Closing Comments January 1996 page 46 The CN Journal By Paul Fiocca

The cold winds of winter are here, keeping many of us happily cooped up inside with our collections. What a great time to finish up some research, some hobby related reading, reorganize a collection, start on a new collection or catch up on all your collecting related activities.

Better yet, why not spend some time on the C.N.A. / N.E.S.A. Correspondence course. It’s a great program written by many of Canada’s leading numismatist. Your course fee includes a great reference binder, assignment marking, a graduation certificate and several complimentary reference books upon completion.

If correspondence courses aren’t what you consider a good time and you’re in the Oshawa area, the Durham (Ontario) Board of Education is offering a general interest night course on “Coin Collecting.” This is a ten week course and will begin on Wednesday, January 29, 1995.

The instructor of this course will be Paul Johnson who is a long time coin collector of thirty years. Paul Johnson was the Project Chairman of the C.N.A. / N.E.S.A. Numismatic Correspondence Course which was released in 1995. He has been involved with The Canadian Numismatic Association in many capacities since the early 1970s.

The cost of the course is only $75.00. For further information contact the Durham Board of Education, Night School Registration, 421 Pine Avenue, Oshawa, Ontario, L1J 2H9. Telephone: (905) 579-1990 or Fax: (905) 579-9722

Or if your budget permits, you’re already planning your summer and you really want to go for it as far courses are concerned. Paul Johnson will be teaching a course on “Canadian Numismatics” at the American Numismatic Association’s Annual Summer Conference scheduled for July 13 – 19 at the ANA headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In addition to the program on Canadian Numismatics, there are 19 other courses including such subjects as advanced coin grading, coin photography, byzantine coinage, counterfeit detection and much more. For complete details contact the ANA Education Division at 716-632-2646 or fax 719-634-4085 or email

Unfortunately, winter’s still here and as I look out at the piles of snow, I wonder if the Mint knew something we didn’t when they chose the polar bear for our new two dollar coin. I guess now we can even blame the weather on them.

Closing Comments March 1996 page 110 The CN Journal By Paul Fiocca

January traditionally marks the release of the Canadian $100 gold and the silver commemorative dollar, fortuitously timed, of course, for the Basel International Coin Convention in Switzerland. This year had an extra bonus of the $2 bi-metallic gold coin also being launched abroad.

On the cover of this journal, we’ve pictured two of these coins. The $100 gold coin commemorating the centennial anniversary of the first major discovery of gold in the Klondike. News of this discovery fueled the phenomenon known as the Klondike gold rush from 1896 until 1899.

The 1996 commemorative silver dollar pays tribute to the McIntosh apple and celebrates the two hundredth anniversary of the arrival of John McIntosh in Canada. However, John McIntosh did not establish himself in Dundas county, Ontario until 1811, and it was the result of graftings by his son Allan in 1835 that began the commercial success of the McIntosh apple.

My thoughts and maybe yours by now, the Klondike was a significant date in Canadian history, John McIntosh landing in Canada is probably stretching things a bit. Sure, the McIntosh deserves a commemorative coin but it’s real anniversary should be 2011 or in 2035.

Since no live person, excluding of course, the reigning monarch has ever been named and pictured on Canadian coinage, we had to put our thinking hats on to find other Canadian events that may have deserved recognition in 1996. George Burns’ 100th birthday is out, he’s still alive.

We could commemorate the 75th anniversary of the 1921 50¢ piece. If you own one, you should celebrate it. There’s the 200th anniversary of Yonge St., the 150th anniversary of the Oregon treaty, the 100th anniversary of shortest term of any Prime Minister, the 69 days of Sir Charles Tupper.

Let’s face it, 1946, 1896, 1846 and 1796 were not banner years in Canadian history, but the landing in Canada of the man who discovered the McIntosh apple is stretching time lines. I think collectors would agree that a return to the traditional voyageur dollar may be more appreciated than commemorating weak events.

Closing Comments April 1996 page 158 The CN Journal By Tom Kennedy

A lot of information has come into the numismatic community in the last few weeks regarding the Royal Canadian Mints involvement with the sale of various numismatic products.

As we all know, it is the objective of the R.C.M. to make a profit if at all possible and they seem to be doing this with no concern as to who they may be hurting. Recently, the R.C.M. has purchased two dollar notes directly from the Bank of Canada. Now ordinarily, this would not be a problem as every collector has the opportunity to do this also. However, the notes that the R.C.M. have purchased were in fact “X” notes or replacement notes. A controversy erupted in that they were able to purchase just the replacement notes as this is not an option available to all of the Bank of Canada’s other customers. This dispute was mediated by the dealer’s organization C.A.N.D. and as a result, a settlement was reached regarding the releasing of the serial numbers involved.

