Please note that these articles are from electronic backup files and may not be exactly as the final printed versions.

Closing Comments January 1997 page 62 The CN Journal
By Paul Fiocca

It’s that time. Time for the annual plethora of new years resolutions. Besides the normal gang of “I’ll lose weight”; “I’ll quit smoking” and my favourite; “I’ll take all of my holidays this year. Maybe we need a few coin collecting resolutions, some of which may even be fulfilled.

As editor of the Journal, I have a few. “I’ll read everything especially my own column at little more carefully and make less errors.” How about, “I promise to send Ken Prophet and Marvin Kay a proof copy a few days earlier than the last minute this year.”

C.N.A. Members might want to consider; “I’ll bring in a new member this year” or I’ll pay my dues on time or at least before April this year.” How about, “I’ll finally take the time and take the C.N.A./NESA numismatic correspondence course.

Local Club Members might try “I promise to go to more club meetings this year” or even “I promise to help the club out and chair an event or special project, this year”.

Those folks at the Mint could make the following resolutions. “We promise not to even consider putting 101 Dalmations on Canadian non-circulating legal tender coinage” or “We promise to produce commemorative coinage only in limited quantities that will fairly reflect the premium built into the price of every coin.

Coin Dealers may want to consider, “I promise to spend more time with young collectors to assist them into developing into a serious collector in the future”.
Coin Show managers might think about, “I promise to send my show dates into the Journal early enough to make it into that issue.”
Most Collectors might try these resolutions on. “I promise to go to more shows, read more numismatic literature, spend more money on coins, help young collectors, attend numismatic seminars, join a local coin club, get my collection better organized, attribute all my tokens and last but not least, to have fun collecting this year.
Good luck and happy new year to all.

PS. I promise not to write anything else like this this year.

Closing Comments March 1997 page 110 The CN Journal
By Paul Fiocca

It was a great moment in 1972, but will it be great for the Royal Canadian Mint in 1997? I don’t know.

I was in the high school cafeteria with three hundred other students when Paul Henderson scored his memorable goal with only thirty-four seconds left in the deciding game. I think everyone over thirty remembers where they where for that great moment.

But, was it memorable enough for collectors to reach into their pockets for $19.95 for the brilliant uncirculated dollar or $29.95 for the proof version? Taxes, shipping and handling extra, of course. I don’t know.

Five years ago, the sports collecting hobby was buried in memorabilia commemorating the twentieth anniversary of Team Canada and the 1972 Canada - U.S.S.R. hockey series.
Today, boxed hockey card sets of the 1972 Team Canada team originally retailing at $29.95 are often found for as little as three dollars. Uncut sheets only five dollars each. I doubt that this will be the fate of Canada’s 1997 silver dollar.

However, in a world now much more knowledgeable and far more skeptical when it comes to sports memorabilia, I doubt the RCM will experience the same success they had with the dollar commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Stanley Cup in 1993.

Above by: André Larchevêque - Prudential now London Life’s “Great Moments in Canadian Sport”. Coin design by Walter Burden inspired by the above print. Both based on the often copied black & white photos by Toronto Star photographer Frank Lennon and CP photographer Denny Brodeur. In fact, it was a great moment that never existed. In real life, Phil Esposito was still a few strides away.

Closing Comments April 1997 page 158 The CN Journal
By Paul Fiocca and Jerry Remick

A Circulating Commemorative Dollar Would Be Affordable For All Canadians

I recently received the following letter from Jerry Remick and thought we should share it with all collectors.

A circulating specimen of the 1997 silver dollar in nickel or nickel plated steel, at face value, would make this attractive coin, with a strong Canadian content available to a great many more Canadians, especially young Canadians. It would also encourage more people of all ages to collect Canadian coins, as the yearly circulation base metal version of the silver dollar would add colour and interest to a series of currency coins, which shows little change in design from year to year.

The 1997 hockey dollar in a base metal could be given out in change at hockey stadiums across Canada, thus bringing this coin to the attention of a great many hockey fans, who did not know the coin existed. Many would keep it as a souvenir.

