Local coin shows offer big opportunities

By Jeff Fournier

Several small, local shows were held on the weekend of Nov. 7 – 8 in southern Ontario which provided an opportunity to explore the advantages these shows offer collectors.

Although these shows were small in comparison to Torex, the Toronto Coin Expo, or shows held at conventions hosted by the Ontario Numismatic Association and the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association, as an example, they were all able to offer a diversity of items which would appeal not only to advanced collectors, but beginning collectors as well.

At smaller local shows like the three visited by this reporter, material often surfaces that may not turn up at  larger shows. Dealers are more likely to bring inexpensive or less popular medals and tokens since tables are less expensive to rent than at the larger shows.

Some of the dealers and collectors who come out to the club shows also do so because of a greater comfort level, due to their being around others who are more familiar to them. These shows often offer opportunities to collectors who specialize in the less popular numismatic items.


The Scarborough Coin Club held its 19th annual coin show at the Cedarbrook Community Centre on Nov. 7. About 160 people attended the show, which featured 20 dealer tables, a club table with free giveaways, two display tables, free draws (all items were donated by the dealers) and refreshments.

The free giveaways included Canadian Flag folders from the Royal Canadian Mint, copies of Canadian Coin News and the current issue of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association’s Journal.

Three displays showing the backs of Canadian banknotes from 1937 to date were also showcased by the club.

“We would like to thank everyone who helped to promote our show including the Scarborough Mirror and Rogers TV,” said David Bawcutt of the Scarborough Club.  “A reporter came from Talk of the Town to interview members, dealers and the general public at the show.” The story, when it airs, should prove to be a good draw for future club shows.

The Scarborough club produced 100 promotional woods for the show, with blue foil stamping on both sides. This is in addition to a special 40th anniversary commemorative wood which had been produced, using red foil stamping on both sides. Only 100 of these have been made. The Scarborough Coin Club has been producing an anniversary wood each year since its fifth anniversary in 1980 and a show wood each year as well.

A silver-coloured medal rounds out the anniversary commemoratives offered by the club this year.

The official 40th anniversary of the Scarborough Coin Club will be celebrated at its annual Christmas party on Dec. 2 at the Cedarbrook Community Centre.

Club member Kevin Lambert attended the show with his nine-year-old daughter, Maya.

“I like to come to the local shows that are close to me”, explained Lambert. “I watch for the show listings in Coin News.”   All the while, Maya was busily searching for “fun coins that have animals on them.” Maya often attends the Scarborough Coin Club meetings with her dad and shares her collecting interest with her dad and her sister.


The Brighton Coin and Stamp Show, also held Nov. 7, was small, but it did offer quite an assortment of lower grade decimals, used stamps, first-day covers and so forth, that would appeal to beginning and intermediate collectors. There were also a number of coin and stamp supplies available.


On Sunday, Nov. 8, in the beautiful surrounds of the John Paul II Polish Cultural Centre on Cawartha Road in Mississauga, the Polish Canadian Coin and Stamp Club (Troyak Club) held its second show of the year.

The bustling centre was inundated by curious onlookers and shoppers on hand to take in the myriad of activities at the centre, along with the die-hard coin and stamp collectors who converged on the show which featured a fine array of coins, stamps, collectibles and displays organized by the hard-working members of the Troyak Club.

The fall show was a little smaller than the one held back in March, but nevertheless, still offered a diversity of items for collectors of every level. Attendance was brisk.

More than what is typical for many shows, was a vast offering of foreign coins and stamps, especially those related to Pope John Paul II, Poland, Russia, Germany and other countries including those of the former, so-called, Eastern Bloc.


An impressive display featuring Pope John Paul II coins, medals, tokens, stamps, first-day covers, transportation passes, posters, porcelain and other papal memorabilia was showcased in the middle of the bourse room. One of the outstanding features of the display was a complete collection of papal visit medals issued for the pope’s first official visit to Canada in 1984.

Three Canadian mints – the Royal Canadian Mint, Sherritt Mint and Pressed Metal Products – struck medals and tokens in commemoration of the historic occasion of the Holy Father’s visit. A special set of gold-plated tokens struck by the RCM was issued by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, as were a run of medals for all of the communities that were scheduled to be visited by the pope during his time in Canada.

The Franklin Mint in the U.S. and several foreign mints also issued numismatic pieces to mark the event. All were a part of this interesting display.

Two of the Troyak club members, Jaunusz Machulec and Wieslaw Grzesicki, authored a book outlining all of the papal memorabilia issued for the papal visit, including the known medals and tokens. Profusely illustrated and in full colour, the hardcover book was available for sale at the show.


The Troyak Club is quite active and is a proud part of the Polish community in the Mississauga area and beyond. They energetically promote collecting of stamps, coins and related items and encourage participation in the hobby by children.

In fact, the show featured a kids table which had free stamps along with a variety of printed educational material, available to any child in attendance.

The Troyak Club has issued a host of medals over the years. This year, they have produced a medal in pure 99.99 per cent silver that is available in both bright silver and antiqued silver. With mintages of only 25 each, they should prove to be a sought after collectible in the years ahead.

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