The Week in Shows (May 28-June 3)

There’s one major show on the numismatic calendar this week: the highly acclaimed Toronto Coin Expo will return to Ontario’s capital city this June 2-3.

Held at the Toronto Reference Library on 789 Yonge St., the show will be open to the public on both days from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The bourse boasts more than 30 “internationally renowned” coin and banknote dealers with an opportunity to buy, sell and trade a variety of material. Admission is $6, although children aged 16 and under are free.

“We’re trying something really different,” said Coin Expo owner and organizer Jared Stapleton prior to last October’s show, adding there’s “a whole lot of merit in collecting coins at any age.”

“We interact with money daily in our change, and when we get involved in collecting, we start to understand why money exists, its symbolism, and what it’s all about.”

As a collector, Stapleton said the excitement is often in the hunt – “trying to find something that’s a little different or a little better than what you see in everyday life” – but there’s more to it than that.

“It’s a lot about the research and the history, and there are even people who don’t collect coins but collect the research and the history of the coins,” he said. “In life, we have to decide what we’re going to do with our free time, and this is not a bad thing to do with your free time.”


One of the highlights of this week’s Coin Expo is expected to be the sale of the Covered Bridge Collection by Geoffrey Bell Auctions, of New Brunswick. The sale will be held a day early, on June 1-2.

The items garnering the most attention are those belonging to a set of low serial number banknotes, each with the same “000005” ending.

The set of eight 1935 Series banknotes includes six in French (with denominations of $2, $5, $10, $20, $25 and $50) and two in English (with denominations of $10 and $20). They belong to The Covered Bridge Collection, which includes 2,000 “highly prized banknotes” and is expected to realize more than $1 million altogether.

To read more about the upcoming sale, read our original story here.


Coin Expo attendees will be able to use their daily admission tickets for a chance to purchase one of a limited number of these PCGS-graded replacement notes.

“These beautiful notes will be priced significantly below book value and will sell out daily,” said auctioneer Brian Bell. “There will be a new offering every day, but the only chance to get these special notes will be at the front door with your daily admission. Yes, each day, both the spring and fall Toronto Coin Expo shows will have something different available when you get your ticket.”

Each of these notes – like all notes from the Covered Bridge Bridge Collection – features the Covered Bridge pedigree on their holders.


The Toronto Coin Expo is held each spring and fall at the Toronto Reference Library, which is a fitting location for a research-heavy hobby such as numismatics, said Stapleton, who also owns Metro Coin and Banknote in Toronto’s west end.

“We plan years in advance because we want to ensure the location and the consistency that collectors will learn to appreciate and know. Our venue is chosen because of the research that numismatists do; it’s one of the best sources for numismatic research.”

In this sense, he said, the library “ties everything together” by providing a place for collectors to not only acquire material but also research and study it.

“It feels welcoming, and people have smiles on their faces. They’re having a good time,” said Stapleton. “That’s what it’s all about: people in the hobby having a good time.”

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