National Currency Collection built on 60 years of acquisitions

A rare set of 1862 British Columbia gilt pattern coins acquired by the museum in 2017 are considered among ‘Canada’s most celebrated coins,’ according to then-curator Paul Berry.

Since its humble beginnings in the late 1950s, the National Currency Collection (NCC) has acquired more than 130,000 economic artifacts from both private collections and institutional holdings. Today, the NCC’s material, which comes from around the world and spans four millennia, serves as the foundation for the Bank of Canada Museum. The museum displays about 1,400 artifacts – a little more than one per cent of the total collection – alongside interactive exhibits in downtown Ottawa. The NCC’s library also holds about 10,000 books, pamphlets, catalogues and journals. While only about 10 per cent of the NCC is currently available to view online, Bergeron expects the entire collection to be published on the museum website,, “in the coming years. “The Bank of Canada Museum has an active acquisition budget that is earmarked for making acquisitions that will enhance the National Currency Collection,” said NCC curator David Bergeron, who has worked with the bank since 2002 but took on the lead curator role in 2019. “The downside to that is – especially since COVID – the markets have been kind of frothy. It’s hard to buy things, so we always try to find other ways of making acquisitions as well.” Continue reading →

PCGS accidentally dips client’s 132-year-old coin

An 1890 British crown sent to Professional Coin Grading Service for grading was mistakenly sent through the firm’s restoration service. The U.S.-based grading service ‘took immediate action in good faith to reach a positive resolution with the customer,’ President Stephanie Sabin told CCN in December. Photo by Professional Coin Grading Service (

The president of the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) has apologized for what she called a “regrettable mistake” after the firm accidentally sent one of its client’s coins through its restoration service. This summer, collector Daniel Sutton, of Granite Bay, Calif., submitted an 1890 silver crown – a British key-date coin – to PCGS for certification. The coin, one of only 93 reported by PCGS, earned a grade of Mint State-63 as the eighth highest-graded example in the firm’s population report. Struck in 92.5 per cent silver with what Sutton called “beautiful reverse toning,” the coin also went through the PCGS restoration service without his permission; it was submitted on a grading form, he added. “There is a completely different form for restoration and it required my signature which they do not have,” Sutton wrote on the Virtual Coin Show Facebook group,, in September. Continue reading →

Dealers dish on standout areas in ’22

The market for Canadian silver dollars (1948 key-date issue shown) remains ‘very strong’ heading into 2023, according to long-time Nova Scotia dealer Sandy Campbell.

As the overall market outlook remains positive heading into the new year, several areas of Canadian numismatics have stood out to dealers in 2022. After reaching unprecedented heights during the first two years of COVID-19, the general market has since experienced “a bit of a contraction” to early or pre-pandemic levels, according to dealer Sandy Campbell, of Baddeck, N.S. Rare, fresh or high-grade items have brought strong prices, lending truth to the age-old numismatic adage stating quality always appreciates. “In general, all parts of the market are still healthy, but a few parts have struggled from time to time, and a few areas have accelerated, all for different reasons,” said Campbell, the owner of Proof Positive Coins, who has more than 40 years in the business. “That’s sort of the norm through any period. Where you’re seeing crazy pricing is on things that are very different to find; the middle-of-the-road material seems to have come back to pre-pandemic levels.” Continue reading →

Second 1858 ‘A/A’ variety certified

Regina collector Brent Hancock submitted an 1858-dated 20-cent coin to Canadian Coin Certification Service, which returned it with the ‘A/A’ designation as just the second known example. Photo by Brent Hancock.

A second example of the 1858 “Large A over Small A” variety on that year’s 20-cent coin has been found and certified by Canadian Coin Certification Service (CCCS). Brent Hancock, of Regina, Sask., found the first example of the previously unreported variety in late 2021 (“Regina collector finds new 1858 variety,” CCN Vol. 59 #26, March 29, 2022). Following the publication of his discovery, another collector brought what he believed to be the second example to the Regina Coin Club (RCC) show in April. “The owner allowed me to submit the piece to CCCS for him, and in due course, the coin was returned with the ‘A/A’ designation,” said Hancock, who has since acquired the second example. “I won’t disclose the price as I don’t want to influence costs and continue to hope this will organically happen with a listing once a couple more surface.” Continue reading →

Start your banknote collection today with a simple approach

Stephen Adams, a collector since childhood, serves as the vice-president of the Hamilton Coin Society, the club services chair of the Ontario Numismatic Association and a member of the Canadian Paper Money Society.

You can start your banknote collection today by tracking down the country’s most recent issue, a vertical $10 bill in circulation for four years this November. Banknote collectors (also known as notaphilists) collect according to a large variety of specialties, including by type, by topic or by finding scarce or rare varieties, errors and replacement notes. Each collector decides how to pursue their hobby, and the possibilities are vast, but if you decide to start a collection today, there’s a simple approach. “This is something you could reasonably get at the bank machine to start your collection this afternoon,” said Stephen Adams, a Mohawk College professor and collector since childhood. “It’s easy to get these modern notes at face value.” Continue reading →

Prominence Sale VIII offers 2,400 lots

A 1907 cent in Mint State-66 ‘Red’ is expected to bring at least $2,500 as Lot 467 of the Canadian Numismatic Company’s Prominence Sale VIII.

