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Charlton Annual Catalogue - Observations & Questions

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Valued Member
306 Posts
 Posted 09/13/2018  8:49 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add vonigohcr to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I have been collecting coins for over 20 years but only in the last five or so, have I subscribed to the Charlton series of catalogues.

As it is the season for the release of the the 2019 issues of the Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, I thought I would share some observations and pose a few questions to those whose experience is broader than mine.

Up to 2009, there was only one volume but in 2010, it was split into Volume 1 - Numismatic Issues and Volume 2 - Collector Issues. This year, Volume 1 was released at the end of August and Volume 2 is due in just over a week (Sep 24)

I recently had the opportunity to pick up a couple of older issues (1962 and 1981) and it is instructive to note what has changed and what has not.

Some interesting observations (primarily oriented on the Dollar as that is where I have focused):
The 1962 volume only provided prices for grades up to UNC. 1981 was the same but instead of labeling UNC, MS-60 was used. There was no reference to any grade higher than MS-60 for circulating coins.

There were no NCLT listed in the 1962 volume though a full half page was dedicated the all specimen sets and PL sets issued. By 1981, 34 pages were used to list Specimen sets & dollars, Olympic sets, Gold issues and PL sets. Nowadays, Volume 2 for 2018 consumes 507 pages before the last 50+ pages of various Maple Leaves.

The 1962 volume had information on the Arnprior, waterline & SF/NSF variants but nothing on double/triple/quad HP. The 1981 volume reported on the 1965 & 1966 variants but nothing on the 1967 orientation variants or the 1974 double yoke variants

Pricing: Picking on the 1948 Dollar, the 1962 volume rated the UNC version at $70. The 1981 volume had MS-60 at $2,500 My 2016 volume has MS-60 at $1,800 but does include grading values to MS-65 for $15K.

It seems to me that variants are picked up much faster today than in the past... I remember reading of the "no grass" version of the 2005 Terry Fox Loon within a year or two but definitely less than seven years.

It also appears that with few exceptions, prices at MS-60 have stagnated or diminished between 1981 and today. Of course, in 1981 there was no MS-65 reported but I would hazard that most would believe that Charlton prices today are over-rated... was it always the case?

The 1962 volume doesn't have a great deal of Canadian circulating coin content and as such it is augmented with fantastic sections on tokens, provincial coinage, notes and playing card money. I am assuming that the tokens and notes are now in their own volumes that I have seen but never bought.

The 1981 volume contains appendices on provincial patterns and also includes foreign coins but has lost tokens and notes.

Contemporary Volumes contain what appears to be a revolving specialty on variants of specific coins within a range. My 2016 volume contains an in depth discussion on Small Cent Die Varieties. (Thanks Roger & team)

Is there a list of the specialty sections by year... e.g. the 2012 has Silver Dollars or the 2015 has Silver five cents? I think that would be a great resource to allow for research and open up the back catalogue.

There are a number of older issues of Charlton on Amazon... Some are listed at aspirational prices of hundreds of dollars but I paid less than $12 each including shipping for the two volumes I purchased. I would recommend this for anyone researching a favourite type as it is fun to note when knowledge of varieties is published. I know that I will be picking up additional volumes as availability and price allow.

Uh-Oh... Did I just commit myself to a new class of Canadian collectible...

Any information on the questions above would be appreciated as will your observations of rolling back into your reference library.
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 Posted 09/13/2018  9:25 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add atticguy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
...Looking through older catalogs is always entertaining! I only have one year of Charlton books (I think for 2016) for referencing Canadian coins, but earlier this year I picked up a handful of my deceased Uncle's old "Red Books" for US coins; and I spent hours upon hours scrolling through them. They were dated from around 1960 to 1980, and it sure was a weird feeling to see how some items climbed high in prices and some didn't hardly move.

There was no reference to any grade higher than MS-60 for circulating coins.
I may be wrong, but I think that there has never been ( and never will be ) any circulated coins graded any higher than '60'; the coin would have to be uncirculated to be '61' or higher.

