Canadian, Asian paper money rarities expected to ‘dominate’ upcoming sale

By Jesse Robitaille

Adem Karisik, the owner of Rare Collectables Trading in Vancouver, B.C., is set to host his first live auction under the banner of Karisik Auction Galleries this December.

Bidding began on Nov. 11 and the live auction’s first session will kick off on Dec. 12 at 3 p.m. (PT), when more than $500,000 worth of material will begin crossing the block. A second session will also be held on the following day at 3 p.m. (PT).

“There will be over 500 lots with an estimated value of over half a million dollars, and the majority of the lots start at 50 per cent of the estimate,” said Karisik, who’s a collector and dealer with more than a decade of experience in the paper money business.

Canadian and Asian banknotes “dominate the sale,” according to Karisik, who added there are also lots offering Canadian coins and other world notes.

“Lots range in estimated value anywhere from $30 to $30,000, so there is something for every collector. Multiple sale highlights have never been offered for sale publicly, with multiple examples being the finest known for their type.”

An 1876 $4 note issued by the Consolidated Bank of Canada in Montréal, Qué., is estimated at $12,500-$17,500. It’s offered as Lot 80A of the Dec. 12-13 sale.


A $50 note from the Bank of Canada’s 1937 Series – its second issue since forming two years earlier – is among the Canadian banknote highlights.

Featuring the signature of bank Governor G.F. Towers and Deputy Governor J.A.C. Osborne, the note is certified as Choice Uncirculated-63 by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG).

“A beautiful high-grade example of the scare Osborne signature, it’s one of only five known uncirculated examples,” said Karisik. “Strong colours, even margins and sharp corners entail this rarity.”

The Canadian Paper Money Society Note Registry lists 107 known examples, of which only five are in uncirculated condition, Karisik added.

A 1917 Canadian Bank of Commerce $20 note will cross the block as Lot 76A with an estimate of $11,000-$13,000.

The example offered this December will cross the block as Lot 43A with an estimate of $20,000-$25,000.

Going back to the days of chartered banks, an 1876 $4 note issued by the Consolidated Bank of Canada in Montréal, Qué., will cross the block as Lot 80A. Certified as Fine-15 by PMG, the note also features two horizontal “BELLEVILLE” overprints at the left and right, respectively, of the central vignette.

“It’s one of only two examples known in private hands, and it’s the first time this banknote has gone up for public sale,” said Karisik, who added it’s the “rarest banknote issued by the Consolidated Bank known in private hands.”

It’s estimated at $12,500-$17,500.

Rounding out the Canadian banknote trio is another chartered note, this issued in 1917 by the Canadian Bank of Commerce. With a face value of $20, the note also features the “rare” signature of bank founder Arthur Trigge.

“Charlton states only six examples are known, with an additional example permanently impounded in the Bank of Canada’s collection,” said Karisik. “Additionally, this is the finest known example on PMG’s population report.”

Certified as Fine-15 by PMG, it’s expected to bring $11,000-$13,000 as Lot 76A.

A 1922 Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation $10 note is estimated at $20,000-$30,000 as Lot 112A.


Among the Chinese highlights is a 1922 $10 note issued by the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in Chefoo (present-day Yantai) in China’s Shandong Province.

“Large, even margins with sharp corners and strong colour entail this beautiful example,” said Karisik, who added the note has a low serial number of “000725.”

A rare local issue with a small print quantity, it’s one of only nine examples listed in PMG’s population report. Certified as About Uncirculated-55 by PMG, this “Pick S317a” variety is expected to cross the block for $20,000-$30,000 as Lot 112A.


A 1964 Bermudan £10 ‘Pick 22’ variety is expected to bring $7,500-$8,500 as Lot 99A.

Rounding out the highlights is a 1964 £10 “Pick 22” variety issued by Bermuda.

Certified at Gem Uncirculated-66 PPQ (premium paper quality) by PCGS Banknote, it’s among “the rarest and most popular Bermuda notes to come in any grade, let alone Gem-66 PPQ,” Karisik said.

“It was issued for six years after decimalization from the Bermuda pound to dollar forced almost all examples to be cashed and destroyed, resulting in its rarity.”

The example offered by Karisik as Lot 99A is estimated at $7,500-$8,500.

The upcoming sale is expected to be the first of many for Karisik, who’s planning to host auctions every three months as Karisik Auction Galleries. A 20 per cent buyer’s premium will be added to all winning bids.

The lots are available for preview via iCollector at, and for more information about Karisik Auction Galleries, visit

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