A few days later in a Mint brochure that was advertising the prices for the new products that the R.C.M. was offering, a few items that had not even been offered to the public were sold out before the brochure had even been sent to their own mailing list customers. If they are trying to make enemies in the hobby, they are going about it in the right way.

Now, it was recently announced that the Mint is going to sell its products at Coin Shows competing with the same dealers who they rely on for the distribution and rumblings about boycotting all of the Mints products have been heard at various shows in the last few weeks. I think that the Executives at the Royal Canadian Mint should take a long hard look at the damage that they are doing to the hobby and should re-examine whether the bottom line of selling products at shows to offset the costs of attending these shows is warranted or not. We all agree that you can’t lose money continually and stay in business, but you also can’t anger your customers or they will no longer be your customers.

Closing Comments May 1996 page 206 The CN Journal By Paul Fiocca

What could be better than summer conventioning in Montreal. Don’t miss it! Serge Laramée, Guy Lestrade and their entire committee have been working night and day to put together a great event this summer. We understand that in addition to the CNA convention that week, some small U.S. based firm called Microsoft is also hosting their “Global Summit 1996” at the Palais Congrés (Montreal Convention Centre) and rooms may be scarce for the traveling procrastinator who enjoys making his/her reservations the night before. So be smart, book your room today.

Of course, this Microsoft event is pretty pale compared to the Convention activities lined up this year. There are no coin dealers at the Microsoft bourse, the CNA has over sixty tables already spoken for. We called Bill Gates and asked if he had any world Mints at the Summit. He didn’t think so. The 1996 CNA Convention will have representatives and booths from the Australian Mint, the Paris Mint and of course, our own Royal Canadian Mint.

We asked Microsoft about the quality of their exhibits and did you know, they won’t have a single panel of coins on display. So obviously, without even any further comments from the judges, the displays at the CNA Convention will be immensely superior.

Imagine, there’s not even an auction at the Microsoft event. Sure, they’ll enjoy the great scenery, sites, restaurants and hospitality of Montreal, but I can enjoy all of that at CNA Convention and with all our numismatic friends, meetings, and tours; the CNA Convention should prove to be a far more enjoyable event..

I think I’ll skip their “Global Summit”, pull out the CNA Convention program and registration form from pages 183 to 186 of this Journal and register for the CNA Convention today. And of course, I’ll register for my hotel room today, before they’re all gone.

Closing Comments June 1996 page 270 The CN Journal By Paul Fiocca

As fate has it, the Annual Report of the Royal Canadian Mint lands on my desk just in time to do this column.

The financial statements provide far too little information to ever comment on the operations. So, after a rough 1994, the mint reduced its losses by almost 65%. In these days of controlling overhead expenses, one wonders, about the unmentioned 14% increase in administrative expenses? I wonder what could have caused that?

Fortunately the stats are more informative. Only 326,244 $5 silver maple leaf were struck compared to 1,133,900 in 1994. You may have to look hard to get one of the 23 $1 platimum maple leafs dated 1995. Below find the totals for 1995 dated coinage, with revised totals for 1994 dates.

CanadianCirculating Coinage



























Canadian Numismatic Coinage




Platinum Coin Set



Proof Platinum 1/2 oz.



Proof Platinum 1/10 oz.



$200 Gold



$100 Gold



Silver Aviation Series II #1



Silver Aviation Series II #2



$1 Proof (925 Ag)



$1 Brilliant Uncirculated



Proof Set



Special Edition Proof Set



Specimen Set



Uncirculated Set



Baby Unc. Set



Oh Canada! Unc Set



Rem. & Peace proof $1



Fifty Cent Proof



Closing Comments July August 1996 page 318 The CN Journal By Paul Fiocca

The dog days of August are approaching quickly, and possibly with it an end to the seemingly endless rainy days of March, April, May and June. But, before you get too comfortable on the chaise lounge, favourite beverage in hand, parked nearby the pool, of course, or just under a tree in the back yard, get off your butt and make July an exciting month with a trip to the CNA convention.

For “joie de vivre” there is nothing like Montreal in the summer time, and Serge Laramée and Guy Lestrade have set up a great program for the convention. Besides a long list of seminars, receptions, meetings, fellowship, exhibits and the busy bourse floor, you can visit the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa, Fort Chambly and even a trip to the Montreal casino. I look forward to seeing every one there.

