Thursday, December 8, 2022
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Arts & CultureAlmonte Coin Club “Goes Medieval” at July Meeting

Almonte Coin Club “Goes Medieval” at July Meeting

More than a couple curious downtown residents went searching for the source of the man-made thunder claps that echoed through the back alleys of Mill Street this past Monday July 11th.

Almonte Coin Club Terry & Louise
Almonte Coin Club members Terry and Louise prepare for a coin press strike with the brute force of a sledgehammer.

During their regular monthly meeting, a full complement of Almonte Coin Club members gathered in the back parking lot of Alliance Coin & Banknote to celebrate a unique milestone for the club – the minting of their own unique commemorative coin (or, more precisely, a medallion).  The culmination of a true local group effort, the very first examples of a unique 25mm medal were hand-struck in a trio of metals – aluminum, copper and brass – on a special Russian coin press.  Kindly leant to the club by Ottawa friend and collector Bruce McCaffery,  the press contains both upper and lower steel dies which come together to strike specially-prepared blank planchets. No electrical or hydraulic aids here – these medals were struck using the 2,000-year-old technology of brute force. Each well-aimed swing of a 12-pound sledgehammer imprints the designs of both dies simultaneously, and transforms the delicate hand-engraved artistry of Tony (a retired master banknote engraver) into medallic art.

Almonte Coin Club Medallions
The unique basketball medallions were created from blank planchets of brass, copper, and aluminum.

Designed by our own Club co-founder Louise, these medals commemorate two special events.  The “reverse”, depicting Almonte’s iconic Old Post Office clock tower, references both the Almonte Coin Club as well as the 2016 Ottawa convention of the R.C.N.A. (Royal Canadian Numismatic Association), of which our local club is a member.  The “obverse” of the medal, on a more historic note, pays tribute to “James Naismith & 125 Years of Basketball”.

Approximately 200 examples of the medal have been hand-struck for the Ottawa convention, attended by dealers and collectors from throughout North America, and three educational striking demonstrations were performed in the foyer of the show by Terry, our acting Mint-Master.   Rumours are also circulating of a possible very special limited striking of 125 examples of the medal in pure Silver to coincide with the actual anniversary date of basketball this November.

Anyone wishing further details on this Almonte Coin Club project is invited to contact Sean Isaacs at Alliance Coin & Banknote.

Almonte Coin Club Member Striking Party
Club members joined us from as far away as Ottawa and Winchester
Almonte Coin Club Russian Coin Press
A special Russian coin press was loaned to the Club by Bruce McCaffery of Ottawa.




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