PS: I hope you get your monies worth from the 2019 Charltons. For my use, I'd only need a listing of new 1c - $2 coins issued the past two years. I don't want to pay $40 to $50 to get the four or five pages I need, so I hope to be able to pay $! or $2 to talk picks of the pages I need.
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 Posted 09/13/2018  10:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add vonigohcr to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Atticguy.

I may be wrong, but I think that there has never been ( and never will be ) any circulated coins graded any higher than '60'

I may have been more precise to indicate Business Strikes vs. Circulated coins. There are many coins intended for circulation that are slabbed by TPG's between 60 & 65.
Edited by vonigohcr
09/13/2018 10:10 pm
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317 Posts
 Posted 09/15/2018  1:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Cdncoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have the 1977 Charlton guide which includes coins and banknotes. It seems like high quality Dominion of Canada and 1935 series banknotes have appreciated a lot more than key dates of Canadian coins.
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 Posted 09/15/2018  3:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add bosox to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I still hardly ever see a 2011 catalog for sale, which makes me think we did a good thing with the Victorian cent variety section.
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329 Posts
 Posted 09/16/2018  02:29 am  Show Profile   Check TerryT's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TerryT to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For the general population in 1962, everyone went to the bank for rolls of coins, even dealers and store owners. You got pristine coins everywhere that would be technically called circulated.
Coins were also sent in bags to the banks and got rubbed against each other. If a coin was still lustrous and not obviously marred, it was considered UNC. All were lumped together in one category- BU meant it was better than an ordinary bag-marked one. Most hobbyists then just wanted a nice looking coin. Loupes were rare and microcams .....a what ? You collected by eye. (you couldn't see a double HP, why would you need one ? so no listing)

Did you notice that the 1964 extra waterline 5 cents is not included in the 1981 catalog ? I think it was only discovered in 1970 and wasn't considered important enough to be listed until all the roll hunters started to find them and it became well known.

In the late 60's, early 70's, I went every couple of months to buy a few coins at coin store in Montreal. I don't recall seeing ANY numerically graded coins, and no ICCS or any slabs. You looked through a binder of 2 x 2's for all but the priciest, which were in 2 x 2's in the safe. If there were multiples of the same generic grade, you tried to find the best-looking VF or UNC since they were all the same price. What you would call now a VF-35 cost the same as a VF-20. Rarely, the dealer would put a plus and charge a bit more. He would separate the best BU ones (63 and better) and resell the ones that would be considered MS-60-62 now as UNC. I was paying mostly 60% of Charlton for items from lower grades Victoria silver to George VI UNC silver.

The 1967 and 1974 varieties probably had not been found for the 1981 issue, or there were so few reported (for the ordinary collector, there was no wide-spread way to know about coins except Canadian Coin News which few could find or afford to subscribe to). I only bought Charltons every 5 years or so since there were not a lot of changes. No one knew about nor bothered with Victorian cent obverses, or most other varieties - it was mostly about filling the spaces in those Whitman blue books.

NCLT stuff sucks. The Mint is over-doing it to death.

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 Posted 09/16/2018  04:47 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add okiecoiner to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, the 2011 (65th) edition (Vicky Large Cents)is extremely hard to find and expensive. It was the very first Charlton variety section to be written by collectors, and not dealers or Charlton/ICCS. Since that time, small groups or just individuals put together great expanded-research projects that were transformed into up-to-date variety sections for the back of Charlton. Since we are all still around, we need to get the old Vicky Lage Cent group together again for a newer expanded variety section. The scarcity/multiplier numbers that we came up with for the 2011 book have proved to be very very close to what has ensued in the last 8 years, since we put it all down on paper.
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 Posted 09/16/2018  09:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add darryldarryl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Now that you mention it, I haven't seen any of the 2011 books around. What are these selling for when one does come available?
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 Posted 09/16/2018  11:23 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add okiecoiner to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
They were selling for $100 or more on eBay, but nothing listed or sold there for last 3 months.

I see on Amazon (and others) that they are listed at $17.95 US, but most are out of stock.
Edited by okiecoiner
09/16/2018 12:24 pm
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 Posted 09/16/2018  11:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Alex A to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@okiecoiner I would 100% definitely purchase a revision of the 2011 book with the Vicky section updated!
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