Back to the dog days, I’m looking for any coins with a golden retriever on it, especially one with the dog chewing on something. I’d like it to commemorate the record breaking three carpets in three days chewing fest my dog went on this week. If you have one bring it to the CNA, I’ll buy it. But good luck, you’ll only find one Canadian coin with dogs on it and that’s the 1994 dollar and their huskies.

If it gets too hot on your lawn chair, why not get up and visit some of the other shows on this summer. There’s the Hamilton Coin & Collectible Show - July 13; in New Westminster, BC., you can visit the Royal City Stamp and Coin Show on July 14th; the town of Paris is a great spot in the summer so take a day trip on August 4th, to the Southwestern Ontario Numismatic show. Collingwood, just down the street from Wasaga Beach, is another great summer spot and day trip, so visit the 22nd Annual Collingwood Coin & Stamp Show on August 17th. Have a little summer fun and make sure the only tired dogs are the ones inside your shoes.

Have a great summer.

Closing Comments September 1996 page 366 The CN Journal By Paul Fiocca

I recently received a letter from James and Earla Hill of San Antonio Texas. The letter left me a little puzzled on how to handle it, so I thought rather than a letter to the editor, I might handle here. The letter reads:

We are members of the ANA and the CNA, and a word on the Royal Canadian Mint. We have placed orders many times on the telephone and the reps were very unhelpful; a few times they never even bothered to copy the order we placed. Of big help to us was Mr. Champoux, one of the supervisors, but I can easily see how many people would become disgusted at these reps and simply not place orders which could be one of the reasons for the mints problems.

Another problem could be the very high price for recent coins – example the 1/2 ounce 1996 $200.00 gold at $307.45 US$.

Sincerely, James & Earla Hill

Rather than going on the usual mint bashing, I’m going to take a rare stand and stand up a little for the boys and girls at the RCM.

Problem 1 – Telephone order service – I called Mr. Champoux at the RCM, he is in fact, the Customer Service Operations Supervisor. He informed me that the Customer Service Operations annually handles from 150 to 175 thousand orders per year from the direct marketing operations, that doesn’t include inquiries. With this kind of call volume, occasionally calls are routed to an overflow service. The overflow representatives are contracted to handle only orders and not inquiries. This may account for the unhelpful representatives. The RCM’s own order staff consists of twelve members with four to sixteen years of service. In fact, many customers have pre-assigned order representatives that their calls are transferred to by whomever receives the call.

Problem 2 – Cost of Recent Coins – Collectors should vote with their wallets when it comes to recent issues. Their are many costs in producing commemorative coinage besides the cost of the gold. There’s engraving and manufacturing costs, packaging and shipping costs, marketing and administrative costs and lastly possibly a profit margin. Collectors wanting gold coins at bullion prices should buy maple leafs; they may notice though, that the longer they wait to buy these coins, the price moves closer to bullion prices. Supply and demand drives the secondary market.

Personally, I think they’re trying awfully hard to provide good products and good service. Try to imagine what it could be like if, let’s just suppose, it was handled or run by Canada Post.

Closing Comments October 1996 page 414 The CN Journal By Paul Fiocca

It’s up and at it. Canadian numismatics has gone new media. Under the banner of the Numismatic Network Canada (NNC), we’re now on the World Wide Web. I surfed through the pages yesterday and had a great time. The articles were excellent, with a great assortment of links to reach elsewhere from. You can find the Numismatic Network Canada at: or E-Mail -

The NNC is a non-profit association owned and controlled by the leading Canadian numismatic organizations: Canadian Numismatic Association; Canadian Paper Money Society; Classical & Medieval Numismatic Society; Canadian Association of Wooden Money Collectors; Canadian Tire Coupon Collectors Club; Ontario Numismatic Association; Atlantic Provinces Numismatic Association and the Canadian Numismatic Research Society.

Congratulations to Bill MacDonald, Ron Zelk and the entire committee that worked diligently the last year on this project. Watch the next issue of the CN Journal for a full report on the Numismatic Network Canada.

More great news! Conventions decided well in advance are the sign of a strong healthy organization. With the 1997 Moncton, New Brunswick convention well under way, and successful bids for 1998 by the Edmonton Numismatic Society and I understand, it’s already been approved that the convention for the year 2000 will be in Ottawa. If someone comes forward with a bid for the 1999 convention, it will probably be the first time in many years that the convention schedule has been decided so far in advance.

