Nfld. & Labrador

Valuable coins reunited with owner after being left in St. John's taxi

An Edmonton coin designer is breathing a sigh of relief after being reunited with the valuable collection he accidentally left behind in the back of a St. John's taxi.

Joe Green to give one valuable coin to cab driver, another to people of Newfoundland

The silver coins were emblazoned with an image of the Avro Arrow on one side and the RCAF crest on the other. (Beaverworks Mint)

An Edmonton coin designer is breathing a sigh of relief after being reunited with the valuable collection he accidentally left behind in the back of a St. John's taxi. 

Joseph Green, president of Beaverworks Mint, was in town for the Legion Dominion Command Convention, spending a few days at the St. John's Convention centre to show off 38 silver coins dedicated to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and the Avro Arrow aircraft.

An artist is asking the people of St. John's for help after he accidentally left $6,000 worth of silver coins in the back of a taxi Saturday night. (Beaverworks Mint)

After a screech-in ceremony at Christian's Bar on George Street Saturday night, Green took a cab to Memorial University where he was staying in campus residence. But when the taxi pulled away, Green realized he had left the bag containing the coins in the back seat.

Social media, I love you.- Joseph Green

After an anxious day of pleading for help to get them back, the coins have been returned. 

"Social media, I love you. I found the coins," Green posted on Facebook at 4:30 p.m., Sunday.

"The cabbie called me and has safeguarded them. He just earned a coin — as did the people of Newfoundland."

According to Green, the coins were left behind in a taxi, driven by a man with white hair. The taxi driver, with Jiffy Cabs, eventually got in touch with Green — but not before the Edmonton man contacted CBC News and posted a heartfelt note of thanks on his Facebook page.

However, just a few hours earlier, Green had been much less jovial.

"In my exhaustion, I made a mistake and I'm really upset and in a desperate position," he said early on Sunday.

"I'm in a really dark place. I'm a single entrepreneur, I've gone all-in with this and maxed out all my credit and drained all my savings for this. And in one quick lapse of judgement, this happens."

The coins were in a vacuum-sealed package and attached to cardboard backing, and were in a blue cotton bag. (Submitted photo)

Prized possession

Green was in town with the coins — valued at $6,000 — to raise awareness for a project that honours the legacy of the RCAF with 100 different coin designs showing 100 years of history.

The coins are described as proof quality silver, weighing one troy ounce, with gold plating and colour printing. The coins also have serialized edge markings dedicated to the Avro Arrow aircraft

With each sale, Green planned on allocating a 5 per cent royalty to the Edmonton Kingsway Legion to pay off the principal on the building's mortgage.

He said one Avro Arrow coin recently sold at a fundraiser for $1,675, and a portion of the proceeds went to the Fort McMurrary relief effort.

Green was in St. John's to promote the coins at the St. John's Convention Centre, as seen in this photo. The blue bags in the lower right corner were accidentally left in a City Wide taxi Saturday night. (Submitted photo)

Green said he was enjoying his first trip to Newfoundland very much, and would have hated to remember the experience in such a heartbreaking way. He said he plans on following through on his promise to give a coin to the cab driver, and another to the people of the province.

"I've always wanted to be here, it's like I feel like I came home," he said of the visit.

"I love Newfoundland, and I made a horrendous mistake because I was exhausted." 

About the Author

Geoff Bartlett


Geoff Bartlett is an educator and journalist in Corner Brook.