James Lawson dies

Long-time coin dealer James (Jim) Lawson died Jan 16.

A frequent presence at most major coin shows in Canada for decades, numismatics was a second career for Lawson, whose first career was serving with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. After breaking his back during an arrest, Lawson retired from the force and opened his first gallery in the 1970s, specializing in art and coins.

At many shows, Lawson shared a table with Montreal dealer Peter MacDonald.

“He was quite the character,” MacDonald said. “Not a lot of people know his family was instrumental in the early Bank of Nova Scotia.”

He was descended from William Lawson, founding director and first president of the bank, whose signature appears on many of the bank’s early notes.

Lawson operated his gallery in the Ottawa suburb of Stittsville, Ont., for many years, more recently moving to Newmarket, near Toronto.

Lawson is survived by two daughters and his wife, Pat. A funeral service will be held in Ottawa at a later date.

Lawson was a life member of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA), and was active in the Ontario Numismatic Association (ONA), American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Canadian Association of Numismatic Dealers (CAND).

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