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An open letter to the coin community from Ian Laing, President of Gatewest Coin

Special to the CCRS

An open letter to the coin community from Ian Laing, President of Gatewest Coin

Statements and claims have been made by various individuals regarding Gatewest Coins' ability to carry and sell certain coins made by the Royal Canadian Mint.

1. 2005 Enameled Proof Silver $We have noticed that some people have been commenting on the new Enameled silver dollar (ie: that we created the coin or that we received half of the mintage).

To set the record straight, we did not know about the existence of this coin, until the dealer information was released to ALL dealers in Canada in early October. We received a percentage of the mintage based solely upon our sales volume with the Royal Canadian Mint. That number was considerably less than 10% of the mintage (less than 500 coins). Gatewest had no input into issue of this coin, and by tying this coin to the purchase of other mint product, we are attempting to keep the price at the original mint issue level.

Other dealers, who are refusing to sell this coin, for various reasons, are merely trying to hold back for price increases. We try very hard NOT to engage in this practice, but we must ration these coins in order to avoid people buying these for speculative reasons. With over 50,000 customers, less than 500 coins does not go far!

2. 2005 5x9's Pattern Gold Maple LeafWe had no input into the creation of a .99999 fine Gold Maple Leaf. It was strictly an experimental coin that the bullion department at the mint decided to strike in order to test the feasibility of using this fineness in their regular gold product. We knew nothing about this coin until the coins had already been struck, and the test concluded.

In order to defray their costs, the bullion department offered this coin to ourselves, and the major bullion distributor in the United States (A-Mark). A-Mark had the option to buy half the mintage, but decided to take only 50 coins, for reasons known only to themselves. Actually, we strongly desired that the mintage be evenly distributed to avoid any implications of a market corner or control. A-Mark was not interested, and thus we ended up with 350 coins.

The product was not sold for gold content, but at a very hefty premium, and involved an extremely large outlay of money upfront. We sold a large number (almost half) of these coins at $900-$1000 US each, a very small markup over what we paid for them. The fact that the market on these coins has shot up dramatically is strictly a function of supply/demand. If we wished to profiteer on these coins we could have held the entire issue out of the market and sold the initial coins at double what we charged for them. Any implication that we gouged the collecting public on this coin is totally unjustified, considering the number of coins we sold at LESS than 20% over our initial cost.

3. 2006 Wolf 1/2oz Silver CoinsWe learned of the mint's intention of striking these coins at the same time as all other bullion distributors in the industry. The design and specifications on this coin were solely the creation of the Royal Canadian Mint. We had no input into the designs or the decision to strike this coin. The fact that we are a major dealer in this coin, and that many people are referred by the mint to us is only based on the fact that we have bought 10's of thousands of this coin as a bullion distributor. Any bullion distributor (worldwide) could buy this coin as long as they are willing to take the significant quantities required by the mint.

4. 2005 Palladium Maple Leaf CoinsThis coin was solely the idea of the bullion department of the Royal Canadian Mint. We had no input into its creation, or production. We did buy a substantial number of the one and only run of 2005 coins struck. Other bullion distributors have also committed to buy substantial numbers of these coins.

The mint refers customers to us (and other bullion dealers) because this is a bullion coin, and is not sold by their direct marketing department. The fact that few, if any, Canadian distributors have bought these coins by 100's or 1000's of pieces is not our fault! We are able to offer the coin for sale now, and in advance, because we hedged the palladium medal based on the large volume of coins we purchased. This allows us to keep our costs down, and offer these coins on a floating price basis every day.

Implications that this coin was made for us are totally false. If anyone wants to spend $10 or $15 MILLION with the Royal Canadian Mint each year, they can set themselves as a distributor level for both bullion and numismatics, and receive the same terms as we do.

If you have any questions, please contact us directly.

Ian Laing
Gatewest Stamp & Coin Ltd.

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