By Jesse Robitaille
Ontario collector Brent Mackie, who has searched through hundreds of boxes of $2 circulation coins looking for fakes, recently discovered a new obverse type plus three new die crack varieties and a die crack progression.
The counterfeits were first reported last fall (“Dozens of counterfeit toonies allegedly passed in Toronto,” CCN Vol. 58 #10). This year, collectors have found the fakes circulating across the country (“Surge of suspected fakes hits cities across Canada since fall, collector finds,” CCN Vol. 59 #1).
Since March, Mackie has been cataloguing what he calls the “Camel Toe” counterfeits (named after the tell-tale marker on the polar bear’s right paw), but he’s also listing the coins produced at the so-called “Montreal Mint,” which struck fake 2004- and 2005-dated toonies before it was shut down by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
“Yet another new obverse has been discovered for the Camel Toe counterfeit toonies. This time it’s a 2010 date,” Mackie, who has pored over more than 100,000 toonies, told CCN.
He’s also reporting two new 2004 die crack varieties, an already known 2006 die crack that has progressed and a new reverse die crack.
So far, Mackie and other collectors, including award-winning counterfeit coin expert Mike Marshall, have found seven dates – 1996, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and now 2010.
Mackie’s catalogue also records more than 20 die cracks.
He believes the number of known die cracks could point to the prevalence of these counterfeits in circulation, where millions of fakes may already exist.
The Royal Canadian Mint began “monitoring the situation” this summer, according to the Crown corporation’s media relations manager Alex Reeves.
To view Mackie’s online catalogue, where all of the known counterfeits types are illustrated and described, visit cameltoetoonies.ca.