Oops the printing gremlins have struck again. The CN Journal is set on program called Quark Xpress. One of its little quirks, and from what I understand is also true for many other typesetting programs, is their ability to drop the last line of type off when the document is opened on someone else’s computer. So once again we lost the last line. I won’t repeat the entire sentence, or the entire article but if you add “let’s just suppose, it was handled or run by Canada Post.” you may have caught the punch line.

Closing Comments November 1996 page 462 The CN Journal By Jerry Remick

What Are We Going To Call The $2.00 Coin A Doubloony, A Twoonie, A Polar or Whatever?

To add colour, originality and variety to our everyday vocabulary, people over the centuries have given nicknames to some pieces of currency, as for example the well accepted nationwide term “the loonie” (l’huard in Quebec) for the brassy coloured Canadian $1 coin, first issued in 1987 and showing a loon or a commemorative design on its reverse side.

Quite a few terms have so far been used for Canada’s attractive $2.00 coin, but there seems to be no general agreement on a nationwide nickname for this coin.

Among the English terms that have been used for the $2 coin, some much more than others, are: a dubloony, a twoonie, a polar, a dubloon, a double loon, a double loonie, a Winnie, a bear, a bear back, a beary, a teddy, a doughnut and two bucks.

Among the terms used in Quebec are: un polar, un beigne (a doughnut), un doubloon, un double huard and un Lucien.

According to Pierre L. Morin, Communications Advisor, Royal Canadian Mint, with whom I spoke in person on May 25th, and who furnished me with most of these terms, it appears to be a question of regionalization now for the choice of a name for our $2 coin. “A polar” is favoured in the Atlantic Provinces; “un polar” is favoured in Quebec; “a twoonie” is the most popular in central Canada and “a dubloony” is the most popular term in Western Canada. “A Winnie” is popular in Winnipeg, where according to Pierre Morin, the $2 coin is turned out at the rate of 14 per second, with a grand total of more than 150 million minted as of mid-May 1996. However, in spite of this large number of $2 coins, all of which have been put into circulation, there is still a $2 coin shortage. Pierre believes some people have chosen the $2 coin as their method of saving for Christmas presents. Each $2 coin these people receive is put into a drawer or a container and saved for the 1996 Christmas gift-buying season. If so, there could be a flood of $2 coins in circulation by this Christmas.

If you know of a term for the $2 coin that is not listed above, please inform me of it (Jerry Remick, PO Box 9183, Sainte Foy, Quebec, G1V 4B1). I can then add it to my soon to be published book, Currency of North America – Slang and Unofficial Terms and Expressions.

If you have a preference for one term for the $2 coin, please let me know. Maybe we can arrive at a consensus for a term for this coin.

I personally like the term “a bear” for the $2 coin. It can be used in phrases like, “I’ll give you a bear and a loonie for it” or “It is worth three bears and a buck (a buck is $1).

Closing Comments December 1996 page 510 The CN Journal By Bret Evans

It’s Christmas time again, and every child knows what that means, time to make out that wish list and ship it off to the North Pole. This time of year Santa and his elves get pretty busy, sometimes too busy to think about those adults who may have a few Christmas wishes of their own. I figured that this year Santa could use a little help, so here is a one stop shopping guide for the numismatic community. After a year that saw a new circulating coin, rare bank notes, changes to Mint sets, and the sale of the Emperor of Coins, you may be amazed at just how many wishes remain unfulfilled.

For the Royal Canadian Mint: May their dreams come true and every Canadian buys a coin as a gift.
For the collectors: May all those commemoratives bought as gifts actually go up in value, or at least not drop too much.
For the dealers: May they all be busy keeping up with the market demand for new commemorative coins.
For coin show managers: May there be crowds of people lined up at opening time, eager for all those exciting commemorative coins.
For the investors: Great big lumps of coal, we don’t like you guys anyway.
For collectors/investors: May you buy low and sell high, but only if you continue to collect.
For the CNA executive: May every member renew promptly, and may all those new members subscribed to the Numismatic Correspondence Course.
For CNA members: A new friend willing to join the world’s greatest hobby.
For Marvin Kay: Many happy wishes on his upcoming anniversary, and lots of 40 denominated items.
For the United States Mint: May their 50 coin program to commemorate every State, get off the ground and be as successful as the Canada 125 program commemorating Canadian provinces.
For the EEC: May they come up with a more interesting name than euro for the new European currency.
For me: A platinum coin set featuring Canada’s most unappreciated fish, the muskie.
If some of the ideas seem a little far-fetched, remember, it is a wish list. And one final wish for everyone: May you have a festive season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

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