Vic Mason of Mamaroneck, NY submitted this piece about collecting Canadian coins inspired by earlier E-Sylum articles. Thanks! I added images found on the site of
Federal Coin Exchange of Pottstown, PA. -Editor
I very much enjoyed reading about John S. Queen and his interest in Canadian coins. The article by Tom Mulvaney brought back fond memories of my childhood interest in
collecting Canadian coins while growing up in the early 1950s in Detroit, just across the Detroit River from Windsor, Ontario. In those years, the American and Canadian currencies
enjoyed parity, so it was not uncommon for Americans in the border states to find Canadian coins in their pocket change, especially small cents dating from the early 1920s. I also
saved from change every Canadian nickel, dime and quarter I found, but those were generally much scarcer by the 1950s.
After 1955, my family was living in West Germany, where my dad was stationed as a career United States Army officer, and where we were using military scrip in those years
(1955-57). But I never realized that military scrip might itself one day become a numismatic collectible. Anyway, girls, sports and school were increasingly taking precedence over
collecting interests. Between 1955 and the early 1990s, I spent many years living and traveling in Europe, East Asia and the Middle East but never “got the bug” to collect foreign
money in a way comparable to my interest in American and Canadian coins from my youth.
Mr. Mulvaney’s article caused me to pull out my old childhood blue book entitled: “Canadian Small Cent Collection: 1920 to Date.” The early 1920s were a time when a number of
Canadian cents had quite small mintages, compared with those for American cents, so it was always a thrill to receive those scarce coins in change. For example, the Canadian cents
of 1922, 1923, 1924 and 1925 each had a mintage of around one million, so they were never easily found in circulation.
This week, in checking my Canadian small cent collection for the first time in decades, I’m pleased to see I was able to find every date between 1920 and the mid-1950s. The
only cents missing are the 1929 “high 9” variety (not known in the 1950s), and the uncollectible 1936 dot cent, produced that year to mark the change of British monarchs. The
online price guide for Canadian coins shows that the four small cents of 1922, 1923, 1924 and 1925 have all appreciated markedly since I found mine so long ago.
The other main part of my tiny Canadian coin collection consists of five old dimes: three with Queen Victoria on the obverse (1890H, 1896 and 1898), one with King Edward VII
(1907), and one with King George V (1929). In studying the dimes from these decades, it is fascinating now to learn how many design varieties there were and how valuable some of
the rarest ones have become – a fact well worth the attention of American collectors who have never thought to focus on Canadian coinage.
My dimes aren’t among the most valuable dates or varieties, but the three Queen Victoria dimes all have mintages well under one million. Due to the “E-Sylum” articles about
John S. Queen, I am now seriously considering sending the scarcest of my Canadian cents and dimes to a third-party grading service. Many thanks to Canada’s coin dealers and clubs
for providing so much detailed and illustrated information online about those differences.
I've got one of those Canadian cent albums, too. Mine were pulled out of circulation in the Pittsburgh, PA area, supplemented by occasional purchases at local coin shows.
I'll have to take a new look at what I've got sometime. -Editor
Album images at Federal COIn Exchange:
CANADA SMALL CENT SET 1920 – 1972 > 49 DIFFERENT DATES WITH
NICE FOLDER (http://www.federalcoinexchange.com/canada-small-cent-set-1920-1972-49-different-dates-with-nice-folder/)
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: SEPTEMBER 1, 2019 : John S. Queen (1922-2019)
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: SEPTEMBER 8, 2019 : More on John Queen
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: email@example.com
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2012 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster