Three-pronged approach will help avoid fake coins

Counterfeit fake coins and notes are part of the landscape of collecting. We often use the term synonymously, but that may not always be the case. In some cases fake coins are made to fool the public, in other cases a fake rarity is created to fool a collector and in some cases legitimate coins are defaced or altered to appear to be more valuable. In all of those cases someone is basically attempting to cheat an unsuspecting buyer. None of this is new. There were counterfeiters back in the days of antiquity, punching out fake denarii and solidii. Back in the renaissance, when the first collectors were filling the first coin cabinets, I suspect that some early tradesmen saw a chance to turn a quick buck. It’s just that for most of our history, these types of crooks have preferred to remain out of scrutiny. Continue reading →

Chinese fakers up the ante with thick plating

A chinese firm is offering gold-plated tungsten replicase of RCM gold bars.

The latest round of fake gold coins has the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) calling the cops. “We take the issue of counterfeiting very seriously and these activities are being addressed with the assistance of domestic and international law enforcement agencies,” RCM spokesman Alex Reeves told Canadian Coin News. “We encourage anyone in possession of such products to reach out to law enforcement authorities without delay.” The issue Reeves was referring to was the latest in the work of fake Chinese versions of Canadian gold coins and bars being sold on the Chinese website He would not elaborate on the steps being taken. Continue reading →

Canadian design, innovation recognized around the world

Once a year, for as long as I can remember, Krause Publications holds the Coin of the Year (COTY) competition. I wish it were Canadian Coin News that hosted the competition, but I’m afraid they had the idea long before I came on the scene. I content myself by remembering that Krause was the first owner of CCN, so it’s still sort of in the family. In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that I am on the internatinal panel of judges for the COTY. I got the job when Jerry Remick, a numismatic expert and CCN columnist, died. Since then I have done my best to honour Jerry by voting the way he would have. By that I mean by ignoring national pride and voting for the coins that are the best. Continue reading →

Canadian issues net six Coin of the Year nods

The silver $20 piece showing a springtime maple tree canopy is nominated for Most Artistic Coin.

Canada did well in the annual Coin of the Year awards program, with nominees in six of the 10 categories for the 2015 award. Marc Brule, interim master of the Royal Canadian Mint, said the nominations were a tribute to the consistent quality and innovation of the Mint’s coins. “The Royal Canadian Mint prides itself on producing coins which consistently stand out for their design, quality, and innovations and the nominations we continue to receive under the annual Coin of the Year award program are a tremendous endorsement of our work,” he said. Continue reading →

A common sense approach to protecting history

As any collector will tell you, coins and medals are not just something to be collected, they are cultural artifacts. While for many of us that is a huge part of the appeal of numismatics, it has a negative side as well. Many nations have determined that coins are part of their cultural patrimony and shouldn’t be exported. Now, to some extent that makes sense, particularly in the case of nations such as Egypt and Greece, which were plundered for the better part of a century by artefact hunters, often working for prestigious museums. Various nations have also found allies in the archeological community, which has long been complaining that grave robbers searching out items for collectors often destroy historical information that can never be recovered. No thinking person can support grave robbery, or theft of any sort. Continue reading →

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