Skip to main content

Canadian Association Benefits from Bag-Searching in California

Nothern California Numismatic Association

Fred van den Haak, second vice president of the Northern California Numismatic Association, holds a heavy box of Canadian coins outside TD Canada Trust, ready for deposit into the Canadian Association For Numismatic Education’s bank account.

The Canadian Association for Numismatic Education (CAFNE), chaired by Scott E. Douglas, has seen the recent result of diligent coin-bag searching. These coin bags weighed either 25 or 50 pounds.

Due to a special opportunity, four Californian coin enthusiasts were given coin bags to search. They were Donald L. Hill, current Northern California Numismatic Association (NCNA) secretary; George B. Locatelli, current Vallejo (California) Numismatic Society president; Michael S. Turrini, NCNA treasurer and editor; and Fred G. van den Haak, NCNA second vice president.

“Working either as a team or individually, we searched, coin by coin, and set aside the Canadian five-cents, dimes and quarters – and even ‘Loonies’ and ‘Toonies,’” reported van den Haak. “It takes hours.

“The no-longer-minted cents were segregated, too, for giving to young Canadian coin hobbyists at a future time,” he added.

Surprisingly, their effort generated $732 in Canadian coins.

Taking the opportunity of a recreational vehicle trip to British Columbia, van den Haak trekked the heavy poundage of rolled coins to a branch of TD Canada Trust and deposited the coins into the CAFNE account – all $732.

“The branch must have felt it was the biggest coin deposit in years, and it covered the entire teller’s counter space,” van den Haak joked. “But, the branch accepted the deposit.”

“We hope to continue this opportunity when the chance to search bags becomes available again,” said Turrini. “Yeah, it’s really fun, and your hands get black, too.

“For advanced hobbyists, it seems childlike or novice,” he laughed.

Among the coins found were two 1920s Canadian “Large 5” five-cent coins as well as older coinages of 1910-1919.

“You never know what country or year or long-demonetized denomination [we would find],” he remarked.

Coupled with this effort, Alexander B. Chamberlain, noted error coin authority and well-known numismatic benefactor, matched a challenge from a Canadian non-profit organization based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with its double challenge of $1,000.

“When I learned that it was $1,000 in Canadian, I added [an additional] $100 and made it United States dollars, which converted to about $1,400 in Canadian,” said Chamberlain. “Something to advance our hobby, on either side of the border.”

When totaled, the bag-search and Chamberlain’s dollar match earned CAFNE more than $2,000 in Canadian funds.

“We are certainly happy with our American compatriots,” said Douglas. “Their generosity proves that our ‘world of money’ hobby does not have borders.”

The association, now into its 10th year, is dedicated to enhancing Canadian numismatics. CAFNE has granted funds and provided financial assistance to various local coin clubs and numismatic events. Financial supports for its efforts are funds raised through donations, such as the aforementioned. During the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association conventions, CAFNE sponsors a fundraising reception that has evolved into a major event at RCNA shows.

“We hope that Don, George, Michael, Fred, plus ‘Xan’ [Chamberlain] will attend the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association convention next July 2020 in Halifax, Nova Scotia,” said Douglas. “We might share a soft drink, joking, and certainly the happiness that is our hobby. Their enthusiasm is most appreciated.”

For information about CAFNE or the RCNA, email Email address for the California hobbyists is