Keynote address ensures RCNA banquet is ‘ICKy’

Henry Nienhuis presents Yvon Marquis with an RCNA medal of appreciation for his role as the guest speaker.

When Paul Johnson approached Yvon Marquis to be the guest speaker at the 2017 RCNA convention, Marquis agreed, but Johnson cautioned him that it shouldn’t be a speech based on numismatics alone, since many of the attendees would be non-collectors. “So I wondered, what could be the topic of this speech?” said Marquis. Now, if you’ve never attended an RCNA convention banquet because you were afraid that you and your spouse might find the evening’s events and guest speaker a little dry, your fears would have been alleviated at this year’s affair in Boucherville, Que. Marquis, who converses in both of Canada’s official languages, somehow managed to combine the hobby of numismatics with history, music and comedy – in both official languages for the most part – to keep the banquet attendees in stitches as they sat glued to his every word. Continue reading →

Petch receives prestigious J. Douglas Ferguson Award

Ron Greene, left, presents the prestigious J. Douglas Ferguson Award for distinguished service to Canadian numismatics to Paul Petch.

The 49th edition of the prestigious  J. Douglas Ferguson Award for distinguished service to Canadian numismatics was awarded to Paul Petch at the annual Royal Canadian Numismatic Association’s convention banquet held in Boucherville, Que.  on July 22. The award was established in 1969 and sponsored by Douglas Ferguson who, at the time, was Honorary President of the CAN (Canadian Numismatic Association). This annual award is presented to the living numismatist who has greatly contributed to the advancement of numismatics in Canada by research, writing, publishing, or other means – and who has not previously won the award.  Ferguson set up an independent Board of Award with CNA representation for the award administration. He made the selections for the 1969 and 1970 winners and determined that the board would choose the future winners from nominations made by CNA members. Ferguson had a Montreal artist design the award medal. He proposed that the award be given only to living numismatists and so the names of early greats such as Breton, LeRoux, Courteau and McLachlan are not on the list of previous recipients. The J. Douglas Ferguson Award is the highest distinction in Canadian numismatics and is the highlight of every convention. Continue reading →

ONA Convention delivers

The hardworking members of the ONA 2017 convention committee include from left to right: Ben Detweiller, Henry Nienhuis, Judy Blackman, Scott Douglas, Lisa McPherson, Steve Woodman, Colin Cutler and Robb McPherson.

The 55th annual Ontario Numismatic Association Convention is history now. And if you were in attendance, you will know that in order to have taken in all that it had to offer, you would have had to go at a break-neck pace. In fact, it would have been nearly impossible to attend all of the events and meetings that took place in Kitchener-Waterloo from April 21-23. From the educational forum held on Friday afternoon, to the final meeting of CAFNE on Sunday, there was plenty to do for any collector and little time to get bored. Continue reading →

Enterprising criminals turn small bills into big bills

Long-time CCN reader Tin Lap was recently contacted by a friend who discovered a counterfeit $50 banknote from the Frontier series.

I have been a longtime reader of Canadian Coin News and would like to briefly follow up on Bret Evans’ article in the April 18 issue regarding the recent appearance of counterfeit polymer $100 notes in Ontario’s Niagara region. Evans did a great job providing a detailed timeline regarding the first counterfeit Frontier series $100 notes from B.C., as well as an update on what counterfeiters have been up to recently. It would be accurate to say that the Bank of Canada’s choice to incorporate Australia’s polymer substrate and hologram technologies into our own series of banknotes has been quite successful. Not only are these technologies greatly extending the lifetime of a typical note, but they have achieved their intention of thwarting would-be counterfeiters. According to the RCMP’s most up-to-date currency counterfeiting statistics, apart from a one-time spike in 2014, the number of counterfeit Canadian banknotes, being passed and seized, has been declining steadily since the introduction of the Frontier series. The force’s most up-to-date data shows that 2015 was an all-time low of about 20,000 notes passed and seized, from a high of about 60,000 in 2011. However, in this unending game of cat and mouse between the Bank of Canada and counterfeiters, a new threat has emerged that may reverse this trend. I was recently contacted by a friend, who works at a financial institution, to view a “really good” counterfeit note that she had seized that day. With the decline of the number of fakes and the knowledge that counterfeiters’ best attempts have been subpar at best, my response was that I would try to come by in the next couple of days. Then two words came out of her mouth that turned my “next couple of days” into “when do you close?: “It’s polymer!” Continue reading →

Canada 150 note offers new technology

Martine Warren, bank note design specialist, proudly holds one of the new $10 commemorative notes. (Photo by Serge Pelletier)

