How Much Is a Serial Number Worth?

The Royal Canadian Mint as well as many other world mints issue their numismatic products with individual serial numbers included on the certificate of authenticity or some portion of the packaging. Particular serial numbers can carry substantial premiums, as evidenced by one recently completed eBay auction.

During 2012, the Royal Canadian Mint produced the final one cent coins for circulation following the decision to discontinue the denomination. The last one million pieces produced had been held back for inclusion within numismatic products.


About a month ago, the RCM offered specially wrapped rolls containing the last one million Canadian “pennies” ever distributed. Each roll contained 50 coins, which were placed within a custom designed wrapper authenticated to be part of the last million units distributed. A serialized holographic label was incorporated, providing each of the 20,000 rolls distributed a unique serial number.

An eBay auction which concluded on March 3, 2013 offered a 2012 Canada Special Wrap 1-Cent Coin Roll with the serial number 20,000/20,000. As the final serial number on the product containing the final Canadian Cents to be distributed, the auction apparently captured the attention of some highly motivated bidders. The auction closed with a final winning bid of $6,600.00.


Recently completed auctions for other serial numbers have realized prices of around $30 to $35 per roll. When available from the Royal Canadian Mint, this product originally cost $9.95 CAD and was limited to one per household. Of course, each roll contains coins with a face value of 50 cents.

I have not seen a great number of special serial number numismatic products auctioned or sold, but I would assume the first and last serial numbers would command premiums. Premiums may also arise for round numbers or lucky numbers, such as #10,000 or #888. Any premium would likely be magnified for particularly popular or important numismatic products, which seems to have been the case here.

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  1. Sam says

    I was watching this auction, funny how the seller got the last roll, yet my roll hasn’t even been shipped yet — and I did not see any indication that there were numbers on the rolls ?? curious to see if my roll has a number

  2. ibex says

    Yes all these rolls are serialized numbered. I kinda see this serialed hologram thing becoming a trend, given the craze over this particular roll and people looking for all kinds of other ‘special’ numbers why not juice the sales on all coins with with this. The Chinese will be faking these holo labels in no time though. PITA Chinese.

  3. Frankie says

    This is just plain ludicrous… Who knows if the roll with the 20k sticker actually contains the last 50 cent coins ever being minted? And even if, would there be a way to tell?
    I pity anyone who pays for a specific number on a certificate or sticker as in 99/100 cases these have nothing to do with the coins themselves as they are assembled separately.
    Well, but everyone can do what they want with their money…

  4. Hidalgo says

    I bought a roll of these special pennies.

    Personally, I would have loved to have gotten the 20,000/20,000 roll. That way I could state that I have in my possession, the last Canadian penny ever minted.

    What a collectible that would be!

  5. posterhunter says

    I think it means these were the last ones rolled, and hopefully the buyer won’t feel too rolled in a few years.

  6. Samuel says

    if i remember correctly, last year the MINT said the last 2 pennies will be kept in museum, right?

  7. Louis says

    This is madness. Buyer’s remorse will set in as soon as the person figures out they are not the last pennies minted. I just got some rolls but have not had a chance to open my mail yet. Also, my RCM $5 gold from the hoard has shipped. Halleluliah!

  8. Dan says


    Let me know how your $5.00 gold is, I am waiting on my order also but have not been notified of it shipping yet. Thanks

  9. Louis says

    No problem.

    So I got an opal kangaroo today (Perth coin) and it was coin #18 out if 8K!!!! I don’t think it matters, but maybe someone else would. My penny rolls did not have any special numbers, but I have one more coming, so you never know.

  10. Ibex says

    Where are people getting penny rolls from? because the RCM is sooooo slow I haven’t received anything yet?

  11. Louis says

    I received the $5 coin today (1914). I have not studied it with a magnifier yet, but I would say the quality is quite good. There are some marks in the fields as you would expect with a lower mint state coin. My guess is something like MS-62 or maybe 63. I am considering having it graded and they will add a special label that specifies it came from the hoard, which matters.

  12. Louis says

    Now Provident is charging extra for silver eagle monster boxes with low serial numbers. By that logic my opal kangaroo that is no. 18 out of 8K would also have extra value. But I think this is all silly and nothing but a way to make people pay extra for nothing.

  13. Ikaika says

    I just received my penny roll from the RCM. Number 9xxx. In my opinion these were the last pennies minted along with the other two currently in museums 🙂

    I am sure most of them were wrapped by the RCM at random.

  14. Jack says

    How does the Royal Canadian Mint ship their coins to the United States? I read one person saying FedEx, but that was some forum post about 2 years ago. Do they still ship by FedEx or just the regular mail or what? Thanks.

  15. Louis says

    FedEx and the nice thing is they ship from NY state, not Canada, so there is no customs form advertising to your carrier and everyone else that there are valuable coins inside. That’s one thing I don’t like about Gatewest as they have to use customs forms.

  16. Jack says

    Must be good for them too cause then they don’t have to pay international shipping, they must get a lot of USA customers.

  17. Don says

    How are you all storing these rolls anyways? Im not really sure how to keep these without it decaying over the next years

  18. Dan says


    Thanks for the update on the 5.00 gold coins, I am still awaiting mine. I usually keep them ogp but was also thinking of having them graded for the special label. I wonder if they were graded at a show if they would put that label on them also?? Thanks again


  19. james says

    I have a roll of those pennies and the serial nimber is 02xxxR/20000. What does the R mean?

  20. Sean Brown says

    My roll was shipped June 24/2013 according to the packing list from the mint and it is serial number 2624R. I was wondering if I was ever going to get it. Looks like mine was one of the last distributed by the mint (distributed months after 20,000/20,000 for sure), anyone have any idea how many replacement rolls were made.

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