland Ltd. is wholly owned by the government of Finland, however in turn the mint owns the German coin blanking company Saxonia EuroCoin Gmbh and has a 50 percent stake in the Norwegian Det Norsek Myntverket. In addition the mint is currently in the process of moving from a location inside Finland’s central bank building to a larger facility that will be owned by the mint.

There is lots of information regarding buying coins, but I can’t find anything about selling. Can you direct me to something?

There is a lot of literature on buying coins, finding “sleepers” that will be hopefully worth more later, investment oriented coins, and the like, but there is very little specifically addressing the many avenues through which coins can be resold by collectors or their heirs. I will shamelessly plug my book “The Everything Coin Collecting Book” in which there is a chapter that specifically addresses this inevitability. Several coin dealers have their own publications on the subject, but these typically encourage a collector to either sell outright to them or consign their coins to that dealer’s auction rather than review the additional options that should also be considered.

Is there more than one “Widow’s Mite” coin type?
The parable of the Widow’s mite in Mark 12: 41-44 is meant to emphasize that the woman gave all she had, using what was viewed as the lowest denomination coin available as the illustration. The coins were likely Roman Judaea lepton or prutah (two lepton value). One lepton was valued at half of the Roman quadrans denomination (It took 64 quadrans to equal one silver denarius, the typical wage for a day’s labor at that time.). The difficulty is in determining which of the many lepton and prutah might have been cited in the parable. These coins were issued between 167 B.C.E. and 37 B.C.E. by the Hasmonean and Herodian rulers of Judaea, then continued by the Romans through their client kings and procurators through the rule of Porcius Festus. Collectors find the issues of Pontius Pilate to be of particular interest. However it is likely the coins mentioned in the Bible name one of the many earlier issuing authorities.

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Why were there no silver coins issued in Great Britain between 1797 and 1804?
The cost of the Napoleonic wars in Europe can be blamed for this. The Bank of England suspended specie payment due to the financial situation. When the public outcry became too great the bank issued silver bank tokens originating from captured Spanish colonial American coins. Copper coins of Great Britain were impacted by the Napoleonic wars as well, being produced sporadically at the privately owned Soho Mint. Gold half guinea coins continued despite the strain on the national budget, however production of the gold guinea was also conspicuously absent between 1799 and 1813.

The colonial period of U.S. coinage ends with 1793 federal issues. In Canada there is no federal coinage until 1858. Why is there a 65-year difference?
British occupied North America was comprised of Lower Canada, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Upper Canada during this time. British mercantile policies discouraged the export of British coins to the colonies, but it also discouraged any colonial mints. This caused a chronic shortage of coins. For this reason there is a significant arena of imported localized colonial coins of Canada to be collected from the period prior to the introduction of “decimal” federal coinage in 1858. Many foreign coins circulated as well, particularly those composed of gold or silver.



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