Coin collectors would purchase a nickel or nickel plated steel version of the silver dollar for their collection, in addition to the silver version, as they would want specimens of both metals. So the Royal Canadian Mint would make money on the sale of a base metal version of the silver dollar.

The lowest price for the 1997 silver dollar from the Royal Canadian Mint is $19.95 plus taxes for the uncirculated version. Though affordable by Canadians of higher than average incomes, Canadians of low or modest incomes and most of our youth cannot afford the $19.95 and assorted taxes. It seems unfair that Canadians of lower incomes are denied coinage which could be available to them at face value in nickel or nickel plated steel.

It makes you wonder with the success of the bicentennial quarter program in 1992 that the RCM and our treasury department can’t put their heads together and create a dollar program together.
Look in your pocket change, how often do you find a 1992 quarter, not often and with an average of over 7 million quarter for each design, a lot of coins have left general circulation. Ten million, circulating commemorative dollars each year would stimulate non-collector interest and be extremely profitable for both the RCM and the Canadian treasury and a lot of fun for all collectors. PF

Closing Comments May 1997 page 206 The CN Journal
By Paul Fiocca and Jerry Remick

Why not a three day annual convention?

It’s time to take a serious look at reducing the annual convention to a three day event rather than the present four or five days. There are a number of compelling reasons for this, the most significant though are time and money.

Times have changed. Increasing taxes have reduced disposable income and increasing job demands leaves less time for optional activities. The younger working collector cannot commit the time, especially precious vacation time for a five day convention or the extra funds for big city hotel rooms now costing over a $100 a night.

Can the meetings, official functions and social events, now running in five days be held in three. Definitely, and for the host club it would be much easier to plan and far less time consuming for the club members. A three day convention might encourage more clubs to host the event.

The bourse at RCNA Conventions have traditionally run three days, so a three day convention would not affect the length of the bourse. Why not open Thursday with a welcome party and then three days of bourse and business.

The very popular Ontario Numismatic Association convention runs for two full days every April, a Saturday and Sunday with a Friday cocktail party.

I’m sure many have already noticed, days being pared from other conventions we regularly attend. Most of the professional associations and service clubs I’m a member of have already reduced their conventions by one or two days. Why? Rising costs and everyone being tight for time.

It’s time to give some serious attention to reducing the number of days for the annual convention. It’s obvious that the rising costs of attending a convention and the shortage of free time for many members has already taken it’s toll on convention attendance. A three day convention with more emphasis on a family-type get together for numismatists, coin collectors and dealers may turn this around.

Many members have suggested the possibility of having the convention in the early fall of each year, this would balance nicely with ONA convention each spring.
What’s your opinion? Please let your C.N.A. officers know your thoughts if you would prefer a shorter convention or a fall convention.

Closing Comments June 1997 page 270 The CN Journal
By Paul Fiocca

They’re in the money, they’re in the money, they’re in the money again. Yes, the mint was back in the black in 1996 and though I can’t be certain of exact amounts, a 45% increase in numismatic sales was stated in this year’s report and it must have contributed significantly to the improved performance. The tables below indicate the coinage volumes produced by date, and cannot be used to precisely determine the value of numismatic sales in any particular year. The mint’s gross sales in 1996 were 316 million dollars. Get out your calculator if you really think numismatic sales aren’t important. If you use retail price less 15%, you won’t be right on, but close still counts.

Canadian Circulating Coinage

Dated

1996

1995

1994

1993

$2

363,290,000

 

 

 

$1

17,101,000

41,813,000

40,406,000

33,662,000

50¢

458,000

626,000

987,000

393,000

25¢

27,389,000

89,210,000

77,670,000

73,758,000

10¢

34,281,000

123,875,000

145,800,000

135,569,000

36,494,000

78,780,000

99,352,000

86,877,000

445,746,000

624,983,000

639,516,000

808,585,000

Canadian Numismatic Coinage

Dated

1996

1995

1994

Platinum Coin Set

423

569

766

Proof Platinum 1/2 oz.

100

193

-

Proof Platinum 1/10 oz.

