Historical artifacts meet modern tech

Scott Coleman performs fieldwork in 2016 at Çadır Höyük, an artificial mound in central Turkey containing the remains of some 6,000 years of human settlement. Photo by Scott Coleman.

Ontario researcher Scott Coleman has taken a groundbreaking new approach to studying ancient coins using 3D imagery. At the University of Calgary’s Nickle Galleries, Coleman worked throughout the pandemic alongside collections specialist Marina Fischer and technology specialist Jed Baker to experiment with photogrammetry, which is used in mapping, archaeology and 3D modelling. Mirroring this technology, Coleman created 3D images of rare coins he now hopes will be more accessible for researchers and the general public. “With museums and galleries closed, it meant many artifacts were inaccessible to the public,” Coleman told the university’s UCalgary News about his pandemic project, which began in 2020 after COVID-19 forced him to postpone fieldwork in Greece. “I started looking at how museums represent coins, and I focused within Greece given that was the region I was preparing to study for my practicum.” Continue reading →

New error found on 2014 silver RCM coin

Steve Zimmermann holds a 2014 silver coin whose selective gold plating was mistakenly applied to the entire coin, including the reverse (shown), obverse and serrated edges.

Long-time collector Steve Zimmermann has found a modern error on a 2014 silver coin with what’s supposed to be selective gold plating. The Royal Canadian Mint issued 8,500 of the one-ounce silver coins, dubbed “Perched Bald Eagle,” in 2014. The proof-quality piece belongs to the Mint’s five-coin series of silver, gold and platinum coins – all issued that year – featuring various bald eagle designs; however, the example the Mint shipped to Zimmermann is entirely plated in gold, including on both the obverse and reverse designs plus the serrated edges, rather than selective gold plating. “I don’t let it out of my sight,” said Zimmermann, who added he’s “sure it’s not a tarnish” (referring to the dark-coloured toning found on some silver coins) because the coin’s cameo and mirror finishes remain in place in the proper areas. Continue reading →

Ian Laing sole Canadian among ‘top 60’ influential numismatists

Ian Laing (centre) was the only Canadian listed on Coin World’s Most Influential People in Numismatics 1960-2020, a top 60 list of numismatics’ key players over 60 years.

Long-time dealer Ian Laing, the 43-year owner of Winnipeg’s Gatewest Coin, has earned a spot in Coin World’s Most Influential People in Numismatics 1960-2020. The only Canadian on the “Top 60” list of numismatics’ key players over the past six decades, Laing was chosen by the U.S.-based hobby publication for his lifelong interest and success as a coin dealer and collector. Since acquiring Gatewest in 1978, Laing has grown the business into the world’s largest dealer of Canadian coins while handling most, if not all, of Canadian numismatics’ major pieces. “It was interesting,” Laing told CCN about the Coin World honour, “and probably, in many ways, we have earned it.” Continue reading →

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