Banknotes ‘strong as usual’ at Prominence Sale II

By Jesse Robitaille

Realizations include buyer’s premium.

Realizations once again neared $1 million in The Canadian Numismatic Company’s (TCNC) latest auction, which crossed the block online across four sessions starting in late February.

The Québec-based firm offered the Prominence Sale II, its second major auction of 2021, on Feb. 26-March 1. A total of 1,321 lots crossed the block, and realizations topped $800,000 with 500-plus individual bidders, according to auctioneer Marc Verret, the owner of the Québec-based auction house.

“The sale was once again held behind closed doors due to COVID-19 – that is, solely on the Internet – but it turned out to be a great four days of auctioneering,” said Verret, who added attendance was “higher than expected and rivalled that of the first Prominence Sale in November 2020.”

A 1912 Union Bank of Canada $10 note in Very Fine-30 with a ‘PPQ’ (premium paper quality) designation brought $5,117 as Lot 86A.

“With COVID-19 shutting down basically all cross-counter business and public shows, the Internet has definitely stepped in to help us continue with our hobby. Many are learning and participating for the first time through online venues to pursue their hobbies, such as numismatics, but we definitely look forward to the day where we will once again be able to shake your hands and do business face to face.”

While banknotes, especially high-grade examples, were “strong as usual,” large and small cents also brought good prices, Verret said.

“The market (for cents) is very strong.”

A ‘jack of clubs’ featuring a rare red wax sale with the Delecey de Changey family’s coat of arms sold for $1,300 as Lot 13 of the Prominence Sale II.


Among the early highlights of the recent Prominence Sale was Lot 13, a “jack of clubs” with a red wax seal featuring the coat of arms of the Delecey de Changey family.

The rare seal is shown beside French text reading, “Ecartelé au 1 et 4 d’azur au chevron accompagné des coquille et enpointe d’agneau pascal Le tout d’or au 2 et 3 d’azur au chevron d’or accompagne de 3 trefle de meme.”

It sold for $1,300, topping its $1,000 estimate (and nearly matching a similar “six of clubs” with a simple wax seal offered in TCNC’s New Year’s Sale).

Moving on to chartered banknotes, a 1914 Standard Bank of Canada $20 note – one of only two known examples –  brought $9,987.50 as Lot 84. With a serial number of “018435,” the note was certified as Fine-12 by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) and topped its $7,500 estimate.

Lot 86A also offered a 1912 Union Bank of Canada $10 note certified by Legacy Currency Grading (LCG) as Choice Very Fine-30 PPQ (premium paper quality). It brought $5,117, nearly hitting its $5,500 estimate.

In Dominion of Canada issues, a 1911 $1 note in PMG Gem Uncirculated-66 EPQ (exceptional paper quality) crossed the block as Lot 102. It brought $4,817.50, topping its $4,000 estimate.

Moving on to Bank of Canada issues, a 1954 $50 note 1954 $50 note in LCG Gem Uncirculated-66 PPQ sold for $1,190, topping its $1,000 estimate, as Lot 237.

A rare 1859 ‘Near 9’ brass cent realized $36,295 as Lot 441A of the Feb. 26-March 1 sale.


In Canadian coinage, an 1859 “Near 9” cent struck in brass and described by auctioneers as “very rare” brought more than $36,000 as Lot 441A.

Certified as Very Fine-20 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., the coin crossed the block for $36,295 on an estimate of $35,000-$37,500.

Another “extremely scarce” small cent was offered as Lot 470. The 1921 one-cent coin, graded Mint State-65 Red by International Coin Certification Service (ICCS), was described by Verret as an “exceptional example with superb lustre.” It sold for $6,545 on an estimate of $4,000.

A 1982 $1 ‘Upset Dies’ variety in Mint State-66, tied for the highest grade from any grading service, sold for $16,065 as Lot 784 of the recent Prominence Sale II.

Another example in ICCS Mint State-65 Red also sold for $6,545 in TCNC’s New Year’s Sale.

Rounding out the highlights is the rare 1982 $1 “Upset Dies” variety, which crossed the block as Lot 784. Certified as Mint State-66 by Professional Coin Grading Service, this example is tied for the highest-graded example from any grading service. It sold for $16,065, nearly reaching its $17,500 estimate.

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