Hobby can benefit from penny’s doom

The impending removal of the 1-cent coin from circulation, while inevitable, is still lamentable for coin collectors. For the first time in living memory, an entire coin denomination will cease to exist. It may be a bit of a stretch to compare this with the introduction of decimal currency of the 1850s, but in the more than 150 years since decimal coins became legal tender, there has always been a 1-cent coin. I remember assembling date sets of 1-cent coins out of the family penny hoard. The collection was only worth face value, but it was fun and may in some way contribute to where I am now. It is a memory I am sure most of my readers share. But some of the talk surrounding the coin is just plain foolishness. Continue reading →

Fiji unveils made-in-Canada circulating coinage

The Reserve Bank of Fiji has rolled out the island nation’s newest coins, all made in Canada. The new coins, in values of 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents as well as $1 and $2, are made using the Royal Canadian Mint’s plating process. The coins, for the most part, feature local flora and fauna. The $2 coin replaces the $2 bank-note. The Government of Fiji approved eliminating the note in favour of the coin in 2011. That year it also approved the new coin designs, which are the first Fijian coins to not feature an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Continue reading →

Mint goes the distance for Arctic expedition centenary

The expedition left Canada’s west coast in August 1913 and quickly encountered trouble. The flagship, Karluk, under the famous Capt. Robert Bartlett, became trapped in ice. The ship was carried west in Siberian waters and eventually crushed with the loss of 11 lives. The survivors trekked over ice to Wrangel Island, a distance of 130 kilometres. Bartlett then travelled hundreds of kilometres across the ice to the Siberian mainland and then returned to Alaska to organize a rescue mission. It was September, 1914 before they were eventually reached. Continue reading →

A tale of two monetary systems

By the end of this year, all of our notes will be printed on polymer, and “paper” money will be fast vanishing, the 1-cent coin will be gone, and virtually all of our coins will be less than 15 years old. I can’t think of a time since the days of Queen Victoria when our physical money underwent such a dramatic change. This is bigger than the switch from the large cent, bigger than the introduction of the loonie and toonie, and even bigger than the switch away from silver to base metal. This could be considered an entire recreation of this country’s currency, something that hasn’t happened since before Canada was a nation. Continue reading →

Circulating penny rides off into the sunset

As I write this piece, the humble 1-cent coin sits silently on death row. By the time you read this, the Royal Canadian Mint and the coin-distribution system will no longer be shipping the coin. Not only that, but they will start recalling them, and business will be expected to round transactions off to the nearest five cents. This change, of course, will only affect cash transactions. All other forms of payment, from cheques to debit and credit cards, will still be accounted to the exact amount. Continue reading →

U.S. Flowing Hair silver dollar tops $10 million

“To be a part of this historical occasion is nothing short of amazing,” said Chris Napolitano, president of Stack’s Bowers Galleries. “Collectors competed with great fervour and energy, resulting in outstanding overall prices realized. The price of the gem 1794 dollar went up and up into the millions, with everyone in the audience on the edge of their seats until at last there was just one bidder remaining. At $10,016,875, a world-record price for any coin had been set. The previous record was $7,590,020 for a 1933 Double Eagle, set in 2002. Continue reading →

Canada’s cent slinks away into the annals of history

It seems that almost nobody had any strong objections. There was no public outcry, no desperate last-minute effort to keep the former workhorse of Canadian coins, and I have not even heard a single complaint at any of the stores where I have transacted business since Feb. 4. It seems that we collectors, who mostly value the coin as a collectible, or as a memento of our early days in the hobby, are the only ones who even seemed to mourn its passing. To me, this means one of two things: either Canadians are smart people, who knew the coin has long since lost its usefulness; or we are sheep who just accept whatever decisions are passed down from Parliament Hill. I prefer to think the former. Continue reading →

1936 dot cent to make rare auction appearance

Heritage Auctions is selling an example of the rare 1936 dot Canadian cent, this one owned by the founder of Canadian Coin News, Chet Krause. The coin, graded PCGS MS-63 Red, was purchased by Krause in 2004 for $207,000 U.S. at Heritage’s 2004 New York International Numismatic Convention sale. Heritage spokesman Noah Fleisher told Canadian Coin News that the coin is expected to sell for between $200,000 and $300,000 when it goes on the block in April. The coin has a remarkable history. At one time it was owned by famed collector John Jay Pittman. It was stolen from the Pittman home in 1964 and later returned (with scratches in the right obverse field) in an envelope with other coins. Pittman managed to own all three known 1936 dot cents all at once. Today all three coins remain in the hands of private collectors. Continue reading →

Canada’s coin-collecting magazine goes digital

While the digital version will be pretty much the same as the print version, except for hot links inside ads and editorial content, I do believe that electronic content offers a much better experience for the reader. I’m not talking about gimmicks, such as virtual reality games that almost nobody plays. I see opportunities for enhanced content, or even content not really suited to print, being connected to these articles. Right now we’re at the early stage of a digital experience, but I’m quite sure it is just the start of a whole new way for you and I to share our love of coins. Continue reading →

Rare bird back test note will go to auction

Some time this year, the first public sale of a Canadian banknote printed on Luminus paper will take place. Brian Bell, of Geoffrey Bell Auctions, confirmed to Canadian Coin News that the note, a $5 bird back, will appear in an upcoming sale by the firm. Although Luminus test notes are known, they appeared in the Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Government Paper Money only in the 2013 edition, and no public sales have taken place to Bell’s knowledge. The note was part of a small collection that had been given to the owner by his mother. “I personally hadn’t known these existed,” Bell said. “Everybody here had to learn fast. “We are really excited to represent the owner of this note,” he added. Continue reading →

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