George Manz, owner of Saskatchewan’s George Manz Coins, has released his 10th educational video focused on Canadian numismatics.
Episode 10 of the George Manz Coins Video Podcast, which is available on YouTube, can be seen above. It highlights eastern Arctic trade tokens of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). Co-hosted by Terry Massey, the video explains HBC had its own currency from 1946-62. This currency was used in HBC trading posts of the eastern Arctic region.
“In the 1600s and 1700s, fur hats made out of beaver pellet were the rage throughout England and France, so they hunted beavers,” said Manz, who added Canada’s First Nations often took the pellets to different fur trading companies, the largest of which was HBC, although there were others.
“It was the primary industry of Canada when it was first settled,” added Massey.
“The main reason why they produced these tokens in 1946 was they wanted to introduce the Inuit to the concept of — instead of trading in furs for goods, they would teach them the decimal system,” said Manz, who added there were six denominations, including five-, 10-, 25-, 50- and 100-cent pieces as well as the “white fox,” which is a square token. “These are all uniface … and they’re quite beautiful.”
Manz said because these tokens are so common, they are among the most affordable HBC collectables on the market.