Stewart Blay Collection of KGV cents up for auction

The Stewart Blay Collection, described by auctioneers as the top assemblage of Canadian King George V cents, will cross the block south of the border this February.

GreatCollections, based in Irvine, Calif., will offer the collection in a pair of unreserved auctions on Feb. 5 and Feb. 12. Formed over the past 30 years and ranked atop the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) Set Registry for business strikes and specimens, it features 111 PCGS-certified coins. Among the business strikes set, 13 of the 17 coins are either the finest-graded or tied for the finest-graded examples at PCGS. It has a set registry ranking of 67.62. Its counterpart, the specimen set, has nine of the 12 coins either finest-graded or tied for the finest-graded example with a ranking of 67.54. The pedigrees include Norweb, Belzberg, Pittman and Cook.

“Stewart is extremely well known in the U.S. numismatic community for the finest Lincoln cent and other copper collections ever formed; however, few knew he also focused on Canadian small cents for the past 30 years. All are graded by PCGS and most still reside in the old-style holders, graded in the 1990s and early 2000s,” said GreatCollections President Ian Russell. “It’s almost unheard of to have 75 per cent of a series in finest known or tied for finest, and even those coins not graded numerically as the finest, the coins have amazing eye-appeal and appear conservatively graded. Stewart is a connoisseur for quality.”

Blay purchased each coin one at a time by attending coin shows around the United States “and hunting down the best of the best,” according to a statement issued by GreatCollections.

“He attended major auctions in Canada and recalls one such auction where he bought almost every Canadian small cent on offer.”

Aside from being on view at the New York International Numismatic Convention on Jan. 12-15 and the Long Beach Coin Expo on Feb. 1-4, the Blay Collection is available to view by appointment at the California headquarters of GreatCollections. To view the lots or register to bid, visit or call 1-800-442-6467.

GreatCollections will also auction Blay’s U.S. Lincoln cent collection over three auctions this month. Five of the coins already have bids exceeding $100,000 US, including the 1958 “Doubled Die” variety, currently bid at $323,000 US.

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