Well worn Copper's Blog

30 Nov 2019

A look at Canadian Coins (and everything else): Collector & Maple Leaf Issues 4th edition

| Well worn Copper

As a casual collector of Canadian coinage I recently upgraded my library with a few choice Canadian reference books. One of these was Charlton's Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins. Volume Two: Collector & Maple Leaf Issues. I purchased a 2014 4th edition which totaled 442 well illustrated pages. Until then I mainly purchased commemoratives and silver Maple Leaf issues, but after spending a few nights with this book, my knowledge of Canadian coinage has been greatly expanded. My biggest question before going into this book was what constituted a "collector" coin versus a typical NCLT commemorative. The answer is plenty. In the late 1970's the Canadian government recognized the Canadian Royal Mint as a corporation. This allowed the Mint to operate without government interference and issue whatever they wished, and that is where this book comes in. Since then the Royal Mint has issued scores of denominations and designs from everything from ducks to hockey teams. There is even a Tooth Fairy Quarter for parents to leave under children's pillows in exchange for a tooth. And if you have a deeper pockets there is a $2,500 (face value) gold coin. Many U.S. collectors lament the fact that Congress dictates our coinage, and have expressed the desire to give the Mint more freedom to strike what they wish. I say read this volume first. As an example, in 2005 the Royal Mint issued six different $300 gold coins in honor of the 120th Anniversary of the International Implementation of Standard Time Zones. Each of the six coins had a mintage of only 200 and have a 2014 book value of $1,525 each. Ouch! (An they complained about the 1936 Cincinnati half!) With prices like these there will probably never be a Louis Eliasberg of Canadian coinage. What really surprised (and saddened) me was the term "giftware." Apparently "giftware" is coinage produced solely for the souvenir market. And I quote: "In most cases it is packaged in such a way that the coin is never meant to be removed from its package, let alone fill any legal tender status. Even though it is issued as non circulating legal tender (NCLT) it is doubtful that anyone would accept it in exchange for goods or services." This is a nations coinage after all, not Pokemon cards. Much of this volume is interesting, but just how deep you might want to dip your toe (and wallet) in is another matter.



Level 6

Canada has some great coins to collect as well as currency. Thanks.


Level 5

The Charlton books are the "Redbook" for Canadian coins


Level 5

In the Great Minds Think Alike category, I have my copy of that very book at my reading chair since the day before Thanksgiving, it has already inspired me to pursue a collection of commemorative quarters. Thanks for your review of an excellent book.

Glad I didn't give away the ending!

Mike B

Level 6

Some of these designs are very good. You mentioned hockey. I love The sport played it for years. And no I have no upper teeth!!! They were selling a three set of famous goldtenders. I wanted one . One was a N.Y. Ranger. I knew them all. So I called how much 650.00. My jaw droped. I said for three ounces? No one ounce and a half!! I said you must be mad you haven't won the cup in years. That was my last dealing with the mint. Thanks.

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