By Jeff Fournier
My earliest recollection of having a fascination with coinage came in 1967 when I was four years old. So 2017 actually marks the 50th anniversary of my “obsession.” I did not begin actively collecting coins until 1971, however, at the ripe old age of eight.
My collecting interests now include Canadian municipal and commemorative medals, coin club medals, centennial collectibles, municipal trade currency, Canadian decimals, Chartered and Government of Canada banknotes and a host of other items.
My involvement in organized Numismatics began around 1975 and since that time, I have become progressively more active.
I was a founding member of the now defunct, Northern Ontario Numismatic Association and was its first and only newsletter editor; a founding member and past president and membership/publicity director of the Nipissing Coin Club in North Bay; past president and editor of the Nickel Belt Coin Club in Sudbury; founding member, past president and editor of the Canadian Centennial Collector’s Club; Editor of Northern Ontario Collector’s News; part of the marketing committee for the original CNA-NESA Numismatic Correspondence Course; Coin Week Canada volunteer and past editor of the ONA. Presently, I am an area director with the RCNA.
My first article in CCN was published in 1987 and I am now a consulting editor and writer for this publication. I have also written articles for the (Royal) Canadian Numismatic Association Journal, the Journal of the Canadian Association of Token Collectors, the American Numismatic Association Journal, The Numismatic Quarterly, several local club bulletins and many local papers and trade publications.
I was nominated into Fellowship with the Canadian Numismatic Research Society and became one of its youngest members ever in 1992 at the age of 29 and have contributed articles to this organization in past years.
In 1993, I won the Best Canadian Regional Newsletter Award from the CNA for my editorship of the ONA newsletter and in 2015, I was awarded “Fellow of the ONA”.
Since 1990, I have authored or co-authored several books including Ontario Municipal and Commemorative Medals, Nova Scotia Municipal and Commemorative Medals, and Sudbury Numismatics. I published Money Talk and A Catalogue of Countries Currently Issuing Currency, for my good numismatic friend, the late Jerry Remick, back in the mid-1990’s.
Over my numismatic career, I have had over 500 numismatic articles published, have given presentations to hundreds of school kids about coin collecting, and have been a keynote speaker at Dynamic Earth in Sudbury, home of the Big Nickel as well as at several local, Northern Ontario service organizations, the Toronto Coin Expo and the ONA.
I have displayed my many collections throughout Northern Ontario, at local libraries, schools, Dynamic Earth, coin club meetings, area malls and so forth.
I founded and organized “Collectors’ Day” at the North Bay Museum, which has now evolved into the “Northeastern Antique, Collectible and Nostalgia Show” which will be held for the fourth time on April 9 this year.
I am often called upon by the media to answer queries about coin collecting and I have been interviewed numerous times by the North Bay Nugget, Nipissing News, Power News (Ontario Power Generation’s employee newspaper), Cogeco and Eastlink Cable, the Sudbury Star, Northern Life, Community Voices and numerous other media including radio stations (most recently, by Pocket Change Radio).
One of my passions is also designing and issuing commemorative medals for coin clubs, community organizations and special local events. A few examples of these include an officially licensed medal by the Bluenose Preservation Trust featuring the Bluenose II, a Coin Week Canada medal, medals for the Nickel Belt Coin Club, Lakeshore Coin Club, Timmins Coin Club and Sou’Wester Coin Club, for example. Most recently, I designed and issued medals for the 50th anniversary of the Polar Bear Express, the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, the Eugenia Generating Station Centennial and Canada 150 medals for the Nipissing Coin Club and the City of Greater Sudbury.
My number one passion and priority is numismatic education and I strongly believe that this, along with the active promotion of numismatics in our communities, publication of numismatic material and active participation in local, historical initiatives, is the key to the future of our hobby.
What’s your numismatic story?