To make a distribution to financial institutions easier, the Royal Canadian Mint gathers coins of the same denomination in standard quantities and wraps them in paper or plastic. These Canadian coin rolls may seem purely practical at first, but some collectors also take an interest in them. If you are interested in collecting coin rolls, you need to know what is out there and how to differentiate from the options available because some are more valuable than others.
Original Wrap Rolls
Original wrap rolls consist of circulation coins packaged by the RCM for distribution. The outer wrapping features standard markings. There is nothing exceptional about these rolls when they first go out to financial institutions. However, over time their worth can increase beyond their face value.
For example, at one time, the Canadian penny was ubiquitous, but when the price of copper went up in the early 2000s, the decision was made to discontinue its production in 2013. At the time, there may have seemed to be nothing remarkable about Canadian penny rolls from 2006, but now the four different varieties of penny rolls produced during that year, distinguishable by their mint marks and magnetism, are worth between $18 and $375 per roll.
In 1991, the mintage of Canadian 25-cent pieces was unusually low (less than half a million). As a result, these quarters are now valuable because of their rarity. If you can find one, a Canadian roll of quarters from 1991 is worth approximately 60 times more than the original collective $10 face value.
The wrap may be ordinary, but the uncirculated condition of the coins it contains adds value to an original roll. For example, a roll of 40 5-cent pieces is ostensibly worth two dollars. But original rolls from the 1960s and 70s are worth at least ten times that because of the condition of the coins. For example, to celebrate the Canadian centennial, in 1967 the RCM issued circulation coins with special designs on the reverse side. If you come across an original roll of nickels from 1967, you’ll notice that the wrap itself is unremarkable, but the reverse image features a rabbit in mid-hop rather than the customary beaver. This roll is worth around $24 – and the attractive alternative design may make it a point of interest in your collection.
As another example, Nunavut joined the Canadian Confederation in 1999, giving the Inuit population more of a voice in government. The same year, the RCM minted a special $2 coin to celebrate the entry of a new territory. Appropriately, it featured a reverse image of an Inuit drum dance by an Inuk artist from Nunavut. Like other early two-dollar original rolls, it commands well over $100, more than twice the coins’ face value and the design reminds the viewer of an important occasion in Canada’s culturally diverse history.
Special Wrap Rolls
A special wrap roll is one that comes in a paper wrapping that is different than the standard wrapping and specially branded by the Mint. There are two kinds of special wrap rolls: one in which the coins are ordinary and the wrapping itself is special, and one in which the special wrap corresponds to unusual coins.
Before the Canadian 1-cent coin was officially discontinued in 2013, the last million pennies produced by the RCM were rolled in special wrapping that explicitly stated that they were among the last Canadian pennies ever minted. The pennies themselves were no different than most of the many circulation pennies that had preceded them over the decades. However, being part of special wrap rolls with unique branding conferred additional value that may increase as the rolls become rare with the passage of time. You can buy another 2012 original 1-cent roll for less than $6. This roll will run you 14 times that.
Since 2017, the RCM has sold collections of special wrap rolls of coins of all denominations minted in a given year. These “First Strikes” are sold together in their own special collector’s case and identified as such on the wrap itself.
Sometimes the RCM produces commemorative circulation coins in honour of a unique event or a noteworthy Canadian achievement and sells them in special wrap rolls with branding that relates to the design. For example, 2017 marked the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. In addition to minting circulation coins with celebratory designs on their reverses over the course of the year, the RCM also sold special wrap rolls of each denomination of coin with branding on the label that identified the coins and the roll as part of the special celebration.
When shopping for coin rolls, you may also find “secondhand” rolls put together by a bank, business, or collector. The value of these rolls depends on the coins within, which are typically more-or-less circulated examples. Colonial Acres offers all three types of coin rolls for sale online and at our store. Whether you’re looking for original, Special Wrap, or second-hand rolls of coins, check out our inventory, and let us know if you have any questions.