Strong interest, bidding at recent Hoare Auction

Lot 95 was a Warehouse/JB in script (BL-31) blacksmith token graded About Fine. It sold for the full pre-sale estimate of $1,200. Both tokens were part of the Jack Lavis collection.

Desirable items were met with strong bidding and realizations at Jeffrey Hoare Auctions' Numismatic and Military Sale No. 122 on Jan. 29. “There was strong bidding from both the floor and over the telephone,” Wendy Hoare told CCN. “Overall I am very pleased with the sale.” All of the tokens from the collection of collector and dealer Jack. C. Lavis sold. Among the highlights were Lots 95 and 96, a pair of desirable blacksmith tokens. Considered contemporary counterfeits, blacksmith tokens are known for small flans and poorly struck images, often in mirror form of the original token. Lot 95, a Warehouse/JB in script (BL-31), About Fine, sold for $1,200, the full pre-sale estimate; while Lot 96, a bust left and Britannia facing right (BL-38A2), VG with a tiny clip and some verdigris, sold for $2,600, compared to an estimate of $2,000. Continue reading →

Your collection tells a story

For the past four months, my life has been taken over by a group of five identical girls – the Dionne Quintuplets, to be exact. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the world-famous Dionne Quintuplets, they were born on May 28, 1934, just outside my hometown of North Bay, Ont., in the tiny village of Corbeil. They were the first identical quintuplets ever to be born and survive for more than a few days – ever! What makes this story so remarkable is that the girls were born in a tiny log cabin without electricity or running water. They were born at a time when there were no fertility drugs, and they weren’t born in a fancy, big-city hospital. Not at all. In fact, they were delivered, for the most part, by midwives. When the country doctor who attended to them was finally able to get an incubator for the tiny girls, it was an old 1898 gas model. That’s what kept them alive. While all five sisters did survive into adulthood, only Cecile and Annette are alive today. Continue reading →

Even if you know it’s a fake, don’t buy it

On this counterfeit, marks on cheek and neck are typical on all Victorian obverses. However, obverse legend markers differ slightly.

Counterfeit coins have been around as long as coins have. For a very long time I have attempted to thwart the efforts of those who attempt to profit from them. While some major victories have been won, the proliferation of this bane to our hobby continues at an alarming rate. All we can do is educate ourselves as well as others and be constantly vigilant in our numismatic transactions. This is where we as numismatists have become our own worst enemy. Amid the competition to acquire new material, snatch up a “real deal” or “cherry pick” an item from say Kijiji or eBay, caution and common sense may sometimes be forgotten. The naive or inexperienced are most vulnerable at this time. That is not the group at which I am aiming this column. I hope that the inexperienced save this article and use the examples given and markers presented to assist them in identifying counterfeit coins coming from China. What I am really hoping is that the more experienced collectors and dealers realize their reactions to counterfeit material may well harm the hobby as much as the fake coins themselves. I will bet that every person reading this has told a friend of an amazing purchase or heard one from a fellow collector. Now the real question: How many have told the story of being duped by a fake or have had that story told to them? Continue reading →

Uncirculated currency that circulates too much among collectors

It was described as a choice wildcat note; a banknote from the 19th century era of free banking in the United States. Apparently the bank issued the notes for a different state than they could be redeemed. The gorgeous intaglio canal image five dollar note could only be redeemed in a small cabin in the woods, one only wildcats could find. If one was so lucky to find it there were no reserves of silver or gold backing the note and the majority of noteholders burned their notes after discovering they would not be redeemed. Here was one in uncirculated condition, signed and issued in a slab. It was about to start its journey to circulation. After the collector held up the note and described the MS66 beauty he wanted to pass it around and share it with his local coin club colleagues. He was proud of his achievement in adding the wonderful piece of history to his collection and hoping that the other collectors would agree. As the note was passed around collectors concurred that it was a choice example with great art. They loved the story behind it. As the note circulated though that MS66 grade was starting to take a hit. Continue reading →

Hoare CAND auction offers Jack Lavis token collection

Lot 223 features this pair of Canadian Egypt Boatman medals. This lot has a pre-sale estimate of $4,800.

