The gyrfalcon has been prized by humans as a trusty hunting companion since our very earliest memories. The noble bird is associated not only with falconry but also with nobility. It is a celebrated Arctic coastal dweller. As the largest of all falcon species, the gyrfalcon makes an appropriate subject for the Royal Canadian Mint’s striking 2016 silver bullion coin.
This 1.5-ounce 99.99% pure silver bullion coin features a reverse designed by Canadian natural artist Steve Hepburn, which captures the celebrated power of the beautiful gyrfalcon in flight.
In 2016, for the first time ever, the Royal Canadian Mint instituted a unique Bullion DNA process to protect buyers and sellers of Gold and Silver bullion from coin counterfeiting. The Bullion DNA device works by reading a micro-engraved security mark appearing on the reverse of the coin. The mark, consisting of a textured maple leaf and the last two numerals of the coin's production year, visible only under magnification, is laser-engraved on the dies which are used to strike these coins. Each die is registered in a secure database after a microscopic view of the mark is captured and converted into a complex, encrypted digital code using the Mint's digital non-destructive activation (DNA) technology. When a genuine coin is placed in the Bullion DNA device, it can read the security mark like a fingerprint and match it to a registered Royal Canadian Mint die.
The expected low-mintage, unique anti-counterfeit protections and high collector and investor interest in these coins can contribute to price appreciation that is significantly greater than the spot value of their respective metals.
2016 sales for the American Gold Eagle, at 984,500 ounces, was the highest year-end total since 2011. While high demand can contribute to appreciation above spot price, the supply can limit potential growth. Premium over spot is a direct reflection of a coin’s supply and demand. High supply typically means a coin's valuation will be closer to the prevailing spot price.
Collector and investor interest has resulted in significant price appreciation for other recent limited strike coin issues. For example, the Royal Canadian Mint Issued, 2011 Canada 1 oz. Silver Wildlife Series “Wolf" and the US Mint issued, 2012 5 oz Silver America the Beautiful (ATB) “Hawaii Volcanoes National Park” coins. These silver coins currently sell for 2 to 4 times higher than the comparable price per ounce of spot silver.
Demand is currently very high for bullion and collectible precious metals have recently begun surging under President Donald Trump. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Gyrfalcon coins enjoy comparable price appreciation in the coming years.