A man came to the Toronto Reference Library today looking for some coin price guides. I asked him if he knew about the Toronto Coin Expo and he said yes and pulled out the auction catalogue. The Toronto Coin Expo is open to the public and is held at the Appel Salon of the Toronto Reference Library May 30 - 31th, 10-5 pm. It includes 30 dealers, various lectures and buying and selling opportunities. Admission is $6.00 for adults and children 16 and under are free with an adult.
The man was very outgoing and reminded me of my Dad. We had a good talk about coins, price guides available at the Library and his coin collecting past as a young teen in Rotterdam. I showed him how to use the computer and search Ebay for coins (this has some advantages over traditional reference books) and he was very pleased.
If you're interested in identifying your own coin collection then you will find many of these books useful for research and pricing. The books below are especially useful for Canadian coins and tokens. The Canadian Numismatic Journal is a very helpful magazine about Canadian coins.
Coin collecting can be a very affordable and exciting hobby. Below are a couple of Canadian coins / tokens I bought for just a couple of bucks at the Sunday St Lawrence Flea Market. Individual banks and even stores could issue tokens as there were serious shortfalls of copper coins during the early 1800s. Neither is valuable but I find them both really interesting considering they are over 150 years old!
The smaller one is from Lower Canada dated 1837. It's a half penny / un sou Province du Bas Canada "Habitant Token" from the Quebec Bank (name on ribbon - various Lower Canada banks used the same design varying their names on the ribbon). The reverse side shows the arms of the City of Montreal. The other coin is a Quebec Bank Token from 1852 - one penny / deux sous. One side again shows the familiar Habitant and the reverse side shows the coast of arms of Quebec City.