Two rare gold gilt patterns produced for British Columbia in 1862 and described by auctioneers as being “amongst the rarest of Canadian issues” brought $348,000 at the recent Torex Auction this June. Offered as Lot 434 of the 1,554-lot sale, the pattern coins were struck about five years before Canadian Confederation – when British Columbia was still a crown colony – following the Fraser River Gold Rush of 1858. Before the end of that decade, about 30,000 miners flooded the banks of British Columbia’s longest river in what was the first major gold rush in Western Canada. With the influx of miners came a pressing need for currency with which to exchange their newly found gold dust. While temporary relief was provided by the colony’s first government-issued banknotes in 1862, the area was still experiencing a population boom. Continue reading →
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