CAND planning for future with youth, crime initiatives

By Jesse Robitaille

The Canadian Association of Numismatic Dealers (CAND) is honing its services in an effort to bolster the hobby in Canada and abroad.

The association is coming off an “excellent” annual convention, which was held this January in Hamilton, Ont., kicking off the Canadian year in numismatics, said CAND President Michael Findlay.

“We had a huge crowd attending this first major show in Canada for 2019. All the dealers I talked to were very pleased with their sales, and collectors were happy to get out after a two-month break in shows,” said Findlay, who’s also the editor of CCN Trends as well as the founder and publisher of the Canadian Coin Dealer Newsletter.

The association’s four-person executive board has also recently seen changes, including the retirement of Executive Secretary Jo-Anne Simpson, whose role has been taken over by Dawn Bell.

“We are very grateful to have had Jo-Anne Simpson as the CAND executive secretary,” said Findlay, who added this position was created for Simpson 20 years ago because “the duties of the secretary-treasurer were too burdensome to take on all the administration and correspondence, day to day, for the organization.”

“She created an atmosphere of smooth sailing and helped anchor the operations of the organization,” he added.

Bell’s past numismatic experience includes the day-to-day administration of Geoffrey Bell Auctions, a New Brunswick-based auction house, as well as The Coin Cabinet, a Moncton storefront dealership owned by her husband, Brian Bell.

“Additionally, Dawn has a technology background, so we believe her tech knowledge will help bring our organization to a level where we can communicate our message to a greater number of today’s plugged-in population of potential collectors,” said Findlay, who owns his own business, Certified Coins of Canada, in Angus, Ont.

“Dawn also brings a great deal of positivity to our organization and confidence you can only get from being immersed daily in this business. I speak for the entire executive that we look forward to working with Dawn over the next several years.”

CAND DEALER DIRECTORY

CAND also recently issued a directory of its dealer members, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I think dealers are truly surprised at the depth of information available in the new CAND directory,” said Findlay, who added Mike Walsh, managing partner of Trajan Publishing Corp. and editor of CCN, “did a great job in spearheading this project.”

“We had talked about doing this for a number of years, but it took Mike’s determination to get it done. We will work on improving it and adding additional information, but it is important to get this directory out to our network of dealer members and to the collectors at large, especially in North America.”

Collectors, Findlay added, are “always looking for a dealer they can trust.”

“While they may have their local dealer they deal with all the time, it can be intimidating to find another source you can trust. With this directory, we can hopefully steer these collectors to a CAND dealer in their region and be confident in the knowledge that we have a network of dealers who abide by a strict code of ethics.”

The association’s ethics are published fully in the new directory as well as on the CAND website at cand.org. A pdf of the directory can also be downloaded from the site.

CAND YOUTH PROGRAM

The association has also made a firm commitment to its youth program, Findlay said, adding CAND’s mandate includes promoting numismatics “to the public so that we can foster new collectors.”

“The average age for collectors attending coin shows is probably 55-60 years of age. In 20 years, these collectors will no longer be collecting.”

The hobby’s vitality is dependent on the next cohort of engaged collectors.

“At this point, our focus is on the youth, encouraging six- to 16-year-old boys and girls to begin collecting,” said Findlay, who added CAND mans a booth at its own show as well as the biannual Toronto Coin Expo.

“We make up kits, with coins, books and supplies that are handed out for free to anyone attending aged 16 or younger. Also, we have other items to hand out as well as coins and banknotes they can buy for a nominal cost, where they can get a dozen items for a dollar.”

CAND has also partnered with the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA), to which it provides material for its tables at other shows, including the biannual National Postage Stamp and Coin Show in Mississauga.

“The RCNA will also be helping us with distributions at the shows,” he said, adding CAND executives “will also have to develop a plan to focus on the 25- to 45-year-old former collectors to see if we can get them to come back.”

NUMISMATIC CRIME

Lastly, regarding numismatics crime, CAND is stepping up to assist both dealers and law enforcement agencies in Canada and the U.S.

“Numismatic crime is a problem around the world and we are not immune to it in Canada. Just in the last two years, we have witnessed resurgence in the activities of the ‘Roma’ gangs, who are known for their sleight-of-hand deceptions in the theft of coins and banknotes,” said Findlay.

“Additionally, groups of Latin American thieves have been preying on unsuspecting dealers, following them from shows and stealing from them on their route home from a show or when they return home.”

At the annual CAND convention, show organizers use video to record all attendees entering the bourse.

“Additionally, we are going to create a page on our website that will become a central log of items that have been stolen, so that anyone, member or not, can instantly access this list if they are suspicious or curious as to legitimate ownership. We will also have links for photos of items, if available. So often we get an email or phone call about items stolen but cannot find the list when something triggers our memory. I believe that this will help.”

In the U.S., Doug Davis, who provides security at coin shows, administrates the Numismatic Crime Information Center, which sends out broadcast emails about numismatic crime in North America.

“He runs this voluntarily and is supported by donations. We wholly support this effort, so CAND is sending him a donation to help support his efforts.”

For more information about CAND, visit cand.org.

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