Collectors get rare glimpse of unstamped Indian Treaty Medal

Still housed in original case, it will likely hit auction block next year, dealer says

By Mike Walsh

Rare coin dealer Jacob Lipson recently acquired an unstamped Indian Treaty Medal that has provided collectors an opportunity to view up close one of the most treasured medals in Canadian Indigenous history.

“It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to show it to the many collectors who stopped by my table to take a look and admire it,” said the Ottawa-based dealer. “There aren’t too many opportunities to handle Indian Treaty Medals up close and personal.”

Lipson, the current president of the Ottawa Numismatic Society, lights up as he talks about this historic medal, which he had on display recently while participating at the Torex Coin Show held Oct. 28-29 in Toronto. Lipson, who owns Jacob Lipson Rare Coins, also took the rare medal with him to Nuphilex, a popular coin and stamp show in Montreal held Nov. 3-5.

“These medals are historically and numismatically important for a variety of reasons,” Lipson explains. “First and foremost, they are relics of the agreements between the Canadian government and the First Nations that turned over Indigenous lands. Without getting into the specifics of those arrangements, part of the terms included the awarding of these massive silver medals to the chiefs who were signatories.”

For privacy reasons, Lipson is unable to reveal the owner of the Indian Treaty Medal.

“I received a call that it had been in the possession of a family for several generations,” adds Lipson. “Part of the family was originally from Montreal, and one of the members had a diplomatic role in government.”

What’s so different with this 76-millmetre silver medal, compared with more recent examples that have surfaced at auctions, …

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