Apr 232013

The Arctic Landscape Silver Coin

Earlier this month I purchased the Canada’s Arctic Landscape 2013 Fine Silver coin. It’s a 1 kilogram (2.2lb) 99.99% silver coin made by the Royal Canadian Mint. It can be bought either on the mint.ca directly, or through one of their third party vendors world wide. Either way, you can expect to pay $2,249.95 CAD.  (^_-) I didn’t have any savings, so I borrowed the money from my line of credit. :0) The coin comes with a custom maple wood box lined with flock, and fits in a black cardboard sleeve to protect the box.

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The coin itself, which is inclosed in a transparent plastic case, can be set comfortably inside the linings of the wooden box so they can be displayed together. The craftsmanship on the box is top notch and compliments the coin well.

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The image on the Arctic Landscape coin was designed by Canadian artist W. David Ward. The image represents a highly detailed rendition of the Baffin Island at the mouth of the Northwest Passage. On the obverse side of the coin is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Susanna Blunt. At 4 inches wide in diameter the coin looks somewhat smaller than a DVD which is 4.7 inches wide. The coin is roughly half an inch thick. Weighing in at exactly 1,000 grams or roughly 32 troy ounces, it’s aboot 32 times the size and weight of the various 1 oz silver coins that are common in circulation.

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Based on current commodity pricing 1 kg of silver should cost no more than $1,000. But the price for this coin is $2,250. Why the premium? Unlike bullion, these rare, authentic, un-circulated coins are specially commissioned, proof finished and have a limited mintage. But is all that worth the extra cost over the spot price of silver? I certainly think so. 🙂 Proofs are minted with special dies that have been chemically treated with acid. Furthermore each coin is struck multiple times to force the silver into all the crevices of the die giving the coin more definition and fidelity. 13_04_arcticsilver4 silver coin review

The result is a gorgeous coin that has a very distinct look and feel that can’t be replicated with normal minting practices. For example, when viewed from certain angles the design appears clean, flat, and almost cell shaded like a painting (see image below.) But when viewed from other angles the contrast of the image becomes more dynamic. The water and sky darkens in contrast to the glacier in the foreground, and the surface feels more 3 dimensional. It’s almost like magic. (゜o゜)  (mouse over image below to see the change.) Furthermore, the light reflecting off this coin appears to have a higher range than what most digital displays can output. Pictures like the ones in this post cannot accurately depict its true beauty. The only way to appreciate a proof coin properly is to see it in person. 😉

Only 750 of these Arctic Landscape coins were minted. So today only 1 in roughly 9.3 million people in the world can own this coin. It will become 1 in every 10 million in the future as the population grows making the coin even more rare. From the ingenuity used to craft this coin to the sheer beauty of its design this is truly a work of art.


This beautifully crafted fine silver coin captures the history, heritage, and magnificence of the Arctic landscape. It’s a symbol of Canadian engineering and artistic talent working together to create something truly brilliant. It’s almost like this coin was just mint to be. 😀 The rare mintage (only 750,) and the globally recognized RCM brand make this coin a must have for any collector or enthusiast. I give this coin a perfect 5 out of 5. Delivered as advertised. A+++ product. Great seller. Would buy from again!

Jan 042012

It’s only the beginning of the year and I’ve already made a big item purchase. Earlier today I bought 45 shares of Goldcorp Inc. (G.TSE) at $45.95 each. The price is very attractive, the company is well managed, and it’s financials are in great shape. This is a long term hold for me. I don’t care if it drops to $30 next month. I’m confident in the research I’ve done and believe this company will out perform in the decades to come.

Total investment today was about $2000. But since I bought this in my margin account, I only had to pay $600 from my own pocket, and the bank lends me the remaining $1400 at a low interest rate. Leveraging is one of the secrets to financial success (as long as you don’t over extend yourself.) It’s essentially how banks can make so much money, by using other people’s money.

Why Goldcorp? First, I like gold. It’s a good hedge against inflation and I think we will continue to see inflation in the future years to come. I chose a gold producer rather than just buying physical gold (which you can also do) because historically speaking gold companies are undervalued right now relative to bullion. And even if gold prices don’t move up, but the stock market does, then I still benefit. Gold companies are a good place to in be right now, and Goldcorp offers the best value compared to its peers based on growth potential, earnings ratios, and cost structure. And their headquarters is around the same location as Silver Wheaton’s office in downtown Vancouver! Support your local community right (^_^)

Their stock chart seems to suggest an interesting trading opportunity. I won’t speculate on this stock because I plan to hold it until I retire. But next post, I will explain how to study the graph above to try and predict its short term swings in case anyone is curious about how stock analysts try to predict the market.