Keller Collection draws ‘record’ interest at Torex auction

By Jesse Robitaille

Prices include buyer’s premium

series of 50-cent coins in Choice to Gem condition from the Gerald Keller Collection highlighted the four-session Torex Auction recently hosted by The Canadian Numismatic Auction Company (TCNAC).

Sessions one and two were held Nov. 17-18 at Toronto’s Hyatt Regency – the long-time venue of Torex Coin Show and Auctions – and featured 1,130 lots of coins, tokens, banknotes, errors, early Proof-like sets and gold bullion. Sessions three and four, which included Canadian coins, tokens and banknotes, were held at TCNAC’s headquarters in Québec. The event closed off a busy year of sales for the Québec-based auction house.

“This sale saw a record high attendance and bidding action on the Internet platform, which did in some way hinder auction progress slightly, especially during session one, but of course this was all for the right reasons,” said auctioneer Marc Verret. “We are sure all consignors would agree.”

Verret and fellow TCNAC auctioneer Eric Paquet said they are both “very satisfied with the overall attendance on both the floor and Internet, and the final sales results were proof of another quite successful sale.”

Among the top highlights was Lot 891, an 1872H 50-cent “Inverted A/V” variety from the Gerald Keller Collection. The letter “V” from the inscription “VICTORIA” is an “A,” so the Queen’s name is spelled “AICTORIA.” In Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS)/International Coin Certification Service (ICCS) Mint State-62, the coin was described by auctioneers as being a “superior quality example with extravagant tints of orange and purples” and “the best example seen and handled by TCNC.” It realized $40,250 after a starting price of $35,000.

Another 50-cent coin from the Keller Collection – this struck in 1892 – was offered as Lot 901. In ICCS Mint State-63, this example realized $20,125 after a starting price of $17,500.

Lot 898 offered another 50-cent piece, this a “scarce date and very difficult to find in Mint State condition,” from the Keller Collection. The 1888 50-cent coin in ICCS Mint State-62 realized $16,520 after a starting price of $10,000.

Rounding out the Keller Collection highlights was Lot 890, an 1871 50-cent coin described as having a “sharp strike with deep fire red tints.” In ICCS Mint State-63, this example brought $12,980 after a starting price of $11,000.


Notaphilists were also out in full force for the November Torex Auction, which saw several sought-after banknotes cross the auction block.

These include Lot 201, a 1954 $5 replacement issue (BC-31aA) with a serial number reading “*AC0000527” and a grade of Uncirculated-64 by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG).

“In 36 years of numismatics, this is only the second UNC example seen and handled by TCNAC,” reads the auction catalogue.

Described as “a true Canadian rarity,” this lot realized $23,000.

Other banknote highlights include Lot 161, a “seldom offered” 1935 Series $1,000 French-language banknote (BC-20) in Canadian Coin Certification Service (CCCS) Extremely Fine-45. Described as a “full-coloured issue of this rarity,” this lot sold for $22,420 after a starting price of $12,500.

Another high-earning banknote was Lot 253, a 1986 $2 note (BC-55b) with a serial number reading “AUH136272.” Described by auctioneers as “the best example ever handled by us” and “excessively rare and desirable,” this example realized $18,880 after a starting price of $7,500.

Lot 58 offered an 1866 $1 banknote (PC-2c) in PMG Very Good-8. With a serial number reading “22599,” this note features a “rare and very appealing” St. John overprint. One of only five examples known to exist – and one of only three in private hands with the remaining two in the National Currency Collection – this lot realized $10,350 after a starting price of $5,000.

Rounding out the banknote highlights was Lot 67, an 1870 $2 note (DC-3b) in PMG Fine-12. Described as an “extremely rare and difficult-to-find example,” this lot crossed the block for $8,050 after a starting price of $3,000.

Although Verret and Paquet are “very careful” with their optimism, they said this year’s auction results “suggest a steady market trend moving forward into the 2018 season.”

“It’s been a busy year for us with no less than 17 separate auction sales held this year by our firm,” they said, adding about 75 per cent of the material offered in the November Torex Auction was sold.

“This remains an affirmation that there remains an extensive interest in the numismatic market.”

“This being the end of the season, we would take the opportunity to thank all the participants, consignors, bidders and viewers alike for supporting our sales as well as our hobby, and we would wish all of you a very happy holiday season and the best in the new year – health, health and health.”

For more information about the recent sale, visit  W

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