The Bank of Canada revealed the designs of the Canada 150 commemorative note on April 7, 2017, in a ceremony that was extremely respectful of Canada’s First Nations. Indeed, the note’s designs depict Canada’s history, land, and culture to reflect the contributions of people of different nations to make Canada what it is today. After the ceremony, subject matter experts were present to share their pride in bringing this unique banknote to Canadians. Martine Warren, bank note design specialist of the currency department, spoke of the many anti-counterfeiting elements that are making this note, “even more secure than the notes of the current Frontiers series.” Continue reading →

Auction of sunken treasures brings back fond memories

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by sunken treasures and the incredible searches that have been undertaken by modern day treasure hunters who have spent millions of dollars using the latest in high tech equipment to unearth the ‘motherlode’. Recently, Florida auction house and coin dealer Daniel Frank Sedwick LLC announced they would be offering items recovered from shipwrecks in the firms, “Treasure, World, U.S. Coin & Paper Auction number 21,” which is scheduled for May 3 and May 4. Front and centre in the sale is a large silver bar weighing in at over 83 pounds and having a pre-sale estimate of more than $35,000 US. Now, that’s a lot of money; but when it comes to sunken treasures and past auctions of fantastical treasures, it wasn’t overly impressive to me at first – that is, until I found out a little bit more about this piece. The silver bar is among thousands of silver bars recovered from one of the most well-known shipwrecks of all time, the Nuestra Señora de Atocha. Continue reading →

Sometimes, a coin is just a coin

I have been collecting commemorative medals and tokens for a long time – over 40 years, in fact. Back in the heyday of the ‘trade dollar’ I was in the thick of things. That was in the late 1970s and that craze continued until the mid to late 1990s when it began to gradually taper off until it all but disappeared by 2009 or so. Over those years, collectors began to have some rather heated discussions about what these tokens should be called. A trade dollar, according to some, was actually an incorrect term and in fact, often led to confusion with American collectors who had their own definition for that word and their own brand of trade dollars or ‘so-called dollars’. When the trade dollar craze had first begun in Canada, most issues were, indeed, valued at a dollar; but as the years wore on and minting costs rose, communities increasingly began to issue $2, $3, $5 and even higher denomination pieces. So, it came to pass after much back and forth discussion (and nearly fist fights in a few instances), that the generally accepted term for these numismatic items soon became, Municipal Trade Currency, or MTC for short. Continue reading →

Talking to kids about money

Have you ever thought about talking to kids in a public setting – perhaps at a school, at a scout meeting, or while staffing an informational display at your local mall – about money and collecting? It’s easy for me or someone else to ask you to spread the word and let kids know about money and how to collect. The problem is, what if you simply don’t know what to say? Over the years I have spoken to hundreds, maybe even thousands, of kids about money and collecting. I am comfortable doing this and I have been pretty successful in keeping the kids’ attention – or at least I hope that’s the case! Continue reading →

RCM 2016 coin buys exceed half a million

The addition of one more gold and two more silver kilogram coins has helped push the cost of buying one of each coin produced by the Royal Canadian Mint over the $500,000 mark for the first time in its history.

In 2016 the Royal Canadian Mint offered 220 collector products, making up 284 coins, with the cost of acquiring one of every item totalling $529,162, the first time that number has crossed the half a million dollar mark. The number of issues is down slightly from the previous year when the Royal Canadian Mint offered 225 products, but the actual cost is up from last year`s $339,858. One reason for the difference is the addition of an additional one gold and two silver kilogram issues, and a general increased price of the popular one and two ounce silver coins. Collectors generally shun the low-mintage gold and silver kilogram series. The four gold and five silver kilogram coins issued in 2016 had a total cost of $329,858. In 2015 the RCM issued three gold kilogram coins and three silver kilogram issues with a total cost of $213,889. When the kilogram issues are removed, the cost of the remaining issues of 2016 comes in at $199,304, comparable but still higher than the $125,000, the previous year. Continue reading →

Strong interest, bidding at recent Hoare Auction

Lot 95 was a Warehouse/JB in script (BL-31) blacksmith token graded About Fine. It sold for the full pre-sale estimate of $1,200. Both tokens were part of the Jack Lavis collection.

Desirable items were met with strong bidding and realizations at Jeffrey Hoare Auctions' Numismatic and Military Sale No. 122 on Jan. 29. “There was strong bidding from both the floor and over the telephone,” Wendy Hoare told CCN. “Overall I am very pleased with the sale.” All of the tokens from the collection of collector and dealer Jack. C. Lavis sold. Among the highlights were Lots 95 and 96, a pair of desirable blacksmith tokens. Considered contemporary counterfeits, blacksmith tokens are known for small flans and poorly struck images, often in mirror form of the original token. Lot 95, a Warehouse/JB in script (BL-31), About Fine, sold for $1,200, the full pre-sale estimate; while Lot 96, a bust left and Britannia facing right (BL-38A2), VG with a tiny clip and some verdigris, sold for $2,600, compared to an estimate of $2,000. Continue reading →

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