The Canadian Numismatic Company (TCNC) will conduct its eighth Prominence Sale, a massive 2,400-lot offering, across seven days this November. The Prominence Sale VIII will span two catalogues and seven sessions from Nov. 12-18. Three major collections with a focus on copper coins, early banknotes, war medals and militaria will be joined by selections from more than 70 other consignors offering tokens, countermarks, world issues, gold coinage and more. “The first three sessions are highlighted by three attractive coin and banknote collections,” said auctioneer Marc Verret, referencing the R & G Collection of Canadian copper coins, the second part of the MC Collection of military medals and Canadian banknotes, and the third portion of the South Shore Collection of early Canadian paper money. Continue reading →

Collector, 8, unearths 1858 large cent along Lake Huron coast

Elliott King, eight, found in the sand along Lake Huron an 1858 large cent, which his grandfather and retired dealer Ross King described as being in Very Good condition.

A recently retired dealer hopes the 1858 large cent his eight-year-old grandson unearthed while hiking along the Lake Huron shoreline will spark a lifelong interest in numismatics. The story harkens back to 1954, when 10-year-old Ross King found a century-old coin while digging in the garden of his family’s farm in rural Egremont Township, about 80 kilometres north of Kitchener in Southwestern Ontario. King pulled up an 1854 Bank of Upper Canada penny, which “ignited a 68-year numismatic adventure,” he said. Ross began focusing on British coins in the late 1970s, running his business for about 40 years before selling his inventory in 2020. He auctioned his collection through an English firm last year. “Perhaps Elliott’s discovery will do the same and encourage him to follow in his grandpa’s footsteps.” Continue reading →

Collectors eye coins, banknotes as QEII dies after 70-year reign

Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne in 1952 at age 25 before presiding over the Commonwealth of Nations, including Canada, for seven decades. She celebrated her platinum jubilee earlier this year.

Collectors and the general public are vying for numismatic material related to the late Queen Elizabeth II after the long-reigning monarch died on Sept. 8. The queen’s death followed a 70-year, 214-day reign, during which she became Britain’s longest-serving monarch. Her numismatic legacy spans the Commonwealth of Nations, a collection of more than 50 countries, including Canada, which she headed throughout her time on the throne. Her effigy has appeared on at least 33 different worldwide currencies – more than any other monarch – including many billions of Canadian coins and nearly 20 of the country’s banknotes. Her death brings with it a “new era in the history of the Mint and of Canadian numismatics,” according to a recent statement from the Royal Canadian Mint. In the transition to this new age, one in which the late queen’s son and newly named King Charles III will serve as the monarch, dealers have seen an increased demand for queen-related coins and banknotes. Continue reading →

Fall National Show ‘very good’ for dealers, auctioneers

This fall’s National Postage Stamp & Coin Show took place alongside the Ontario Numismatic Association’s 60th anniversary convention in Mississauga, Ont. Nearly 1,000 people came through the doors during the two-day show.

“I had a very good show,” said dealer Gary Miller, the St. Catharines, Ont.-based owner of Londinium Coins, who specializes in medals, ancient and world coins plus Canadian chartered and world paper money. “The attendance was as good as I thought it would be, and sales were brisk. Everyone that I spoke to had a good time, and the auction was very strong for historical medals, which is an area of interest to me.” Continue reading →

Oscar Peterson first Black Canadian on commemorative circulation coin

From left to right: Phyllis Clark, chair of the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) board of directors, Marie Lemay, RCM president and CEO, Chrystia Freeland, deputy prime minister and finance minister, Kelly Peterson, Céline Peterson and Norman Peterson unveil a commemorative $1 circulation coin honouring Oscar Peterson at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto this August.

Late jazz pianist Oscar Peterson has become the first Black Canadian and the first musician honoured on one of the country’s circulation coins. The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled the $1 commemorative circulation coin, with both coloured and uncoloured varieties, on Aug. 11 at Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall, which Peterson knew well throughout his more than 60-year career. Called “the man with four hands” by fellow jazz legend Louis Armstrong, Peterson delivered memorable performances and compositions such as Hymn to Freedom, Blues Etude and The Canadiana Suite to audiences around the world before his 2007 death at age 82. The coin began circulating on Aug. 15 to coincide with Peterson’s birthday. “The Mint is passionate about celebrating stories of exceptional Canadians on its coins, and I am delighted that Oscar Peterson, the first Canadian musician to appear on a circulation coin, is being celebrated as one of the world’s most respected and influential jazz artists of all time,” said Mint Master Marie Lemay, the Crown corporation’s president and CEO. “Mr. Peterson’s music and legendary performances have brought joy to millions of music lovers in Canada and around the world and we are proud to honour him, through this coin, for his exceptional contributions to Canadian music and culture.” Continue reading →

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