My Dad, the Coin Man

By Alisha Fournier


Many of the fond memories I have with my Dad revolve around his involvement with coin collecting. In fact, one of my earliest memories takes place at a coin collector’s meeting. (Dad was the president of the Nickel Belt Coin Club at the time). While I was not an active member (as a five-year-old I may have been a touch too young), I still enjoyed looking through a magnifying glass at each coin and medallion, pretending to be a detective.

I have always known that I am the daughter of a coin collector. To begin with – I was born in Sudbury, Ont., – home of the big nickel. My brother and I used to love visiting Science North and Dynamic Earth. We would race up to that nickel, attempting to wrap our tiny toddler arms around the King’s giant head.

Dad was always sneaking into my room at night, dropping loose change into my teddy-bank while simultaneously (and not very subtly) checking for any gems that he might want to grab and add to his collection.

While on vacation, my brother and I always had to check our pennies first, before deciding if they were okay to throw into the wishing fountain.

The first collection I called my own was the Endangered Species Coin Collection that Dad had purchased from Vancouver. He made me research every single endangered species on the coins – in both the first series, and second, before he would reward me with the coins. He was always looking for ways to marry his passion for collecting with education.

Throughout my years of elementary school, Dad would come in often to do presentations for the classes my brother and I were in. In fact, he would do a presentation for any class who asked. He loved to give them, and we loved to hear them. These weren’t your typical boring lectures with dull slides with rhetoric about ancient coins. Oh no, these were engaging classes where we learned how coins were made, the history behind each coin, and the geography of the coins’ origins. We were even able to create our own designs that we could transfer onto our own little wooden pieces to take home. Through his own passion, he encouraged passions in others.

While I am no longer that small child who Dad had to take with him to meetings and the occasional convention, I still carry with me the lessons he taught. I’m not much of a coin collector at all anymore (I now collect thimbles!); however, as I continue on my own educational journey while studying media communications, I will always be grateful for the passion my Dad instilled in me, and I will always remember that the first design I ever created, was on the face of a coin.

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