489

523

-

$200 Gold

7,508

9,579

10,655

$100 Gold

17,973

18,195

1,7603

Silver Aviation Ser. II #1

 

17,438

-

Silver Aviation Ser. II #2

 

17,722

-

Silver Aviation Ser. II #3

14,635

-

-

Silver Aviation Ser. II #4

18,392

-

-

$1 Proof (925 Ag)

129,343

166,259

178,485

$1 Brilliant Uncirculated

57,185

61,819

65,295

Proof Set

107,511

101,560

104,482

Special Edition Proof Set

-

49,802

49,222

Specimen Set

60,503

77,326

75,973

Uncirculated Set

116,736

143,892

141,676

Baby Unc. Set

51,910

36,443

-

Oh Canada! Unc Set

29,747

50,927,

18,794

Rem. & Peace proof $1

 

43,293

66,001

Fifty Cent Proof

167,627

172,377

-

$2 Gold Coin

5,000

-

-

$2 Proof Piedfort & note set

9,665

-

-

$2 Proof Coin

65,230

-

-

$2 Uncirculated Coin

73,546

-

-

$2 Proof Coin & note set

28,117

-

-

$2 Unc Coin & note set

89,388

-

-

Closing Comments July August 1997 page 318 The CN Journal
By Paul Fiocca and Jerry Remick

The 1997 Flying Loon Dollar Should Be Put Into Circulation

Why not put the very attractive 1997 flying loon dollar coin into circulation and all Canadians can enjoy the graceful engraving of the loon in flight. As a circulation coin not only can all Canadians enjoy the coin, but young collectors could afford to keep it.

The 1997 flying loon dollar commemorates the 10th anniversary of our “Loonie” as it is so affectionately referred to by most people, first placed into circulation in 1987. All the more reason that the flying “Loonie” should circulate, as it is a commemorative coin, commemorating a bold step in Canada’s currency (replacing the $1 bill with a coin) and all Canadians should know of this 10th anniversary by seeing the coin in circulation. Why deprive the vast majority of Canadians the pleasure of seeing this attractively designed coin, by not having it easily available to all.

At the present time, the 1997 Flying “Loonie” is available only in the “Oh Canada Set” of 1 cent through $2, available at the Mint for $21.95 plus taxes or the “Specimen Set” of 1 cent through $2, available from the Royal Canadian Mint at $26.95 plus taxes. This is a price that few of our young collectors can afford and also a price many Canadians of low income or out of work can afford.
The Royal Canadian Mint should stimulate coin collecting of Canadian coins by issuing annually, at least one newly designed coin each year. Sure, the 1997 one cent is round and made of bronze plated zinc, replacing the 12-sided bronze 1996 one cent, but this can hardly qualify as a new design. Also, there are slight changes to Canada’s coat of arms on the 1997 50 cent coin, which no longer circulates, but again this is hardly a new design.

Would it not be terrific, if the Royal Canadian Mint announced on July 24 at their Reception at the 1997 Canadian Numismatic Association, to be held in Moncton, N.B., that specimens of the 1997 Flying Loon Dollar were now available for currency use? This would be a welcome change from the large number of high priced non-circulating legal tender coins in silver, gold and platinum that the Mint has been issuing in past years. Few collectors can afford these expensive non-circulating legal tender coins and some get discouraged and sell their collection of Canadian coins and collect another series, be it Canadian municipal tokens, or foreign coins or paper money, etc.

If you would like to see the 1997 Flying Loon Dollar in circulation, why not write the Mint at Royal Canadian Mint, Attn. Pierre Morin, 320 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G8.

Closing Comments September 1997 page 366 The CN Journal
By Jerry Remick

With the ever increasing frequency by the general Canadian public in the use of credit cards, debit cards and smart cards, as well as the computer and the Internet to pay for purchases, the number of coins and bank notes needed for currency will decrease annually.

In the Province of Quebec, 20 per cent or more of purchases at department stores, pharmacies, liquor outlets, grocery stores, photocopy stores, etc. are paid for with credit cards, debit cards and perhaps even smart cards. At stores frequented by students, 30 to 35 per cent or more of purchases are paid for with plastic cards. The percentage of people paying with “plastic cards” is increasing yearly. This means fewer coins will be needed for currency as the years go on.

