1st July was Canada Day, and we joined our friends and partners at The Royal Canadian Mint in celebrating their national day. The team at The Royal Canadian Mint is as committed to the numismatic business as we are and is a keen supporter of the hobby of coin collecting. To commemorate Canada Day, we chatted to Ian Graham, Senior International Sales Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa; if anyone has insight into the coin business and the art of coin collecting, he does.
How important is a partner like the South African Gold Coin Exchange in marketing your coins?
As a Global leading National Mint, we look for partners who reflect our vision and have the ability to connect with collectors, investors, accumulators and the curious in their own region while offering our products. We appreciate the effort and commitment to telling the story of the Royal Canadian Mint in their local markets, and the South African Gold Coin Exchange has been a partner of the Mint for almost 20 years.
What qualities do you seek out in your commercial partners?
With our international network of dealers, we look for companies that are eager to share their knowledge and expertise with people in their regions. Experience, trust, respect and understanding of their local markets are very important, as is proper business acumen.
A strict code of ethics and professionalism underpins the industry. Explain how important it is to maintain these standards.
The Royal Canadian Mint adheres to a strict code of conduct for its employees and network of dealers. Dealers must have various due diligence and verifications completed from our compliance department on an ongoing basis.
In the past, coin collecting was called the "hobby of kings". Why do you think this pastime has such appeal?
As a coin collector for well over four decades, I can easily suggest that coin collecting is truly “History In Your Hands”. Each coin tells a story. It could be a commemoration, anniversary, a piece of Canadiana, local flora or fauna, a celebration... or introducing new technologies in the evolution of our coin production. Coins are a fantastic platform and means to articulate these stories for generations. Plus, coin collecting is a lot of fun!
What are your tips for starting a collection?
Buy what you like the look of and the story the coin tells. Don’t be afraid to do a deeper dive or personal research on a topic. Coins from Canada can ‘take you there’ even though you may have never been to Canada; the style, topic and presentation can often convey a sense of what Canada is by collecting our coins and hearing the story of Canada that is contained on the coin.
Coins are enjoyed for their designs, value, subjects, history, eye appeal, rarity, condition and countless other reasons. Which area of numismatics do you find the most interesting?
I find the actual process of coin production fascinating and amazing! Even though I have watched coins being produced starting with refined gold or silver, the various steps to get to a finished product is absolute science and engineering at their finest. The Royal Canadian Mint has been producing coins since the Mint opened in 1908. We are still in the same beautiful building, with truly dedicated employees who all contribute to the end product.
How has the pandemic affected the industry? Have you seen a rise in participation? Are collectors spending more time pursuing the thrill of the hunt?
The Royal Canadian Mint has been very, very busy during the pandemic. Our bullion demand has been huge. As people stayed home to an extent, they really turned to a hobby they once enjoyed or perhaps wanted to enjoy. Coin collectors globally have found a renaissance with our coins, and demand continues at peak levels. We are excited and thrilled with the global interest in our coins, and we are looking forward to unveiling our new offerings in the months to come!
With nearly 50 years of business experience, our strong relationship with the world’s most prestigious mints like The Royal Canadian Mint has allowed us to bring Canadian manufactured collectables, bullion coins, medallions and tokens to South Africa. This shows our commitment to the numismatic market and the hobby of coin collecting. We are avid collectors and recognise the fun of pursuing this hobby. We loved chatting with Ian and hearing his enthusiasm for coins and collecting.