Collectors Research Limited

CRL was a numismatic firm, based in Montreal (Quebec, Canada), that operated from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s. We specialized in minor foreign coins, sold worldwide, and wrote monographs and books on a variety of numismatic topics.

Our Story

Two and Four - Two Again and One

Collectors' Research Limited (CRL) represents the dreams-turned-to-reality of several individuals: Kenneth and Esther Gaver, Bill Rawlings, and Max Yas.

image list of different metalsOur story begins in Ohio when a doctor told my father, Kenneth Gaver to get a hobby or increase his risk for more heart attacks. Being somewhat wise, he chose the hobby: numismatics. His wife and my mother, Esther, was already involved in coin collecting in a small way so it was a natural fit.

In time, Dad got a job in the Montreal area, and they moved to Canada where I was born. They continued to pursue their interest in numismatics, met friends in local coin clubs, and began to increase their collection.

image list of different metalsEventually two companies were formed: Collectors Research Registered (CRR) with Bill Rawlings, and Montreal Hobby Sales (MHS) with Max Yas. CRR focused on small collectors, and limited numbers of coins while MHS dealt in wholesale coins.

In 1959, we were robbed. Our gold coins, Mom's US collection, and Hitler's paper money (how we got it is a story in itself but for another time) - gone. Dad had a heart attack a few months later. Life changed for the Gavers, and for CRR and MHS. We no longer dealt in Canadian or American coins in the future, and no longer went after gold coins. Our partners, however, had another vision for the companies, and rifts began to emerge.

image list of different metalsIn 1962, after still another heart attack, Dad retired from his profession as a starch chemist and decided to turn his full attention to numismatics. Mom agreed. They bought out their partners - and remained good friends with both for the rest of their lives, too often a rarity in itself when going into business with friends. Collectors Research Registered and Montreal Hobby Sales were folded together into a new company, Collectors Research Limited: CRL.

A New Vision; A New Direction

The new company had a new vision and went after different clientele.

Dad decided that he was rich enough financially and he could be happy as long as CRL broke even. He targeted two types of customers:

  1. "Real" numismatists - collectors who enjoyed collecting for fun - not those who saw coin collecting as an investment opportunity;
  2. Young people. Dad was, at heart, a teacher. He loved to see students get excited about what they were learning and doing.

Our customers dictated the kinds of coins we would go after and sell. If we were targeting those who were collecting for fun, we would have to have a variety of coins. If we were targeting young people still in school, we would have to have the smaller denominations that no one else was selling.

It made good business sense too. No one else was selling small-change foreign coins, so we had the market. Also, since we were dealing with small-change items - most coins sold for less than $1.00, there would be little chance of being robbed again.

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