One blog, two curators
Since 1950, the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) has been Canada’s premier association of money collectors. Every year, it holds a convention for collectors, dealers and those with even a mild interest in the hobby to discuss, examine and acquire these fascinating bits of material culture. The 2014 show took place in Mississauga, Ontario.
Since the convention is held in a different part of the country each year, it offers an ideal opportunity for the Bank of Canada Museum to share a part of the National Currency Collection with Canadians. This year, we decided to tell the story of Canada’s phantom banks and the financial crisis of 1837, which affected both Canada and the United States.
Phantom banks were scams concocted by dubious American businessmen using notes from fictitious Canadian banks to dupe the American public throughout the border states from Vermont to Ohio. The Bank’s Chief Curator gave the talk and a display was set up in conjunction with Paul's presentation, giving attendees a chance to see real examples of these rare notes. The subject was in keeping with the convention theme of “Hands Across the Border,” which celebrated the co-operation and camaraderie between the RCNA and the American Numismatic Association. Elaborating on the convention’s theme, the RCNA Educational Symposium consisted of presentations that touched on Canadian and American numismatics - a wonderful opportunity for participants from the two countries to share their knowledge in good fellowship.
Collectors exhibited a wide variety of material, including bank notes from China and British Columbia; merchant tokens from Orillia, Ontario; and papal medals, to name a few. The Royal Canadian Mint displayed recent products at their booth and a professional engraver was on hand to discuss the manufacturing process. A representative from the Currency Department of the Bank of Canada gave a talk on the security features of Canada’s new polymer notes. For the guests of convention participants, the RCNA hosted tours to Black Creek Pioneer Village and Artcast, a fine art foundry for sculptors.
Of course, the curators went shopping–but not at the outlet mall. They were able to acquire some very interesting and significant pieces for the National Currency Collection.
With the continuing rise of e-transfers and electronic payments, people have been predicting the death of the humble cheque for decades. But it hasn’t happened yet.
Few of us ever get a chance to see a Scenes of Canada $100 bill. Which is a pity, because it is an example of great bank note design with even greater imagery by a master engraver.
Collecting paper money seems simple enough. But, paper is delicate stuff and demands a gentle touch.
From skip counting to making change, working with money is a great way for students to practice math skills.
Coin collecting can be a fun and fascinating hobby. But there are a few things you should know to keep your collection safe and in good condition. Because coins aren’t as robust as you might imagine.
Security printing is a game of anticipating and responding to criminal threats. Counterfeiting is a game of anticipating and responding to bank note design. This cat and mouse relationship affects every aspect of a bank note.
From design to final product, bank notes and coins can be used to explore and teach art, media and process.