OTD: Dealer Jim Lawson dies

On today’s date in 2016, long-time coin dealer Jim Lawson died at the age of 84.

A frequent presence at major coin shows in Canada for several decades, Lawson enjoyed a second career in numismatics; however, his first career was serving with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for three-and-a-half decades.

After breaking his back during an arrest, Lawson retired from the force in 1986 and opened his first gallery, this specializing in art and coins, in the 1970s.

At many shows, Lawson shared a table with Montreal dealer Peter McDonald.

“He was quite the character,” McDonald said. “Not a lot of people know his family was instrumental in the early Bank of Nova Scotia.”

He was a descendant of William Lawson, who was a founding director and first president of the Bank of Nova Scotia and whose signature appears on many of the bank’s early notes.

“You will be missed at the shows and conventions,” added McDonald. “We had a lot of great times together and thanks for all the guidance and advice you gave me over the years.”

Lawson was laid to rest on March 21, 2016, when about 150 people attended his military-style funeral.


For many years, Lawson operated his gallery in the Ottawa suburb of Stittsville, Ont., before moving to Newmarket.

He was a life member of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association and an active member of the Canadian Association of Numismatic DealersOntario Numismatic Association and American Numismatic Association.

Three months after Lawson’s death, on March 21, 2016, about 150 people – friends, family, neighbours and former RCMP colleagues – attended his military-style funeral.

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