Interesting times ahead with Canada 150 coins

s you read this we are in the last few days of public voting for the Canada 150 program. The program offers a rare chance for Canadians to participate in the design selection process, something I applaud. I’ve always been a fan of circulating commemorative coins, particularly programs. They get regular people looking at that their coins, and encourage collecting pocket change; a risk-free entry into coin collecting that is pure fun. Once rare, we have had a number of programs going back to the 1967 series marking the 100th anniversary of Confederation. In more recent memory, the two biggest programs were the Canada 125 program of 1992, and the Millennium series of coins issued in 1999 and 2000. Continue reading →

New $20 commemorative a crowning achievement

The new $20 commemorative, which was unveiled by Richard Wall (left) and Governor General David Johnston (right) is a modified version of Polymer series’ $20 denomination.

On Sept. 9 at about 12:30 p.m. EST, as Queen Elizabeth II added another milestone to an already lengthy list, the Bank of Canada unveiled – for only the third time ever – a commemorative banknote to mark the occasion. Only the third commemorative bill to be issued by the Bank of Canada since it first began issuing banknotes in 1935, this new $20 note honours Her Majesty’s historic reign, which, on Sept. 9, became the longest in modern Canadian history at more than 63 years (however, the longest-reigning monarch of Canada was arguably Louis XIV, who ruled for 72 years, although many will ignore these pre-Confederation sovereigns). Continue reading →

My Design, My Inspiration contest begins month-long vote

These five finalists are among 25 designs chosen as part of the Royal Canadian Mint’s ‘My Design, My Inspiration’ contest. This category, ‘Our Wonders,’ is one of five and celebrates Canada’s beauty.

ck (and you’d also be fairly forgetful, seeing as the Royal Canadian Mint has held public design contests in the past). Mint spokesperson Alex Reeves said the nationwide “My Design, My Inspiration” contest is open for voting throughout the month of September. And while the Mint chose the top 10 designs for each of the five categories, Reeves said a “panel of notable Canadians” (see sidebar) helped whittle down that list even further. Now, with five finalists chosen for each of the five categories, the designs are vying for a spot on Canada’s circulation coinage for 2017, which will mark the 150th anniversary since Canadian Confederation. Continue reading →

There’s a lot of sharing in this hobby

You’re all a bunch of amateurs (French for “lovers of”), although I must admit I’ve never met as professional a bunch as you. This notion of professionalism – doing business ethically, morally and courteously – is widespread in numismatics. And while some hobbyists might eventually become true “professionals” in every sense of the word, all true hobbyists live out their existence as amateurs regardless of the amount of money being earned. When you love the science of numismatics and begin taking this hobby seriously – as most of you certainly do – you inevitably become better at what you’re doing and begin specializing, and even commercializing, your activities. Suddenly, by acquiring and selling material, attending shows and joining associations, you’ve become more of a professional than a hobbyist, although the passionate amateur remains, steadfast as ever. Only when you’re an “amateur” can you truly become pro. Continue reading →

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