by Serge Pelletier
February 14, 2019 – For decades, Christian Houle has been collecting Canadian coins with errors and varieties and has become quite passionate about them. He plans to share the knowledge he has accumulated over those years in a series of guides. The first volume of this series covers the varieties and errors found on 1-cent coins issued during the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1953-2012).
Christian Houle, Guide to Errors and Varieties on Canadian Coins. Vol. 1 – 1 Cent (Elizabeth II). Christian Houle, Sherbrooke 2018. 274 pp., fully illustrated in color. Paperback, spiral bound. 8.5 x 11 in. ISBN: 978-2-9817740-0-2. 64.95 CAD. Electronic format, ISBN: 978-2-9817740-1-9. 34.95 CAD (CD-ROM), 39.95 CAD (USB stick).
To better keep track of the pieces in his collection, he developed three-letter codes to describe the type of error and its location. In the first part of the book, he introduces the reader to his three-letter codes as well as to what he has called the “interest index”. Indeed, rather than give a value for the various pieces listed, he has provided an “interest index,” which reflects the appeal an error may have for a collector.
In the second part of the book, Houle presents non-die-related errors, those that are the result of faulty procedures during the production of the coin (during blanking, plating, and striking), and therefore affect the physical aspects of the coin. Since coins resulting from those types of errors are usually quite obvious, they rarely make it out of the mint and are therefore quite rare. For this reason, he chose not to list the known pieces.
Finally, the last part of the book deals with die-related errors, those errors that are reproduced on every coin struck by the faulty die. In these cases, it is the motif of the coin rather than its physical aspect that is affected. In this section, Houle presents tables of the known errors for every year of issue.
The book is profusely illustrated with clear, colour images, most being enlargements of the areas affected on the coin. This guide is for equally for the collector who is just starting to collect coins with errors and for the collector who has been collecting them for a while.
A Guide to Errors and Varieties on Canadian Coins, Vol. 1 – 1 Cent (Elizabeth II) is available directly from the author.