The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 1, January 6, 2013, Article 22


Canadian Silver Dollars Robert Rightmire writes:

Might any of our readers be able to provide biographical or bibliographical info for Starr Gilmore, the author of Canadian Silver Dollars, 1961? He wrote in a candid and entertaining manner. He didn't avoid stating his opinion. Finding information about him or his other writings has led nowhere. Thus a call for "help." The image of his book's might help refresh some memories.

Good question. There is an entry on Gilmore on p247 of the Canadian Numismatic Bibliography edited by Darryl Atchison. -Editor

Gilmore was before Darryl's time. We asked Ron Greene, who writes:

I'm sorry, but I'm not much help. I checked the May 1960 ANA directory for the Spokane, WA area as I have a vague recollection he was from there, but he wasn’t listed there, nor was his name in the C.N.A. 1962 directory. I never corresponded with him and I never met him.

Darryl provided the following entry on Gilmore from the Canadian Numismatic Bibliography. Thanks! -Editor

Canadian dollars made at the Royal Canadian Mint since 1952. – Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine : Vol. 25, no. 2 (Feb. 1959). – p. 257 - 254. – very comprehensive review of the details concerning every issue including varieties and quantities allocated to various banks by type

Finale on Canadian dollars. – Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine : Vol. 25, no. 9 (Sep. 1959). – p. 2144 - 2153. – very detailed discussion of published errors concerning the designers and production of dollars and the identification of the principle collectors of Canadian dollars from around the world

Canadian dollars counterstamped “JOP”. – Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine : Vol. 26, no. 4 (April 1960). – p. 964 - 968. – an investigation into the appearance of dollars countermarked ‘J.O.P.’ which were first reported in the Winnipeg Tribune in 1947. Larry Gingras discovered that the issuer was Joseph Oliva Patenaude - a jeweller from Nelson, British Columbia. This article summarizes that story and greatly expands upon the existing body of knowledge about this subject

Canadian silver dollars : voyageurs and commemoratives. – H.C. Taylor; Somer James, Editors. – Winnipeg : Canadian Numismatic Publishing Institute, 1961. – 96 p., ill. – contains technical data and mintage figures for each silver dollar minted from 1911 - 1960

Parliamentary dollar background. – Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine : Vol. 28, no. 3 (March 1962). – p. 660 - 663. – detailed information about the background, production and distribution of the 1939 silver dollar commemorating the royal visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth

Double variant (two separate errors) Canadian dollar. – Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine : Vol. 30, no. 3 (March 1964). – p. 601 - 603. – the story of the discovery of a 1950 ‘Arnprior’ Voyageur dollar with both the variation in the normal three water lines at the bow of the canoe and the complete absence of the lower right group of Northern Lights. As of the date of publication, this was the only known example despite the knowledge that two different reverse dies were used for the 1950 production run. Logically many more examples should exist

Canadian dot coins. – Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine : Vol. 30, no. 6 (June 1964). – p. 1545 - 1549. – Elizabeth Wyn-Wood tells the story of why ‘dots’ were intentionally placed on the 1936 dies - including a description of how this was accomplished. She also states that “at least four dies of each denomination were so marked”. Curiously, the official Mint report fails to mention any ‘dot’ coins

Canadian dollar variants. – Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine : Vol. 30, no. 10 (Oct. 1964). – p. 2907 - 2909. – descriptions of silver dollar die varieties and feature errors

Canadian dollar history. – Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine : Vol. 30, no. 12 (Dec. 1964). – p. 3291 - 3293. – discussion of the emotions and economics contributing to a dramatic increase in the value of Canadian silver dollars

Darryl adds:

Note that his last entry relates to an article that discusses the speculative bubble concerning these coins. Of course, that bubble eventually burst in spectacular fashion. From the introduction in the CNB, I quote:

"Currency collecting grew phenomenally in the 1950s and early '60s - so much so that it became near-mania by the mid-1960s to make bulk purchases of the most recent dates. Ticker-tape systems were installed, ‘investment papers' were published, and the catalogues were unable to keep pace with the ever-rising prices. Fuelled by the U.S. coin shortage of 1964-65 and the American government's subsequent decision to both freeze the date at 1964 and to discontinue the production of proof sets, the sale of Canadian ‘proof-like’ sets skyrocketed in demand and price, culminating in the two million sets reserved for 1965 being over-subscribed early on that year’s first business day. The Canadian government’s later decision to fill all orders received caused the ‘coin bubble’ to burst. Shorn of multitudes of speculative ‘investors’, the hobby lay in depression for a few years and then began to gain strength again on a more gradual and sustained basis."

Wayne Homren, Editor

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