Coins & Strings 2018 Open House

Coins & Strings Open House marks a special anniversary

We are pleased to be putting the final details in place for our December 2nd Open House, which will coincide with my 30th anniversary of first entering the coin business as a keen-and-green collector, barely out of my teens.

Coin & Strings 2018 posterWe look forward to welcoming our local friends and customers to our gallery, where we will once again be hosting the traditional harp duo Acacia Lyra. We are very fortunate to be entrusted with an encore viewing of the “Melron Pennies”, one of the finest and rarest collections of Canadian Large Cents. Since the sets last public viewing six years ago, it has been upgraded with an exceptionally rare 1859 Brass striking, currently among the two most valuable Large Cents in existence. Do not miss the opportunity to see this remarkable display of Canadian copper numismatic heritage.

Our Open House will also see the culmination of our current “Final Round-up” Penny Drive, in support of the Almonte General Hospital’s campaign to bring a new CT Scanner to town. Many friends and local customers have been generous in their donations of pennies to the cause over these past few weeks, for which we extend our sincere thanks.

Lastly – to further thank our local collecting community for their support over these past 15 years in Almonte, we will be holding a Flash Sale during our three-hour Open House, and offering a 30% discount on virtually the entire store, with the sole exceptions of Silver/Gold bullion and 2018/19 dated Royal Canadian Mint products.

We look forward to welcoming you in out of the cold for some warm cheer, tasty refreshments, and great deals!

Maundy coin set

Maundy Money and Mammoth Steaks – Memories of Allan Davies

In my “Isaacs Cabinet” writings, I traditionally highlight a particular coin in my personal collection and the memories surrounding its acquisition. With the passing just over a week ago of long-time friend and colleague Allan Davies, I have chosen instead to highlight a couple memories of the man himself, intricately connected as they still may be to my winding numismatic path of the past 35 years.

As I have written in earlier recollections, Al was the first coin dealer I had ever done trade with.  Shortly after settling in the city around 1980, I met Al through the City of Ottawa Coin Club.  A knowledgeable vest-pocket dealer – I believe still working for the Federal Government at that time – Al became a trusted source in my quest for interesting early English coins.  I recall he would even make house-calls to indulge the collecting passions of a teenage collector, a testament as I now reflect to his patience and accommodating nature.

Maundy coinAnything pre-Victorian captivated me at the time, and one of the earliest items I purchased from Al on my limited budget was a delightful four-piece set of Queen Anne “Maundy” coinage. Held once per year since at least the middle ages, the “Royal Maundy” became a ceremony in the Church of England in which the reigning monarch or his/her representative distributed a small amount of special coinage to selected elderly recipients.

A complete Maundy set consists of the four silver coins, denominations one through four Pence, with the smallest denomination measuring a mere 12mm in diameter (“cute” is a term I am not embarrassed to use in describing these delightful tiny sets).  With varying dates of 1708-1710, the set Alan had procured for me was housed in a later, very quaint original Maundy case of the Victorian period.

It remains a prized part of my now eclectic collection, and in the ensuing years I have acquired only one other Maundy set, a 2000-dated example of Elizabeth, with almost 300 years of history between the two Queens. Interestingly, to this day the current Royal Maundy coinage continues to be the only issues of the British Commonwealth to bear the original 1953 portrait of Queen Elizabeth.  Although Allan’s much-respected expertise lay in the field of Canadian colonial tokens, in those early days I knew him mainly as my personal purveyor of nice early English coinage.

Later, as a dealer myself, although my travels with Allan were quite infrequent, I do look back fondly on one particular “road-trip” memory.  He, Paul Davis and I had traveled to the Chicago Coin Fair, somewhere around 1990 or so, and found ourselves at the iconic Chicago Chophouse for dinner.  I don’t recall whether through challenge or simple youthful gluttony, but Al and I found ourselves facing off with absurdly-large 32oz steaks.

Now, Allan was not a small man, but looking back with the objectivity of time, I expect he and I were at that sweet spot of intersecting capacities.  Myself, likely at the peak of a 23-year-old’s bottomless appetite, and Allan perhaps on a somewhat tapered trajectory in which the mature male no longer requires the 4,000 daily caloric consumption of youth. At any rate – and as lame as it perhaps is to see myself write this – just about the only memory I have from our Chicago trip was cleanly putting away that 32oz mammoth, and then finishing off the third of Al’s steak that he had left aside. Whether that dinner earned me pride or shame I’m not entirely certain, but the memory still prevails of a great meal with great company.

I would see Al at shows in the ensuing years, and most recently had him over to the house a couple months ago when he kindly offered a new home to our two younger cats, who would keep him company until his untimely passing.  Increasingly I find myself wondering where the years truly go, and am grateful for having met Allan in those early formative years.

Rest in peace, Sir.  Your memory will remain clear in both our hobby and our hearts.

