Finest set of Newfie cents to highlight Prominence Sale III

By Jesse Robitaille

A 30-piece group lot of Newfoundland copper cents, dating from 1865-1947 and including 20 examples certified at the top of their respective population reports, will cross the auction block in late April.

Dubbed the Perth Collection, the complete set of Newfoundland circulation cents is offered by The Canadian Numismatic Company (TCNC) as part of its Prominence Sale III. With an opening bid of $145,000, the set is estimated at $175,000-$225,000 with a Trends valuation of $200,000.

“We feel obligated to offer this set to our loyal collector base; however, the temptation to buy this ourselves … and put this away is intense,” said auctioneer Marc Verret, the owner of the Québec-based auction house. “Its completeness, rarity across the board, the eye-appeal and, of course, the history provided to a new owner is special. We see great value.”

Despite its potential for higher individual realizations, the set is offered in its entirety – “it won’t be broken up,” according to Verret – due to its historical and numismatic significance.

“It might realize more being sold separately, but it is simply too historically important.”

A 1967 $1 ‘Upset Die’ variety in Mint State-66 is expected to bring upwards of $25,000 as Lot 680 of the April 23-26 Prominence Sale III.

Consigned by an anonymous investor who recently acquired the set – built over 25 years by another anonymous Toronto collector – it is listed on the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) Set Registry, an online cataloguing and competition platform, where it’s ranked as the all-time finest complete Newfoundland set. In last year’s Set Registry Awards, the set also received a platinum award for winning five consecutive gold awards (2015-19) while remaining in the category’s top spot.

“It could fit into a provincial museum or a personal collection or even a speculator’s investment holdings. We could imagine it in a major Newfoundland corporate lobby or boardroom,” said Verret. “But aside from what we can imagine, what we hope is it finds a home with a collector to enjoy, generation to generation, and when it is ready to be traded again in 50 years, that collector discusses it with our family, who may not let the chance to own it pass by again.”

The anonymous collector (not the inventor) has another 16 PCGS Set Registry collections with 13 ranked as the all-time finest in their respective categories, including several Canadian collections. To view the consignor’s Set Registry page, where each coin is photographed and described, visit bit.ly/3rCB81W.

“The completeness of Perth denominational collections, Newfoundland and Canadian, is well known among Canadian collectors, with many only imagining a chance to add singles to their own sets,” said Verret, who added the “uniqueness” of the set on offer this April “can’t be overlooked on multiple fronts.”

The set’s starting price is “well below” the value of an uncirculated 1921 five-cent coin – the so-called “Prince of Canadian Coins” – which has a Trends valuation of between $20,000 and $45,000 in Mint-State (MS) condition, Verret added.

“Not to mention that the populations of some condition rarities in this set are far more difficult to acquire than the ’21, even in Superb Gem MS-66 and Superb Gem MS-67.”

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