By Barry Janoff
April 5, 2017: Wayne Gretzky is known as The Great One, and now he has a gold and silver coin to prove it.
Upper Deck has unveiled the first series of its Grandeur Hockey Coin Collection, a limited-edition collection (6,600 total) featuring the images of Gretzky and 19 other NHL stars and legends.
The collection, minted in North America, includes 1 oz. 99.99% pure silver coins available in three finishes and rarities: colored, numbered to 5,000: high-relief silver, numbered to 1,000; and silver frosted, numbered to 500, per player.
There is also a more rare ¼ oz. 99.99% 24 karat gold minted coin, numbered to just 100, per player.
The numismatic set is available beginning today (April 5) through Upper Deck e-Pack, as well as all Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) banking centers in Canada. (Full details here.)
Jason Masherah, president for Upper Deck., called the collection "groundbreaking."
"We knew instantly that we were onto something special," said Masherah, who unveiled the coins during a ceremony Tuesday night in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. "This takes collecting to an entirely new level, not only for hockey and sports fans but for coin collectors."
The collection, conceived in alliance with the NHL Players’ Assn., includes Hall of Famers Gretzky and Patrick Roy, and such current stars as Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Kane, Henrik Lundqvist, Jaromir Jagr and Jonathan Toews (full list below).
According to the Carlsbad, Calf.-based company, these "limited-edition precious metal coins featuring 20 Hockey superstars represent an effort by the company to diversify its business while staying true to what makes Upper Deck the leaders in sports entertainment."
What also makes the collection unique is the manner in which people can acquire them, via "blind bag" packaging, meaning that consumers will not know which finish or player they have until the sealed package is opened.
"No one has presented anything like this for the coin business, adding a layer of anticipation that appeals to varying levels of collectors," said Masherah, comparing it to the likes of Loot Crate.
Grandeur Hockey Coins can be purchased individually in a sealed blind pack for $100 or as a collector box with four randomly inserted coins for $499.
The collector box includes one of three rarer coins and comes with a display that holds up to 20 coins.
Each coin contains the face of a player along with a landmark from the respective city in which they each play.
According to Sandra Monteiro, chief of global business strategies for the NHLPA, "The opportunity to expand our relationship with Upper Deck and showcase some of the greatest players in the world in such a unique and interesting way is exciting.
"Based on the look and design, we know these coins will be unlike anything collectors have been offered in the past."
Grandeur Hockey Coin Collection Checklist
• Patrice Bergeron Boston Bruins
• Dustin Byfuglien Winnipeg Jets
• Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins
• Jack Eichel Buffalo Sabres
• Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers
• Jaromir Jagr Florida Panthers
• Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
• Dylan Larkin Detroit Red Wings
• Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers
• Erik Karlsson Ottawa Senators
• Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers
• Sean Monahan Calgary Flames
• William Nylander Toronto Maple Leafs
• Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals
• Carey Price Montreal Canadiens
• Patrick Roy Montreal Canadiens
• Daniel Sedin Vancouver Canucks
• Vladimir Tarasenko St. Louis Blues
• John Tavares New York Islanders
• Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks
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