Auction review: Nearly 170-year-old HBC token highlights first session of Coin Expo Spring Sale

Realizations do not include buyer’s premium

Bidding was active in the first session of last night’s Toronto Coin Expo Spring Sale hosted by Geoffrey Bell Auctions.

Among the top highlights of the first session was Lot 464, a Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) token struck for the post established around 1848 in Little Grand Rapids, Man. According to auctioneers, the 28-mm aluminum token was not listed by Gingras, although he was aware it existed (it would become Gingras 270c). This roughly 170-year-old token hammered down for $13,500.

Lot 464 was this Hudson’s Bay Company token (shown above) that hammered down for $13,500.

Other token highlights included Lot 450, an 1820 North West Company copper token (Breton 925) measuring 28 mm and weighing 10.02 grams. In Fine-plus to Very Fine condition, this lot realized $7,000 at last night’s sale.

Another token, this struck by I. G. Baker and Company and offered as Lot 499, was a 50-cent uniface piece on a 34-mm brass planchet. Listed as “F540b” in Donald M. Stewart’s Alberta Trade Tokens, this “exceedingly rare” offering also brought $7,000.

Lot 447 was a brass, 25-cent token listed by Gingras as “230” (and is also listed by Stewart in Alberta Trade Tokens under Fort Macleod as “F570i”). This token—with “H.B.C.” re-stamped over “I. G. B. & Co.”—realized $4,100.


Earlier in the sale, Lot 202 was offered as a 1909 25-cent coin in Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) MS-65. According to auctioneers, the coin features “bright blue/olive and blue-green patina with complimenting tones of orange-gold and mauve.” It eventually sold for $4,000.

Lot 499 (shown above) brought $7,000 at last night’s sale.

Rounding out the highlights was Lot 244, a 1911 50-cent coin in PCGS MS-64. Described by auctioneers as a “superior example of this conditionally rare” type coin, this example is only bested by four other examples with a higher grade. This “rare and highly desirable” lot hammered down for $3,800.

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