By Jesse Robitaille
With Trajan Media’s biannual National Postage Stamp & Coin Show celebrating its fifth anniversary this spring, show-goers are looking back fondly on a half-decade of collectible diversity.
Canada’s largest combined coin and stamp show, the two-day event returns to the Hilton Mississauga/Meadowvale on April 4-5 with 50 leading dealers, four keynote speakers, an 80-frame competitive philatelic exhibition plus a comprehensive program for young collectors.
“The show itself has a nice variety of dealers that encompass mostly everyone’s numismatic needs,” said auctioneer Todd Sandham, co-owner of Colonial Acres, which hosts a comprehensive two-session “Premier Auction” in conjunction with both of Trajan’s shows each year.
“I can’t remember the last show I’ve attended that always has about 100 or more customers waiting to get in at the beginning of the show. It tells you this show is popular and has the right vendors, considering customers keep coming back every year.”
Filling the hotel’s 9,000-square-foot Graydon Hall, the show’s bourse offers not only coins and stamps but banknotes, bullion, medals, postal history, militaria, books and more.
“The diversity of the floor is great. It’s well-established as a functional venue, and the show is well-rounded. That’s one of the reasons I like Nuphilex as well: these shows offer as good of a collecting base as you can,” said dealer Sean Isaacs, owner of Alliance Coin and Banknote, about Nuphilex, which is another coin and stamp show hosted in Montréal.
“The diversity is a nice change and something that doesn’t happen often, but it’s certainly more desirable for the collectors,” said Isaacs, who added he’s seen “cross-traffic” with different kinds of collectors on the bourse.
“From a dealer’s perspective, I think the perception is it’s nice to have both.”
On the philatelic side, while many dealers specialize in stamps, others focus on covers and more still peddle postcards.
“What I’ve heard about the show is very good,” said Chris McFetridge, owner of Brixton-Chrome, who will be on the bourse of the National Show for the first time this spring. “One of the reasons why I vied so much to get into it is because everyone I talked to – even though they were coin dealers – all said it’s a very strong show.”
Having worked the bourse of other combined coin and stamp shows, McFetridge said he often does better there than at “pure stamp shows.”
“It’s always good to have more than one collectible at a time because it draws more people. There’s always quite a bit of crossover between hobbies, and it’s good as far as getting a variety of people involved. I’d actually like to see other collectibles added as well.”
On the numismatic side, many dealers specialize in coins but others focus on medals, tokens, paper money and more.
“The interest in medal collecting is growing, and it’s growing fairly rapidly as people see the kinds of prices they’re going for,” said Gary Miller, owner of Londinium Coins, who specializes in “everything but Canadian decimal.”
“Medals are in short supply, and it doesn’t take a huge amount to make a difference in that market. I’ve noticed more collectors appreciating them. I have a niche market – it’s slightly different than people who deal with Canadian – but I think that gives me an advantage at this kind of show because people are coming to see different things.”
He also sees the show’s diversity as a benefit to collectors and dealers alike.
“The crossover between stamps and coins is great because we don’t see that very often. There are very few stamp dealers at Nuphilex, whereas this is a much more of a stamp event. Here, the stamp collectors take an interest in the coin dealers and we take an interest in them, and it’s great to see,” he said, adding the venue “is such an ideal location for a Toronto show because it’s so accessible for anyone coming from any direction.”
TRAJAN’S FIRST SHOW WAS 2016
Trajan acquired the rights to what was formerly known as the National Postage Stamp Show from the Canadian Stamp Dealers Association in November 2015.
Under Trajan’s direction, the first two National Postage Stamp & Coin Shows were held at Mississauga’s International Centre before making the move to the Hilton in spring 2017.
“The venue in Mississauga has been a great location for us because I think it’s centralized to most of Southern Ontario,” said Sandham. “It’s very easy to get to and there is a lot of parking. The venue itself is spacious and allows the collector to feel comfortable and relaxed while visiting either our auction or browsing the many dealers set up at the show.”
This spring, the bourse is open to the public both days at 10 a.m., closing at 5 p.m. on April 4 and 4 p.m. on April 5. Admission is $4 on Saturday and free on Sunday (children aged 17 and under are always free to attend). Free on-site parking is also available to all show-goers.
Parking at the Hilton Mississauga is free while you’re attending the National Postage Stamp & Coin Show on April 4-5. The Hilton will be placing a notice on its parking meters listing the shows and events – including Trajan’s “National Show” – that are exempt from parking fees. Instead of paying the parking meters, show-goers are asked to sign in with their license plate number at the show admission desk. Do not pay the fee at the hotel’s automated parking meters. There are no refunds from the hotel or show organizers.
Beyond the bourse, show-goers will also be able to participate in four hobby seminars plus an engaging “Young Collectors” program dedicated to inspiring the next generation of hobbyists.
On Saturday from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., CCN Trends’ numismatic literature editor Alan Roy will speak on the latest happenings in the world of numismatic literature.
From 1 p.m.-2:15 p.m., Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada member Michel Houde will highlight the transition from philatelist to specialist. After much research and discussion with nearly 30 other philatelic specialists, Houde will explore why and how philatelists became specialists while also sharing what people have gained from being a specialist and what it allows them to give back to the hobby.
Lastly, from 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m., Jean Wang will discuss “Fun & Fulfilment with Thematic Exhibiting.” An award-winning exhibitor, Wang became the first person to ever win a Grand Award for a thematic exhibit at a Canadian national-level exhibiting last October. She will explore why topicals and thematics are such a fun area of collecting.
Each of these presentations will be held in the Hazel McCallion B room.
SUNDAY’S SPEAKER & YOUTH PROGRAM
On April 5 from 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., coin and banknote collector Emaad Paracha will highlight his ongoing Currency Project, which combines numismatics, notaphily, travel and culture and has garnered international media attention.
The remainder of that afternoon will be dedicated to the future of our hobbies with Trajan’s “Young Collectors” program.
At 1:30 p.m., Royal Canadian Numismatic Association national youth co-ordinator Cassidy Stroud will begin the free “Young Collectors” auction. Upwards of 50 lots of numismatic and philatelic material will be offered to children (aged 17 and under), who will be given play money to bid on real items for their budding collections. There is no cost to participants.
Throughout the weekend, the “Young Collectors” booth – located just outside the bourse – will also offer discounted material to children aged 17 and under.
2020 FALL SHOW IS TRAJAN’S 10TH
Looking ahead to this fall, the National Postage Stamp & Coin Show is slated to return on Sept. 12-13 at the same location, the Hilton Mississauga, which is located directly off Highway 401 on Mississauga Road.