Tokens will dominate the numismatic portion of Jeffrey Hoare Auctions’ Jan. 29, 2017 sale, being held in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Numismatic Dealers annual show in Hamilton. The tokens, coming from the collection of collector and dealer Jack C. Lavis, are extensive, covering the era from the French Regime to post-Confederation. It includes Lots 95 and 96, a pair of rare blacksmith tokens. Considered contemporary counterfeits, blacksmith tokens received their name because it was once claimed they were created by a blacksmith to support his drinking habit. They are known for small flans and poorly struck images, often in mirror form of the original token. Lot 95 is a Warehouse/JB in script, BL-31, About Fine and estimated at $1,200; while Lot 96 is a bust left and Britannia facing right, BL-38A2, VG with a tiny clip and some verdigris, estimated at $2,000. There are also five lots of jetons – French counting pieces used as a medium of exchange. Continue reading →

My numismatic autobiography

My earliest recollection of having a fascination with coinage came in 1967 when I was four years old. So 2017 actually marks the 50th anniversary of my ‘obsession’. I did not begin actively collecting coins until 1971, however, at the ripe old age of eight. My collecting interests now include Canadian municipal and commemorative medals, coin club medals, centennial collectibles, municipal trade currency, Canadian decimals, Chartered and Government of Canada banknotes and a host of other items. My involvement in organized Numismatics began around 1975 and since that time, I have become progressively more active. Continue reading →

Developing a specialty important

As a collector, you’re probably aware of the many different numismatic items available to you. There is much to collect: Canadian silver dollars, one cent to 50 cent pieces, government or chartered banknotes, medals or tokens, for example. You may be inclined to assemble date sets – a complete run of Canadian one cent pieces perhaps, or maybe a gem uncirculated set of coins struck during your birth year. Then, of course, there are world coins.These might be collected topically, by date, by country, metal and so forth. You’re only limited by your imagination. The decision as to what you will collect is a personal one; but it’s also one which you should put a little thought into. Continue reading →

Numismatic research possibilities are endless

nization founded in 1979 to support and promote the use and collecting of numismatic literature which includes books, periodicals, catalogues and other written or printed material relating to coins, medals, tokens, or paper money, ancient or modern, Canada or worldwide. In one issue, not so long ago, I read with interest a number of comments from readers about what’s left to research in numismatics. One fellow was looking for ideas for a research project but had hit a brick wall since his opinion was everything had been done as far as numismatic research in the U.S. was concerned. Readers jumped on this and began listing all of the topics had not been researched or written about in any great depth. Continue reading →

Looking back in the future

As coin collectors, we are reminded of our past more often than most other people. Every time we look at our collections; every time we pick up another numismatic treasure at a coin show; every time we read articles in Canadian Coin News, on our club Websites, or in any other numismatic publication, we are reminded of the history we can hold in our very own hands. Canadian coins, tokens, medals and banknotes remind us of our country’s storied past. These tiny pieces of art have the ability to catapult us back into the past, with the privilege of having the future – our present – as a reference point for perspective. Those numismatic treasures actually bring history back to life. Continue reading →

Educate yourself first, spend your money second

There is an old adage in coin collecting “buy the book before you buy the coin.” On the surface, it states that knowledge is important. The word book is there simply because at one time that was where coin knowledge usually resided. It seems hard to refute that statement, but it can also be a challenge to focus on getting information when you really want to build your collection. The importance of detailed information seems less relevant today when most coins worth more than a modest amount have been placed in a holder that gives you a description of the coin and the grade. It didn’t really make complete sense to me until connected with another rule of thumb, that two factors influencing the price of a coin in any given transaction are motivation and knowledge. Continue reading →

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