Sean Isaacs

The Canabuck

Our “Canabuck” .999 Silver Round Commemorates Historic Cannabis Act

On Wednesday, October 17th, 2018, Canada becomes only the second country in the world to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. With the passing of Bill C-45, or the “Cannabis Act”, 95 years of prohibition comes to an effective end, although debate on this highly-polarizing topic will likely continue far into the future.

In recognition of this historic watershed, Alliance Coin & Banknote is pleased to release our Silver Canabuck.

With an extremely limited mintage of just 150 individually-numbered pieces, our rounds will be available in a traditional red presentation case with numbered certificate (printed on hemp paper!) at an issue price of $49.95.

Reserve orders will be accepted through our Almonte, Ontario showroom.

Order Yours

For full details, please see our website.

Staggering once again for our 4-legged companions!

I am delighted to once again be serving as Grand Parade Marshall for this year’s Almonte Zombie Walk For Hunger, benefiting our local Food Bank, as well as both the Soi Dog (Rescue) Foundation and the Country Cat Sanctuary.

2018 Almonte Zombie Walk posterSaturday, October 27th, at the Almonte Arena
Registration from 1:00 to 2:00pm

Please join us for this short but fun stumble through town, and help us support these great organizations!

www.facebook.com/almontezombiewalk

Note: for non-locals who may not get the “inside joke” conveyed in my poster this year – we have just had the pleasure of having a Hallmark Christmas film shot in Almonte over the past month or so, directed by the iconic Megan Follows, A.K.A. the one and only original “Anne of Green Gables”. Notwithstanding the very spectacle of having a crew of 50 filming constantly throughout town for three weeks, I think we all were far more excited about Mrs. Follows’ presence among us!

Silver Krugerrand front of coin

The Silver Krugerrand – A bullion coin 50 years in the waiting!

When the South African mint first issued the one ounce Gold “Krugerrand” in 1967, it was very much a watershed moment in the evolution of the global bullion market.  With a diameter of 32.77 mm, and gross weight of 33.93 grams of 22 Karat Gold (net gold content, therefore, of one troy ounce), the coin depicted the African springbok on the reverse, with obverse portrait of the Boer statesman Paul Kruger.

Gold KruggerandThe timing for the Krugerrand’s introduction was ideal.  Not only did it stand alone for years as the world’s only available one-ounce bullion issue, it was not until January, 1975 that United States citizens could legally own gold in bullion form.  Thus, not only was there zero competition in any form from the American economic juggernaut, but these two factors combined to create a very keen appetite for the Krugers in North America.

Undoubtedly good quantities of the coin found their way into the U.S. covertly during this ownership prohibition, but when the floodgates opened in 1975, an estimated 22 million gold Krugerrands (or 822 tons of Gold!) were imported into the country in the ensuing decade. Ironically, this flow suffered a strangle-hold in 1985 as the United States (and other countries) prohibited the importation of the South African gold coins due to their relation with the apartheid regime of the time.

By this point, however, there was already new competition on the horizon with Canada’s own gold Maple Leaf in 1979, among others. Even into 1980, however, the Krugerrand commanded a remarkable 90% of the world’s gold bullion coin market.  Domestically, the Krugerrand still enjoys a loyal following in Canada to this day, however it now sits at a pricing disadvantage under our federal HST legislation, which – due to its non-pure 22K status, compared to our Maple Leaf’s .999 fineness – causes it to attract sales tax when sold within Canadian borders.

The Krugerrand would undergo a modest evolution over the years, with the introduction of fractional sizes beginning in 1980, as well as the availability of frosted Proof strikings for collectors.  As both a collector and dealer, however, one prolonged “missing link” in the extension of this classic issue continued to both disappoint and perplex me: namely, the availability of a Silver Krugerrand. Sure, I have a Sterling Silver “10th anniversary” Kruger I bought from some direct-marketing flyer in 1977, but it’s a smaller, paler reflection of the noble coin that should have joined the current myriad of world Silver bullion coins decades ago.

Now, however, the wait and lamenting is finally over. After my muted excitement at the introduction of a Silver Kruger in 2017 – only to discover it was an extremely expensive “collector” strike that few could afford – the noble 2018 Silver Krugerrand has finally been released to the masses of appreciative collectors and investors.

Sure, it may have taken half a century to materialize after the first introduction of its golden parent, however – as is very often the case – good things are truly worth waiting for.

Get Yours from Alliance Coin

We are delighted to have received an initial shipment of the brand new South African .999 fine Silver Krugerrands, and invite you to add one (or more!) to your collection at just:

$23. each (tax-exempt)   OR

$26. each, inclusive of postage to anywhere in North America

88 Mill Street, Almonte, Ontario, Canada K0A 1A0
Tel. 613-256-6785 | Visit our website

The next ebay sale is about to launch for AllianceCoin

The Return of Our “Weird & Wonderful” Sales!!

We are delighted to announce our next offering of interesting medals, tokens and related oddities on eBay, scheduled to launch at midnight this coming Sunday, October 14th.

Look us up under our eBay user name “Alliancecoin” or jump right in on our eBay auction page Alliance Coin.

Sean Isaacs