The Royal Canadian Mint recently introduced a 25-cent colored Glow in the Dark Coin. This was promoted as “a mint first” using glow in the dark technology.
The copper nickel clad composition coin features a paleontologist’s interpretation of how the Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai dinosaur may have appeared both inside and out. The coin features a color image of the dinosaur on the reverse. After exposing the coin to sunlight and then bringing it into the dark, a glowing image of the dinosaur’s skeleton will appear in place of the colored image.
This represented the first release within a four coin series of prehistoric creature glow in the dark coins. The mintage limit for the first release was 25,000 with a price of CAD$29.95.
Personally, I thought the product was a little bit too gimmicky and didn’t pay much attention at first. However, the coin received a great deal of media attention. There were articles which appeared in many newspapers and technology sites like CNET and Wired. There were also apparently mentions on television news programs and in a segment “Canada’s Currency Coup” on the Colbert Report.
I was somewhat surprised to find that the coin has already sold out of its 25,000 mintage and is selling for a substantial premium to the original issue price on eBay.
While not every coin collector may have been excited by the release, it seems to have captured the attention of the broader public. With demand coming from a mainstream audience, the limited mintage was quickly snapped up.
The Royal Canadian Mint has been pushing the boundaries related to the technology or elements which can be incorporated into coins. They have also pursued some less traditional themes for some numismatic issues. At the same time, I think they have also served their traditional customer base well with some exceptional designs, limited mintages, and customer service initiatives like the Masters Club.
These strategies are yielding positive results as evidenced by the growth in their numismatic and collectibles segment. (See an article on the Royal Canadian Mint’s 2011 financial results.) For the coming year, as many as 150 numismatic products and collectibles are planned and management has indicated their intention to balance pricing and mintages to increase the number of sell outs, thus supporting the secondary market prices for their products.