The Royal Canadian Mint should consider this potential drop in the number of new coins needed annually for currency and try to compensate, at least in part for this loss with the production of new coins. One way to do this is to issue a newly designed reverse side for a coin having a face value of $1 or less for currency at face value, so collectors and non-collectors can own a copy at face value. The 1997 flying loon dollar and the 1997 hockey dollar are two good examples of coins that could be minted in 1997 for currency use. Both are popular and very attractive.

Of the nearly 135 million 1973 25 cent coins, commemorating the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, I rarely find more than one or two in circulation each year. Of the nearly 153 million 1992 25 cent coins commemorating the 125th Anniversary of Confederation, I rarely find more than two or three in circulation each year.

The United States Treasury Department is studying the feasibility of a 10 year program of 50 different circulating 25 cent commemorative coins, one to honour each of the 50 states. They would be issued at the rate of five different 25 cent coins each year.

I sincerely hope that the Royal Canadian Mint will give serious consideration to the yearly production of one new reverse design for a coin of $1 face value or less for currency use, so that Canadians of all income levels can have a copy the coin, if they so wish.

Some collectors are now getting discouraged by the increasing number of non-circulating legal tender coins in various metallic formats being issued by the Royal Canadian Mint annually. The Mint can in part counterbalance this, by issuing a newly designed reverse side for one currency coin each year.

Closing Comments October 1997 page 414 The CN Journal
By Jerry Remick

The ten cent coin commemorating the 500th anniversary of the landing of John Cabot’s ship the Matthew on the shores of Newfoundland on June 24, 1497 should be placed in circulation, so that as many Canadians as possible can see the coin, keep one or more specimens of it as a souvenir of this historic event and learn about this historic event.

Right now (August 6, 1997), this 10¢ commemorative coin is being advertised by dealers as being available in the near future in pure silver at $10.95 plus taxes. This price limits purchase to more wealthy Canadians. Also, many Canadians that do not have access to the Royal Canadian Mint’s advertising or displays of 1997 Royal Canadian Mint products in Post Office display cases or dealers’ windows will not even know the coin exists in silver. Undoubtedly, most currency specimens in nickel of a 10¢ coin, commemorating the 500th of the landing of Cabot’s ship the Matthew on the shores of Newfoundland, will be taken out of circulation and kept as souvenirs, so the coin will never even get into vending machines.

The track record for saving Canadian circulating coins of recent issue has been excellent. Of the 134.9 million commemorative 1973 R.C.M.P. 25¢ coins issued for circulation and the 152.6 million 25¢ coins issued in 1992 for Canada’s 125th birthday, very few remain in circulation today. I’m lucky to find one or two of the 1973 or 1992 25¢ coins in my change each year. So, a 1997 10¢ Cabot nickel dime would be saved as a precious souvenir of this early event in Canada’s history. Canadians deserve the nickel currency 10¢ coin, marking Cabot’s landing, as an inexpensive souvenir of this event.
Let us allow all residents of Newfoundland and Newfoundlanders residing elsewhere the 1997 Cabot currency dime in nickel, as a remembrance of Cabot’s landing on their Island in 1497.
The Mint can make a little profit out of a 10¢ Cabot coin in nickel housed in a descriptive holder.

Let’s have at least a currency specimen of one silver commemorative coin each year placed into circulation to brighten up our pocket change and to have something new to discover and collect by everybody.

On July 28th I wrote the Royal Canadian Mint on the above suggestion. They said they would study my suggestion. If you wish to make a suggestion for a currency 1997 Cabot 10¢ coin in nickel, write Mr. Pierre Morin, Royal Canadian Mint, 320 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G8.

Closing Comments November 1997 page 462 The CN Journal
By Paul Fiocca

“Desperately wanted, knight or knights in shining armour, valiantly armed with pen or keyboard, keen sense of the numismatic, moderately reliable, with or without baggage, no photo required, kids ok, to help an older but not ancient, numismatic journal on a monthly basis.”

