CANADIAN SILVER DOLLARS
If I believed that Canadian dollars did not circulate, that they performed
no economic service of any kind, then my interest in them would vanish to a
rapid zero. Happily, I am not obliged to believe any such thing because the
situation is not of this kind. It assuredly is true that they have a very
limited circulation, but it is not the fault of the dollars.
If I believed that Canadian dollars did not circulate, that they performed no economic service of any kind, then my interest in them would vanish to a rapid zero. Happily, I am not obliged to believe any such thing because the situation is not of this kind. It assuredly is true that they have a very limited circulation, but it is not the fault of the dollars.
thing that seems to be generally well known is the craze for souvenirs which
seems to afflict many people of the
It was most amazing. Despite all exercise of care, any number of small objects were found missing; objects of no possible value except to the souvenir crazed. Surprisingly, enough, no attempt was made to carry off the anchor. Does all this have any bearing on the dollars? It most certainly does.
that get over the border have histories of two different sorts. They have one
history which is concerned with souvenir hunters and they have another which is
concerned with collectors. But without regard to which history it may be, both
end in the same way. I mean by this that in practically no instance do the
dollars get back to
Souvenir hunters defy description. They know little or nothing about the coins they hold; they rarely seek information; they are almost entirely unknown to dealers and collectors, and many of them are distinctly difficult people to understand. Yet some knowledge of them is absolutely necessary in numismatic research on such a subject as the dollars. Why? Because they hold far more of them than do the collectors. Like it or not, they cannot he ignored in a study of this kind.
has two banks that handle foreign exchange: the Spokane Eastern Trust and the
Old National. Both have about the same Canadian dollar history. Over a 10 year
period something more than 300 of the coins have gone to each bank. How many
went back over the border to
For every dollar that reaches the banks at least 10 more fail to do so. These are the dollars that are claimed by the souvenir hunters. It is impossible for me to imagine that a Canadian dollar could change hands five times in circulation. More frequently than not they stop with the first person. Needless to say, all other denominations are allowed to circulate. They excite no interest as souvenirs, save to occasional outside visitors, because they are too common and have no novelty value.
the basis of the submitted 10 to 1 ratio,
extreme instance of souvenir Canadian dollars may be seen in
has been some talk about possible resumption of gold coinage by the Dominion.
Technically, by the way, Canada is still on the gold standard. Should such action really he taken, and I do not
for one moment believe it will, it would be an act of foolishness on the part of
Previous mention has been made of the fact that the totem pole (1958) coins circulated freely in Bellingham. This was only possible because they appeared in such numbers as to be no novelty. It must be kept in mind that British Columbia received nearly half of the total large coinage, something hitherto quite unknown.
is their Canadian circulation history? It is very much the same as that of the
Strange to relate, there are some instances on record in which tradesmen have refused to accept the dollars. I heard this story more than once and was somewhat skeptical. However, I finally had it proved to my entire satisfaction.
Some years ago I offered a Canadian dollar in payment for cigarettes and it was promptly declined. Both amazed and amused, I enquired as to whether or not any other denomination would be accepted. An answer was given me in the affirmative. I then wanted to know what was wrong with the proffered dollar and was given no answer. The storekeeper just said he wouldn't take it. Of course, he thought it was a fake or a token of some kind, probably the latter. Quite likely it was the first Canadian dollar he had ever seen. The same coin, offered at another place, was given a warm welcome.
years ago, I was called upon to grade 2,000 or more United States
dollars for a man who was the owner of a cabaret near
In general, they were the most beaten up Canadian dollars that I had ever seen. They actually showed evidence of considerable usage. Enquiry being made as to their value, I told him that no collector would want a single one of them; that they were all common dates, that they had been handled too much and too carelessly. He nevertheless kept them and I suppose that he expects them at some time to become quite valuable. Experiences of this kind are common enough with the dollars.
Although it may appear that I have made a very poor case for their circulation, it is true that they do circulate. Collectors claim only a modest number, and if the souvenir hunters would only let them alone, a thing which they will obviously never do, then it must be admitted that they would have quite a fair history of circulation.
dollars, placed in similar circumstances, show exactly the same history. These
coins are a novelty in many parts of the
We have noticed general public loss of interest in large silver coins. Paper is preferred by the majority because it is more convenient. Therefore the dollars of Canada can never circulate except in minor degree. As pointed out before, it assuredly is not the fault of the dollars. In any event, large numbers of them are not to be found in banks as happens to he true of the United States.
circulation history makes a subject of great interest. Small as it has been, it
is apparently due for further shrinkage. Dollars come over the border in
decreasing number and the old days when they could be picked up from banks is
largely a thing of the past. Banks in
particular section of my work owes much to kindness of banks in
Next Chapter | Silver Dollar Directory | Previous Chapter
Return to Coinscan Main Directory
Page created by: muckwa
Changes last made on: 01/14/07