Small, local shows offer change of pace

I recently had the opportunity to take in three local coin shows and I was really quite impressed. I love the big shows – the ONA and RCNA conventions, Torex, Toronto Coin Expo and the many others that I have had the opportunity to attend over the years. But there’s something about a smaller show that just feels kind of right, and kind of comfortable as well. Continue reading →

Hydro station’s 100 years marked with medal

The centenary of the Eugenia Hydroelectric Generating Station in southwestern Ontario has been marked with a medal, struck in seven different finishes to a total of 255 pieces.

lectricity touches nearly every aspect of our lives. Can you even imagine life without it? People living prior to the 20th century had to face such a reality. Homes were heated by burning coal or wood, while light was produced by burning kerosene gas or candles. Machinery was operated by horse or steam power. Life was simple, but labour-intensive. Today, electricity is abundant and helps make our lives so much easier. We can produce it by using fossil fuels such as uranium or gas, or by using renewable resources, such as wind, solar energy or water. Continue reading →

Collector classifieds take to the web

As I wrote in a column during the summer months, here at Trajan Media, we have been busy working behind the scenes on a number of new initiatives to launch over the fall and winter months. Our first major initiative this fall is a new website where numismatist and philatelists can meet at one online marketplace to buy and sell numismatic collectibles including coins, medals, tokens and paper money as well as stamps, postcards and first-day covers. This new online marketplace is called While the venue is new, selling classifieds has been part of our DNA since our beginnings. Continue reading →

CAFNE a big resource for numismatic education

Chris Boyer, vice-president of the Waterloo Coin Society, presented an introduction to coin collecting for children at the Fall 2015 Toronto Coin Expo. The symposium received a donation from CAFNE.

The non-profit charity needs the community’s help with funding By Jeff Fournier The Canadian Association for Numismatic Education (CAFNE) may be one of the best kept secrets and most underutilized resources in Canadian numismatics. This not-for-profit organization has a core mandate that is, quite simply, “to educate the public about numismatics”. This is something that is greatly needed to strengthen the hobby and to ensure its longevity. CAFNE does this by funding programs and activities that help promote numismatics and by providing scholarships and bursaries to aid in the study and research of numismatics. Although the emphasis is on Canadian numismatics, it doesn’t exclude the study of coins, currency, medals, tokens, paper money and related objects issued by other countries. Continue reading →

CAFNE needs to be top of mind

What’s in a name? Well, when it comes to the acronym CAFNE, I am hoping it will become top of mind for all numismatists. CAFNE stands for the Canadian Association for Numismatic Education. As stated on its website, the non-profit organization’s mandate includes: To educate the public about numismatics on the study of coins, currency, medals, tokens, paper money, and related objects primarily from Canada, but also including other cultures, past and present, through the provision of educational programs and activities; Continue reading →

1845 BMO halfpenny sets Canadian numismatic record

Lot 129 was this 1845 Bank of Montreal halfpenny (Breton 527), which realized $61,200 and set a new Canadian numismatic record.

Another 170-year-old token sold for more than $60,000 at the recent Fall 2015 Toronto Coin Expo, setting a new numismatic record for the highest-priced Canadian token sold at an auction. Altogether, the auction realized nearly $800,000 from some 950 lots of tokens, coins, medals and banknotes as part of Geoffrey Bell Auctions biannual Coin Expo sale. The auction’s highlight was undoubtedly lot 129, an 1845 Bank of Montreal (BMO) halfpenny (Breton 527) that crossed the block for $61,200 after an estimate of $40,000-$50,000. Continue reading →

Live events great for the hobby

Pictures do tell the story, and I received one by text on the first evening of the recent Geoffrey Bell sale as a reminder that live auctions are still popular. “Live auctions are alive and well,” the text accompanying the picture proclaimed. It shows the auction room, held at the downtown Toronto Reference Library, almost filled to capacity. I was speaking to auctioneer Brian Bell afterwards, and I agree with him that, despite increasing online bidding, live auctions are not dead. The keys are great material, strong marketing and passionate collectors that stay connected to the hobby. Continue reading →

A ‘wonderful discovery’ for numismatists at Pier 21

From left to right: Joe Iorio, Ursula McDonald, Toby Grimminck and Len Buth celebrate their immigration to Canada at Pier 21 in Halifax, N.S. They each arrived in Canada through the iconic pier more than 50 years ago.

As the current European migrant crisis begins boiling over into a global issue, countries like our own are debating whether to allow a new wave of refugees through its borders. In January, the government of Canada announced it would resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next three years in response to a United Nation’s request to increase admission numbers; however, with nine civil wars raging throughout the Middle East and Africa, upwards of 15 million people have been forced to flee their homes, and about one third of those refugees are now seeking asylum abroad. While the government of Canada considers its course of action, let’s not forget about past migrant crises, particularly surrounding the Second World War, after which about 12 million civilian refugees were left wandering Europe in search of a new home. Many of these refugees – some of whom we’ll get to later – we’re able to find a new home in Canada. Continue reading →

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