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 →

Incoming ONA president says ‘many positive changes’ coming soon

Incoming ONA president Scott Douglas.

The Ontario Numismatic Association (ONA) is hosting its 55th annual convention in Kitchener, Ont. this April, and according to incoming President Scott Douglas, there are “many positive changes” coming down the line. “The main registration kit has dropped to $25 from $35, and banquet tickets have dropped to $35 from $55,” said Douglas, who added there will also be a “big increase” in the number of banquet door prizes. The bourse and exhibit floor will be open on April 22 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., respectively. Daily admission is $3, although children aged 17 and under are free. A three-day “early bird” floor pass is also available for $15. The main registration kit, which is available for $25, includes an early bird floor pass; a copper convention medal; access to the welcome reception and hospitality suite; and a souvenir program of activities. For another $10, a spousal registration kit can be added and includes all the benefits of the main registration kit except the copper medal. A young numismatist registration kit is also available for $5. Continue reading →

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