Mackennal, Ironside came from different eras of design

Coin designs often have to pass through the hands of bureaucrats and study groups before getting into production, a process that’s not conducive to artistic risks. Modern coin designers have great talent, but I suspect much less artistic freedom than many would like to have. Just once I would like to hear someone tell me how the entire coin design, from conceptualization on, was the work of one mind and one pair of hands. Continue reading →

ANA showgoers were offered special Canadian UNC set

Once again, the Royal Canadian Mint offered a special Uncirculated set at the American Numismatic Association (ANA) summer show and convention, held last month in Chicago. The set, which is similar to those issued in previous years, has a cardboard holder showing a canoe with places for the five-, 10-, and 25-cent coins, as well as the $1 and $2 coins. Continue reading →

Take your hobby on the road

As busy as this seems, it continues to amaze me that many collectors, possibly most, almost never get out to shows. That happens for a number of reasons. Obviously, many collectors outside of central Canada simply do not have access to as many shows. Another reason is that many collectors practice their hobby in private, when they can find time to be alone with their coins. In many cases the only people who know they collect are family members, a few close friends, and a couple of dealers. Continue reading →

Man of steel receives tributes in silver, gold and cupro-nickel

The world’s most famous superhero, Superman was created by Toronto-born artist Joseph Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel. Shuster, who moved from Toronto and attended high school in Cleveland, Ohio, modelled Superman’s city, Metropolis, after Toronto, and the Daily Planet after the Daily Star. The two created the character in 1933, and sold it to DC Comics, who debuted Superman in 1938. Continue reading →

Jim Charlton: a class act for more than a century

I find it remarkable that I knew Jim for nearly a quarter-century, and that he was nearly 80 years old when I first met him. At that time he was already retired, and a living legend in the truest sense of the word. He had started out as a coin enthusiast, and then a part-time dealer, then a book publisher, and finally a numismatic expert. Along the way he was also an auctioneer and president of the then Canadian Numismatic Association. Eventually his name became synonymous with coin collecting in Canada. For years he was present at almost every numismatic event of significance and always had a quick smile and firm handshake. Continue reading →

Loss of a numismatic great

When it became clear the Charlton catalogues were not included in the sale of the company, the sale came to a screeching halt,” Cross said. “Forbes went to Jim and Jim signed over the copyrights to Canada Coin and Stamp to Forbes in order that the sale could go through. “He signed over the catalogue copyrights five years after the original sale, with no gain to him. There are very few people who would do this. Jim was a man of honour.” Continue reading →

Is MintChip the flavour of the future?

Electronic transactions are becoming more and more common. It isn’t even unusual now to encounter situations where cash is not an option. I am sure that 100 years from now, carrying cash will seem as logical as walking around with gold nuggets in your pocket. What really worries me is that we may have to develop a new system of grading. Can a new microchip qualify as MD-63? Continue reading →

Cent barely missed, but 25 cents can keep hobby thriving

In my opinion the most promising way to attract new collectors is with the 25-cent series. Granted, the wonderful pure nickel commemoratives of 1992, 2000, and 2001 have already been mostly gobbled up by the Mint’s alloy-recovery program, but the multi-plated family has more than 40 commemorative issues alone, some are in colour, and that’s not getting into dual dates and mint marks. Continue reading →

Mint offers sleigh full of Christmas coins

The traditional Canadian Christmas gift set, announced months ago by the Royal Canadian Mint, has been joined by a further five issues: a base metal lenticular coin and four silver offerings. Lenticular technology allows more than one image to be printed on a lens attached to the coin, so that the image changes when tilted. Continue reading →

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