RCNA convention sale features ‘rare’ treaty medal, $500 note

An “ultra-rare” Indian Chief medal and an “excessively rare” 1935 Bank of Canada $500 note will “set the tone” for The Canadian Numismatic Company’s (TCNC) auction held in conjunction with at the July 19-23 Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) convention in Halifax.

“These two premium pieces should set the tone for how the sale will go,” says TCNC’s Eric Paquet.

The auction, which opens Thursday, July 20 with the first 387 of 848 lots, will start off with the “extremely rare” 1874 Indian Chief Medal No. 4. 

“This (is an) extremely scarce and historically important Canadian medal between Her Majesty the Queen (Victoria) and the Cree and Saulteaux (nations) at the Qu’appelle and Fort Ellice,” the lot description states. It explains the “treaty medals” were presented to the chiefs on Sept. 15, 1874, when the tribes agreed to cede 193,213 square kilometres of territory in exchange for “each chief (receiving) $25, a coat, and a Queen’s silver medal.” A total of 21 medals were given.

The medal’s obverse features a scene of a commissioner of second rank facing right shaking hands with a First Nations member facing left in full dress against a view of a teepee and a rising sun.

“Treaty No. 4 medals are believed to be much rarer than a Treaty 6 issue,” says the description.

“This medal is scarcer than the six,” Paquet says. “I would speculate it should go for anywhere between $25 (thousand) and $45,000.” As of June 19, the leading bid was $11,000.

Another key attraction is Lot 551, featuring a 1935 $500 BC-17 banknote in VF-20. “Excessively rare and desirable with only a handful of examples to exist,” the lot description states. “This is a perfect opportunity to obtain a rare Canadian high denomination $500 issue. Not often seen and or offered.”

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  • enrik98 says:

    The auction could set the tone for the rest of the year in terms of prices for rare coins and banknotes.

  • alexgrut78 says:

    The medal is a symbol of the complex and often fraught relationship between the First Nations and the Crown. It is a reminder of the need for understanding and reconciliation

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