Yes, there it is, right out of the numismatic personal section, another cry from a beleaguered editor, desperately appealing for assistance. We need your help or next month, this poor editor will go to the cupboard and when he gets there the cupboard will be bare. Yes, we need your contributions to numismatic literature, your letters to the editor, your well-researched facts and observations. We need your help.

Don’t be shy, send us a story, somewhere in your collection, is that piece of numismatica that you cherish, you’ve researched it well and you have always wanted to tell the world all about. Be brave, take the chance, send us the story. There’s a 99% chance, you’ll see it in print, if you don’t, its highly unsuitable, numismatically errant, duplicating a recent article or outright plagerism.

Really, it’s not hard to please an editor who has no articles to run, no budget to pay anyone and a bad habit of not returning things. Earl, I promise to send your photos back if you’ll just give me another chance and send another story, how about an update on the Golden Anniversary.

Exhibitors send me the story behind your exhibit, Geoff Bell, send me an update on the numismatic library, Committee Chairmen, we always welcome reports on your committee areas., Tim Henderson, how about an article on judging numismatic exhibitions. Just write it up and send it in.

A good journal needs lots of contributors, not just a few. My thanks to Jerry Remick, Chris Boyer, Wayne Jacobs, Jean-Luc Giroux, Yvon Marquis, Marvin Kay, Stan Clute and the many others who have made an effort to send me a contribution this year. Thank you.

Closing Comments December 1997 page 510 The CN Journal
By Marvin Kay

An Historic Auction

We have all heard the cliché, ‘the air was thick with tension’. This expression became real to me as I sat in on the Jeffrey Hoare Militaria Auction on Sat., October 25th. Two lots of military medals were upcoming, lot, #2169, consisted of five pieces belonging to Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, the Canadian soldier who was so dismayed by the carnage surrounding him during the First World War that he wrote the poem, “In Flander’s Fields”. The second lot belonged to his father, Major David McCrae. At the back of the auction room were several television camera-men and scattered throughout the audience, several radio and print reporters were ready with their notebooks and miniature tape recorders.

The auctioneer neatly groomed in jacket and tie called the room to order. In his deep bass voice he opened the bidding at $38,000, nearly twice the estimated value in the auction catalogue. At a rapid pace the bidding increased in $2,000 increments until it reached $150,000. At that point the auctioneer accepted $5,000 increases. The bidding quickly reached $300,000 after which raises of $10,000 were made. The curator of the McCrae House Museum in Guelph did his best to try to acquire the medals for his museum, but he was forced out of the bidding at $280,000.

From where I was seated, I could not determine how many other people were in on the bidding. The pace slowed only slightly now that there were only two people left in the bidding war. Moments later, the $400,000 level was reached and the lot was hammered down. There was a round of applause from the audience, but I’m not sure why people were clapping. Perhaps it was a release of tension.

The auctioneer quickly went on to the father’s medals, lot #2170. This time the bidding started at $2,000 which was below the published estimate of $3,000. As fast as in the previous lot, the bidding went up in $2,000 jumps to $130,000. Two people who were bidding on the first lot continued their fight for this lot. But it was too much for the first winner and a new winner acquired this lot. As soon as the auctioneer’s hammer hit the table this mysterious bidder ran from the front of the room to avoid publicity, but he was pursued by two nearby reporters into the stairwell.

In the meantime, the winner of the first lot was surrounded by reporters. I was fortunate to be standing close by this gentleman as the media swooped down on him. This was a scrum of monumental proportions as microphones were shoved dangerously close to his face. But he was quite humble as he answered their numerous questions. He said modestly it was something that most Canadians who loved their country would have done. He plans to donate the medals to the McCrae house to be displayed in time for Remembrance Day, 1997. Later I learned that this diffident gentleman was Mr. Arthur Lee who immigrated to Canada 32 years ago.

When commissions and taxes are added in, his bill will be about half a million dollars. He is showing his love for Canada in a way that few of us could ever hope to match
At this time, I still do not know the identity of the reticent gentleman who acquired lot #2170. Let’s hope he will be as generous as Mr. Lee and keep the medals in Canada.

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