OTD: ‘Dean of Canadian Numismatics’ Jim Charlton born

On today’s date in 1911, James E. Charlton, the “Dean of Canadian Numismatics,” was born.

Charlton began collecting coins at the age of 15, when his brother gave him an 1863 U.S. Indian Head cent. This numismatic interest stayed with the young Charlton, who eventually became a beloved dealer, auctioneer, author and publisher. A string of catalogues considered to be “the Bible” of Canadian numismatics continues to be published under his name; in fact, the 71st edition of the Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins was released last week.

“Jim Charlton probably did more to popularize the coin hobby than any other individual in the last 50 years,” Geoffrey Bell, who was RCNA president from 1983-85 and again from 2001-03, told CCN in 2013. “He was a man of integrity, honesty and always asked fair prices when dealing. He encouraged new ventures that I personally experienced when we opened our auction house. He was generous to a fault that mirrored his Salvation Army faith. He will be greatly missed at our annual conventions. Jim rest in peace knowing you left the world a better place than when you entered it.”

Charlton died Sept. 20, 2013, at the age of 103.

HIGHLY DECORATED NUMISMATIST

Charton was president of what was then known as the Canadian Numismatic Association (now the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association, or RCNA) from 1977-79. He had received the J. Douglas Ferguson Award for service to Canadian numismatics in 1972.

In 1988, he was named honorary president of the CNA. He was named a Fellow of the CNA in 2002, and he was the first recipient of the the association’s Paul Fiocca Award for distinguished service in 2008. He was also named a Fellow of the Canadian Numismatic Research Society.

In 2011, the RCNA honoured his 100th birthday with a tribute during the association’s awards banquet.

Leave a Reply

Keep up to date with the numismatic community

Sign up to receive our newsletter.

Canadian Coin News

Canada

Canadian Coin News is Canada's premier source of information about coins, notes and medals.

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.

Send Us Your Event

Running an event? Send it to us and we will display it on Canadian Coin News!

Submit Event →

Subscribe To 26 Issues For Just $47.99/year

Subscribe today to receive Canada's premier coin publication. Canadian Coin News is available in both paper and digital forms.

Subscribe Now

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.