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The Royal Canadian Mintís Lost Gold

November 28, 2012 - In 2009, the Royal Canadian Mint claimed it had lost $15 million worth of gold bullion beginning in 2005. When the loss was made public, different accounts were put forward as the reason for the loss. Eventually, public outcry became so pronounced, the Royal Canadian Mint, one of the world’s most renowned Mints, launched an official investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Eventually, the loss of $15 million worth of gold bullion was blamed on a series of miscalculations and blunders in the Royal Canadian Mint’s gold refinery dating back to 2005, causing 17,500 troy ounces of gold to go missing from the Mint’s Sussex Drive inventory count, according to 12-page report released by the Mint.

By 2009, the value of the missing gold had reached $20 million.

The report said more than $3 million in government gold was unwittingly sold off at a fraction of its value as refinery slag, with another $8 million being miscounted and never leaving the Mint. The Mint admitted however, that 3,500 ounces unwittingly sold to U.S. refiners would never be recovered.

The controversy occurred in a very strange time, with the U.S. Mint suspending and curtailing U.S. Gold Eagle production due to widespread reports of physical stocks of gold bullion being very tight. The Mint announced a cancellation of the planned collectible versions of the 2009 American Gold Eagle and the full range of 2009 Proof Gold Eagles. The Mint also canceled collector versions of the 2009 Silver Eagle Coin in the same announcement.

One of the stranger stories regarding the gold bullion supply in recent times, the Royal Canadian Mint has repaired its reputation through a series of internal controls and anti-counterfeiting measures. The public outcry over a perceived lax security and accounting measures has prompted the Mint to adopt a laser engraving procedure for its gold coinage, the first of its kind in the world.

One ounce Gold Maple Leafs are now embossed with an engraved maple leaf containing the last two digits of the Mint date needing magnification to be seen. The laser engraved date will change with each year of coinage, making the procedure extremely difficult for counterfeiters to replicate.

Daily Updates Archive

Jonathan Monroe

Senior Staff Writer -

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