A Note for the Novice

If you have never collected coins, or if you think you might like to do so, then a few words of advice may not be amiss. A few of us have learned in the rude school of experience, but it is hardly the happiest way to learn.

In collecting, as in anything else, those with experience in the field make use of rules which they have found to their advantage. One of these rules centres about the key coins; that is, the ones most difficult to attain in any given collection. You will have noted that Canadian dollars have three of them (1947, 1947ML, 1948) and they are the ones, if at all possible, which should be acquired first. You may be sure that they will not get cheaper while you wait. This same rule applies to the collecting of coins of any kind. However, if you are dealing with a static market, such as classical coins, the rule has no use and no meaning. The rule of getting the difficult first applies to a rapidly rising market.

Canadian dealer advertisements that feature these key coins are reasonably frequent. You will find the overwhelming majority of coin dealers both honest and reliable. Very few of them indeed are willing to sell honor and credit for an ephemeral and picayune profit. Not only that, but you will find many of them willing to go out of their way to try to he helpful. What has been said of dealers applies to most collectors.

In general, leave bargain coins severely alone. As a matter of fact, they can hardly he said to exist save in the imagination. Whereas they often enough bring little pleasure, they can he the source of much sorrow. Dealers cannot afford to sacrifice their coins and it would be unreasonable to expect such a thing. Coins are a luxury item at all times; that is, if they are good ones.

Further, better a few good and beautiful coins than ever so many of the nondescript sort. Cheap coins cost little but they are also worth little. Nor is it necessary to spend a small fortune for a reasonable collection of fine coins. Many modern coins are both beautiful and inexpensive. The 1949 Newfoundland dollar is a good example.

Last but not least is the character of the people in the coin world. You will have the pleasant experience of meeting many who have keen intelligence and this in itself is no small thing. If you really wish to make something of coins, try to learn something about their history and background. You will find it a most rewarding and fascinating experience.  

A Final Word

As must be quite obvious, this book is intended as a companion piece to the Canadian dollar sets. It should make possible to every collector who has the sets a much more complete knowledge of the coins and a greater appreciation of them.

Although as evidenced, it is possible to write a book on the dollars, it would be vastly more difficult, if not impossible, to do the same thing for any other denominations of Canadian coins. The reason for this is plain: other denominations lack the individuality and color which is characteristic of the dollars. My own favorites, next to the dollars, are the nickels.

Variety is said to be the spice of life. We all know that a deadly monotony of dates does not make an interesting collection and the nickels are fortunate enough to escape this classification. They have their own interesting and peculiar history and stories that centre about them. The nickels are even able to boast a commemorative. There is a connection between the nickels and the dollars which no doubt must have been noticed by many.

On the nickels we see the likeness of the intelligent and industrious beaver and it reminds us of the Hudson's Bay Company and the now remote past when their skins served as a kind of currency and even had tokens struck to represent them. Voyageurs diligently sought out the beavers in many parts of Canada and the United States. The Voyageur dollar is a reminder of the hardy trappers who ranged far and wide in their restless hunt for furry wealth.


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The entire contents of "Canadian Silver Dollars" are ęCopyright 1961. Permission is granted to non-profit organizations and to individuals for their personal use, to copy any of the material contained herein, on the condition that such copies are not to be sold or otherwise used for profit, and that Patrick Glassford is shown as the source of such information or material.
The Canadian Error Coins website (est. in 1997 by Patrick Glassford) is a division of the Canadian Numismatic Publishing Institute, established in 1958 by Somer James, publisher of many fine Canadian numismatic publications such as "A GUIDE BOOK OF CANADIAN COINS, CURRENCY & TOKENS" and "CANADIAN SILVER DOLLARS" by Starr Gilmore.

The Canadian Numismatic Publishing Institute (CNPI), and all its existing copyrights,
are the sole property of Patrick Glassford.