Gift Ideas for a Canadian Numismatist

Coinweek recently posted an article titled, “What to Give a Numismatist for Christmas,” by Jeff Garrett that had some wonderful ideas, but understandably directed toward an American audience.  So, instead of just sharing it to our Facebook page, we wrote a Canuck version mostly following their fine suggestions.  Below are our top gift ideas for a Canadian numismatist.

The holidays are tricky for both coin collectors and the families of coin collectors.  Numismatists are tempted to give coins to others and, while their friends would love to give them something to add to their collection, the idea is daunting when you’re not a collector yourself.  This article will help.

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1.   Numismatic Books.  If they collect Canadian decimal, the latest Charlton catalogue may be a great idea (just have a peek to make sure they haven’t purchased it already); if their specialty is banknotes, the Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Government Paper Money or, if it’s chartered banknotes they’re into, the newly released Charlton Canadian Bank Notes 9th Edition would be a treasured find under the tree.  Beyond the basics, there are grading guides or specialized numismatic books issued by sources like the J. Douglas Ferguson Historical Research Foundation.   It’s always a great idea to check with your local coin store for more ideas.

2.   Gold or Silver Coin Dated 2018.  While this idea may or may not fit exactly within their collecting theme, it will still hold a valuable place because of the thought.  Even something as simple as a Canadian Maple Leaf bullion coin would be appreciated.  And, yes, this can become an annual tradition.

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3.   Birth Year Sets.  This will vary depending upon the year the person was born in that there may not be an easy set to find if the collector is of a certain age.  Some sort of set from the 1960s to the present will be quite easy, but older sets can be a little more complicated.  Another collector or a local coin store can provide great advice again.

4.   High-Quality Magnifying Glass.  High-quality is an important qualifier in this example because it’s not uncommon for collectors to scrimp when it comes to their tools, after all, who wants to put out good money on something that isn’t a coin or banknote?  A great loupe makes a world of difference and is always welcome.  In terms of strength, a 5x power loupe is great for grading coins and a 7x to 10x power loupe is ideal for a collector that likes to search for varieties.  Pro tip: a glass triplet loupe is a sign of quality.

5.   Membership to the RCNA.  The Royal Canadian Numismatic Association provides a lot for collectors of coins, banknotes, tokens, and medals.  They have a quality newsletter, the CN Journal, that covers many numismatic genres, access to a numismatic library, a monthly electronic newsletter, plus a great convention each summer.  If they’re already a member, have a look at setting them up as a life member.  Should the potential recipient be strictly into paper money, the Canadian Paper Money Society is also a great idea.

6.   Subscription to Canadian Coin News.  This is the go-to publication when it comes to Canadian numismatics, so a new subscription, or an extended existing one, will be appreciated.

7.   Chocolate Coins.  Hey, they’re fun!  If you’re just too overwhelmed at the idea of trying to buy a new addition to their collection, something sweet yet still numismatically themed will go over nicely.

8.   Ancient Coins.  This may seem strange if they don’t specialize in ancients, but every collector seems to appreciate a nice Greek or Roman coin.  Numismatists love history and ancient history impresses everyone.

9.   Donate to their favourite numismatic organization.  We’ve mentioned the J. Douglas Ferguson Historical Research Foundation, but there are other options.  The RCNA can always use funds or CAFNE, as can the Canadian Association For Numismatic Education to aide the work they do.  Numismatic organization have many volunteers that work tirelessly to promote and protect our hobby, so they’re worthy of support.

10.   Membership to a local coin club.  A local coin club provides a lot to any level of collector.  There are experts in many fields that are more than willing to share their knowledge, plus it provides a chance to find material.  The camaraderie itself is priceless.  In our city, the Moncton Coin Club meets the third Wednesday of each month and always welcomes new members.

Our best advice: have fun and don’t worry.  The simple fact is that the collector will appreciate the thought and effort you’ve put toward their numismatic gift.  They love their hobby and will love that you’ve embraced it in any way.

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