Iconic 1921 coins to cross block in Prominence Sale

By Jesse Robitaille

High-grade examples of Canada’s 1921 five- and 50-cent circulation issues, respectively known as the “Prince” and “King” of Canadian coins, comprise the centrepiece of a named collection slated to cross the auction block this March in Québec.

The Canadian Numismatic Company (TCNC) is set to offer more than 1,950 lots across seven sessions on March 24-30 in the Québec-based firm’s latest Prominence Sale. It’s the latest in a series of auctions dating back to November 2020, when TCNC hosted its inaugural sale under the “Prominence” banner. The 11th iteration will feature three major named collections joined by selections from more than 70 other consignors across North America.

The 1921 coins, which stand among Canada’s rarest pieces of numismatic history, will be offered as the two “jewels” of the Tangen Collection, according to TCNC owner and auctioneer Marc Verret. While one of them is certified in Mint-State (MS) condition, the other example is a specimen coin, unintended for circulation and struck to a higher quality than regular circulation issues with a special finish.

“Both are excessively rare and desirable,” said Verret.

The 1921 five-cent issue, the Prince of Canadian coins, features “varying silvery grey tints,” Verret added. It’s certified as MS-62 by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).

“Strong details and clean fields should make this a very desirable example.”

The issue’s mintage topped 2.5 million coins; however, after legislation called for a new five-cent coin to be struck in copper and nickel, officials melted the older silver coins. While some escaped the melting pot, only about 100 examples are known today.

Verret expects the example on offer this March to bring at least $20,000 as Lot 231.

Meanwhile, the King of Canadian coins, the 1921-dated 50-cent issue, will be offered in PCGS Specimen-64 as Lot 386.

Similar to the 1921 five-cent issue, officials ordered the 1921-dated 50-cent coins to be melted in 1929 after storing the denomination for eight years due to low demand. About 75 examples escaped the melting pot – some through the sale of specimen sets such as the example on offer this March and some circulation strikes sold to visitors of the Mint.

“Not often handled, this key specimen issue displays typical matte-like fields and varying grey intensities,” Verret said, adding the coin is held in an older-generation PCGS holder.

It’s expected to bring at least $125,000.


Aside from its two “jewels,” the Tangen Collection offers other similarly “amazing pieces,” Verret said, pointing to many other MS coins and high-grade specimen examples.

An 1899-dated 50-cent coin in PCGS MS-62 – one of only three MS examples – will be offered as Lot 377. Described by Verret as “ultra rare,” the Victorian issue features “strong details under strong peripheral lustre.”

It’s expected to bring at least $20,000.

To read the full story and others in this issue, click here and subscribe now.

Already a subscriber? Click here to continue reading in the digital format.

Leave a Reply

Canadian Coin News


Canadian Coin News is Canada's premier source of information about coins, notes and medals.

Although we cover the entire world of numismatics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

Send Us Your Event

Running an event? Send it to us and we will display it on Canadian Coin News!

Submit Event →

Subscribe To 26 Issues For Just $59.99/year

Subscribe today to receive Canada's premier coin publication. Canadian Coin News is available in both paper and digital forms.

Subscribe Now

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.