By Jeff Fournier
Like pairing a fine wine with a delectable meal, numismatic items like coins, currency, tokens and medals, can be matched with other collectibles to enhance their appeal, create dazzling exhibits and to add a little extra flair and enjoyment to your collecting life.
I happen to have a passion for collecting just about anything. While I admit that numismatics is my number one hobby and first love, I find that collecting other items such as old postcards, old books, old magazines, art and old newspapers (and I’ve only touched the tip of the iceburg here!) is not only satisfying for my soul, but also an interesting way to enhance my coin collection and, in a perfect way, to satiate cravings for all things related to history – especially Canadian history.
Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to pick up a print by the famous group of seven painter, Lauren Harris, entitled, Light House, Father Point (created in 1930). It was the perfect intersection of my love for art and numismatics. You see, I have a beautiful medal in my collection issued by Le Club De Numsimates Du Bas St. Laurent featuring that very lighthouse. Interestingly, on my way to the RCNA convention in Halifax in 2015, I took a little detour and stopped by to see that lighthouse on the Gaspé Peninsula, which is Canada’s second tallest beacon. I was fortunate at that time to be able to climb to the top and to pick up another commemorative medal when I descended to earth, in the gift shop there, featuring that famous landmark. Several photos snapped also added to this small lighthouse collection of mine.
As for my love of old newspapers…I am the proud owner of several centennial editions issued on Canada day in 1967: the perfect compliment to the many centennial tokens and medals in my collection. Not to mention that it was very interesting reading these wonderful pieces of nostalgia, capturing forever that day in time, in printed form.
I’ve also been fortunate to add some local history books to the mix, featuring historical accounts from the year 1967 about many Canadian cities and towns who made issuing such a book, their centennial project.
I enjoy the history behind the coins in my collection, including learning about the Royal Family. Which is exactly why I have happily added some gorgeous, historical newspapers from various landmark events in the lives (and deaths) of the Royals to my collection. Some of these include the Jan. 21, 1936 edition of The Mail and Empire printed in Toronto that proclaims, “THE KING IS DEAD”. In that same issue, a story ran with the title, “Bachelor, Aged 41, Beloved by Empire, Is Now Edward VIII.”
King Edward never did grace our Canadian coinage, as his brother, George, became King when Edward’s abdication was announced in December, 1936. This makes the decimal coins in my collection from that year and 1937, come to life in a way that wouldn’t have been possible by simply gazing at the coin itself.
“EDWARD ABDICATES BROTHER BECOMES KING! Reads the headline on the front page of the Dec. 10, 1936, Evening Telegram, published in Toronto… another one of my prized possessions which helps me to remember more of the historical facts and tidbits of information that make the hobby of numismatics so interesting to me.
Have you thought about what collectibles you might pair with your coins and other numismatic items to enhance your hobby and to allow you to derive even more enjoyment from your hobby?