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.