Since March, collector Brent Mackie has searched more than 200 boxes of $2 circulation coins – about 100,000 toonies altogether – to search for counterfeits.
“I’ve seen many of the counterfeits and have noticed a great deal of defects on them including die rotations, die clashes, die cracks, extra die metal and weak strikes. Many coins feature multiple defects,” Mackie told CCN.
The latest spate of fake toonies was first uncovered last fall (“Dozens of counterfeit toonies allegedly passed in Toronto,” CCN Vol. 58 #10). Since then, the fakes have circulated across Canada (“Surge of suspected fakes hits cities across Canada since fall, collector finds,” CCN Vol. 59 #1).
Mackie is mostly cataloguing these “Camel Toe” fakes – named after the tell-tale marker on the polar bear’s right paw – but he’s also diving into the fakes struck at the so-called “Montreal Mint,” an advanced counterfeiting operation that minted 2004- and 2005-dated toonies before the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shut it down.
Mackie believes there could be millions of the Camel Toe fakes in circulation due to the “variety and prevalence of the die cracks,” which indicates poor-quality dies are “being used until they destroy themselves.”
A life member of several organizations, Mackie currently serves as the Waterloo Coin Society’s treasurer.
CCN will publish a follow-up story on the fake toonies, highlighting some of Mackie’s research, in a future print edition.