By Jesse Robitaille
A sure sign of spring’s arrival, the hobby season began to bloom this March as the biannual National Postage Stamp and Coin Show opened its doors in Mississauga.
On March 23-24, more than 1,100 show-goers and about 50 dealers returned to Hilton Mississauga’s 9,000-square-foot Graydon Hall for what was the largest gathering since the show began in 2016. Kicking off on only the fourth official day of spring, it saw “good representation from the numismatic and philatelic community” according to Peter Becker, one of the hundreds of collectors probing the bourse throughout the weekend.
“In essence, it seemed like a mini-convention without all the pomp and ceremony and major expense,” said Becker, who added he will “look forward to attending the Sept. 7-8 show in the fall.”
“I think the show was well attended, and although there are at least a few one-day shows that unofficially kick off the spring season, the NPSCS offers something for everyone,” said Becker, secretary of the Waterloo Coin Society, which celebrated its 60th anniversary – and held its 28th annual Cambridge Coin Show – earlier in March.
“The location is ideal for connecting with collectors in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) who may not have been able to attend the Cambridge show,” he said, adding the numismatic seminars, two-session “Premier Auction” and representation from both the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) and Ontario Numismatic Association (ONA) “were a big draw for me.”
The show served as a way for people in “Organized Numismatics” – including Becker, RCNA President Henry Nienhuis and ONA Immediate Past President and Treasurer Robb McPherson – to rendezvous with their fellow hobby officials.
“Having a table means we do get a chance to connect with a number of club executives from the Toronto area,” said Nienhuis. “We had a few discussions about upcoming events and were able to plan and discuss pertinent RCNA issues at the show.”
In speaking with dealers, Nienhuis said “it was very busy at their tables” and added they “were all pleased.”
“It’s certainly a show that’s growing and proves this is the right time of year for a show of this size in the Toronto area.”
Dealer Sean Isaacs, owner of Almonte, Ont.’s Alliance Coin and Banknote, has attended each show since May 2016, about six months after Trajan Publishing acquired the rights to the former “National Postage Stamp Show” from the Canadian Stamp Dealers’ Association.
“This show was once again very nicely put together,” said Isaacs, who’s a past contributor to the Standard Catalog of World Coins and Standard Catalog of World Paper Money and the former editor of CCN Trends.
His first GTA show of the year, Isaacs said it was “a pleasure” to man a table on the bourse.
“It was a flag-waving welcome to spring. It looked great, and I really saw the interaction between the two hobbies, which is really special. The consensus is it’s a tough gig to bring the two hobbies together, but this show does it.”
The difference between the first show at the International Centre, near Pearson Airport, is “night and day,” he added.
“I like this current location, and I’m all for combining complementary collectible fields. There’s increasing crossover these days, and people collect a theme right across the board.”
Also returning to the two-day show this spring was Gerard Feehan, owner of Halifax, N.S.’s Citadel Coins.
“The show is already good at expanding the collector market, but it was even better this year, with very busy foot traffic on Saturday,” said Feehan, who travels more than 3,600 kilometres altogether to work the show each spring and fall. “We love the hobby and we love the show – it’s spectacular – so we want to support it, and we will continue to do so 100 per cent.”
As mentioned, Colonial Acres’ Premier Auction, which was held in conjunction with the show this March, was highlighted by a 1916-C gold sovereign in About Uncirculated-55.
Offered as Lot 158 of the more than 1,600-lot sale, the piece was certified by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and realized $28,750.
‘YOUNG COLLECTORS’ AUCTION
As part of the show’s family-friendly mandate, organizers once again hosted a free “Young Collectors” auction with 35 lots of philatelic and numismatic material for children aged 17 and under.
A total of $1,000 in play money was provided to all bidders, so there was no cost to the nearly 40 young participants. Most importantly, they were all able to take home some material for their budding collections thanks to donations from dealers and supporting organizations.
“The kids’ auction was great,” said Nienhuis, who added it was “one of the largest RCNA-sponsored events we’ve ever had.”
The next RCNA-sponsored youth auctions are slated for this April at the 57th annual ONA Convention in Kingston and this July at the RCNA Convention in Calgary.
A full review of the “Young Collectors” auction will be published in a future issue of CCN.
Two well-attended numismatic seminars were also held on March 23, when Banknote Certification Service founder Steven Bell highlighted paper money’s importance and evolution from the infancy of the Canadian banking system in the early 1800s through the present day.
Later that day, Yvon Marquis, long-time numismatist and author of How to Dispose of a Coin or Banknote Collection, discussed the valuation and sale of various types of collections.
A full review of these seminars will be published in a future issue of CCN.
2019 FALL SHOW
The Fall 2019 National Postage Stamp and Coin Show will be held Sept. 7-8 at the same location, the Hilton Mississauga, which is located directly off Highway 401 on Mississauga Road.
As always, admission is $3 on Saturday and free on Sunday, and free on-site parking is available to show attendees.
For more information about the biannual show, which is hosted by Trajan Publishing Corp., publisher of Canadian Coin News and Canadian Stamp News, visit stampandcoinshow.com.