Auction review: Paper money highlights second session of Toronto Coin Expo Spring Sale by Geoffrey Bell Auctions

Prices do not include buyer’s premium

Last night in Toronto, an 82-year-old 1935 Series banknote—among the first ever issued by the Bank of Canada—crossed the auction block for $41,000, topping its pre-sale estimate of $30,000-$40,000.

The note, an French-language $25 in Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) Choice Uncirculated-64, highlighted the second and final session of the Toronto Coin Expo Spring Sale 2017 as Lot 895A  yesterday evening.

Hosted by official Toronto Coin Expo auctioneer Geoffrey Bell Auctions in conjunction with the biannual show, the two-day, 2,494-lot sale began on Thursday with session one. Yesterday’s second session saw the sale of the Covered Bridge Collection, which includes a set of low serial number banknotes, each with the same “000005” ending. The set of eight 1935 Series banknotes included six in French (with denominations of $2, $5, $10, $20, $25 and $50) and two in English (with denominations of $10 and $20).







Banque du Canada $2 banknote

PCGS Choice About New-58 PPQ



Banque du Canada $5 banknote

PCGS Choice New-63 PPQ



Bank of Canada $10 banknote

PCGS Choice About New-58



Banque du Canada $10 banknote

PCGS Choice About New-58



Bank of Canada $20 banknote

PMG Choice Uncirculated-64 EPQ



Banque du Canada $20 banknote

PMG Choice Uncirculated-64



Banque du Canada $25 banknote

PMG Choice Uncirculated-64



Banque du Canada $50 banknote

PMG Choice Uncirculated-64 (with pinholes)


Geoffrey Bell, auctioneer and owner of Geoffrey Bell Auctions, at yesterday’s sale in downtown Toronto.


Other highlights of the 1935 Series notes on offer last night include the French $20 note, which was sold as Lot 895 for $25,000.

The French Series $20 is such a rarity to start with. Combined with the low serial number ‘5’ and the Choice Uncirculated condition assigned by PMG, this note will surely command spirited bidding,” said auctioneer Brian Bell, who also owns the Coin Cabinet in Moncton, N.B.

The previous lot, Lot 894, saw the English $20 note cross the block for $22,000


Other highlights—these from the Chartered banks—included Lot 1155, an 1892 Bank of New Brunswick $10 note (CH 515-16-06) in PMG Very Fine-30. It brought $25,000, blowing passed its pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

Another Chartered bank highlight was Lot 1223, a $20 Union Bank of Newfoundland note in PMG Choice Uncirculated-64 EPQ (exceptional paper quality). It sold for $23,500.

Rounding out the highlights was Lot 1131, a $20 note issued by the Merchants Bank of Canada in 1917. This example—the only example available to the public—was graded Very Fine-25 by PMG. It brought $16,000, topping its pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

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