War of 1812 worthy of our pocket change

There is no doubt that the conflict was a watershed moment in Canadian history. Before the war, Upper Canada in particular was becoming more Americanized while north-bound trade was steadily growing. Some historians have argued that without the war, Canada would have eventually sought political union with its most significant trading partner. Ironically, the war made that impossible by helping to create, for the first time, a Canadian identity that transcended linguistic and cultural origins. Continue reading →

Sets bring circulating War of 1812 coins together

Collectors struggling to put together a set of War of 1812 coins from circulation can take advantage of two sets being offered by the Royal Canadian Mint, which consist of Uncirculated examples of the $2 HMS Shannon and 25-cent coins honouring Maj.-Gen. Isaac Brock, Chief Tecumseh, Lt.-Col. Charles-Michel de Salaberry, and Laura Secord. The gift set consists of a $2 coin and the colourized versions of the 25-cent coins, while the special edition set has the $2 coin and both colourized and plain versions of the 25-cent coins. There is no disclosed mintage of the gift set, while the Mint has set a limit of 15,000 of the special edition set. Continue reading →

Mint’s bottom line buoyed by collectibles

The advantages for the Royal Canadian Mint are obvious: these coins are sold for way more than the cost of production, and the Mint controls the program. That means that it can make a really good profit on each coin, and it means that the Mint gets to decide what coins to produce, how many to make, and can even market them. That’s why we have crystal snowflakes, glass bugs and crystal raindrops festooning a coin program that also includes limited-edition bullion, coloured base metal coins and gold and silver kilogram monsters. None of those are needed to serve the Canadian economy, but the Mint has been able to sell them at a profit. Continue reading →

Highway of Heroes coin raises $200,000

“The Highway of Heroes silver commemorative coin captured the profound gratitude of Canadians to our soldiers who served and fell in Afghanistan, and the Mint expresses our thanks to them, as well as to all our active Canadian Armed Forces personnel and their families.” “Thousands of ordinary Canadians became extraordinary Canadians by lining the route of the Highway of Heroes, from Trenton to Toronto, to voluntarily salute our fallen soldiers coming home from the war in Afghanistan,” added John Williams, mayor of Quinte West and chair of the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial Fund committee. “We are delighted that the Royal Canadian Mint has joined the many donors to the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial Fund so that the communities surrounding the starting point of the Highway of Heroes could build a permanent and exceptional memorial.” Continue reading →

Rumours will always persist on fabled 1936 dot cent

Pittman was a remarkable collector who managed to acquire all three of the 1936 dot cents at one time, and hung onto them until after his death. At one time he was simultaneously president of both the RCNA and the ANA; an unmatched achievement. There are even rumours that he was involved in the deal to have the coins produced, and that’s how he managed to put all three together. I did meet Pittman once, but we never got a chance to discuss the 1936 dot coin. Continue reading →

Kitchener’s continuity keeps ONA convention rolling

A highlight of the Saturday evening was the awards banquet, when the ONA recognized the work of its members. The highest award, the Award of Merit, is presented to the person living in Ontario who has made the greatest contribution toward the advancement of numismatics at all levels: local, provincial, and national. Continue reading →

Foreign strategy may alienate some collectors

At this time the vast majority of collectors spending money on Mint issues are Canadians, and what’s more, more than 75 cents of out every dollar the Mint makes in numismatic issues comes from this country. That means that Canadians, as a group, easily spend more than $100 million a year on collector coins. That’s not counting collector purchases of bullion issues, or the value of circulating coins culled by numismatists each year. That’s a huge market, with a very large profit margin. Continue reading →

Hadfield puts polymer $5 in orbit, new $10 on track

The setting was appropriate, since the note features images of Canadarm2 and Dextre, Canadian robotic innovations used to build and maintain the station. “I try to inspire young Canadians to aim high,” Hadfield said. “This new $5 bill should do the same. By giving prominence to Canadian achievements in space, this banknote reminds us that not even the sky is the limit.” Continue reading →

Bison won’t roam anywhere near circulation

Legal tender does not mean an item can be converted into another form of cash, but simply that it can be used to pay a debt. When a merchant or bank agrees to swap four 25-cent pieces for a dollar or vice versa, it is doing a favour. The redemption of coins is the prerogative of the federal government, if it so chooses. It also has limits. Sure we all hear about people offering to pay their tax bill or some fine in pocket change as a form of protest, but it doesn’t quite work that way. Continue reading →

Mint ups ante to $100 for $100 with new bison coin

The coin is described as the first in a series called Wildlife in Motion. It is not known how many coins will be in the series, or if they will all be offered as $100 for $100 coins. The Mint’s previous issues of “face-value” silver coins have been limited to a series of coins being sold for $20, with much less silver. Those issues have proven popular, usually selling out in a relatively short period of time. Continue reading →

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Although we cover the entire world of numismatics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

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