Coinage in New France focus of New France Festival

“Coinage in New France” is the title of a presentation to be given by Yvon Marquis and Jacques St-Arnaud at Québec city’s Musée de la civilisation on Aug. 1 as part of the New France Festival.

Beginning at 11 a.m., both numismatists will cover the story of coinage in New France.

“No matter the time or place on the planet, coinage is ubiquitous and it can come in many different forms. Here, in New France, coinage goes from barter to regular currencies, through the card currency,” said Marquis.

Marquis was also a keynote speaker earlier this year at the biannual National Postage Stamp and Coin Show, which returns to Mississauga on Sept. 7-8.

“Although Cartier and Champlain had coins in their gussets when they came to Canada, these coins were of no value here, because at the beginning of the colony, the barter, mainly based on the skins of animals wild, was the form of coinage.”

As development and settlement progressed, regular currencies made their appearance, he added.

“But as soon as they arrived by boat, they often left on the same ship because of the purchases made by the local inhabitants. And for many months, there were no boats on the river, creating a shortage of cash. This is one of the reasons that forced Intendant Desmeules to produce the famous card money.”

For more information, contact Marquis at

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