‘King of Canadian Coins’ exceeds expectations at small-town unreserved auction

By Jesse Robitaille

Realizations do not include buyer’s premium.

Originally expected to bring at least $50,000, one of Canada’s utmost numismatic rarities – the 1921 half-dollar, known as “The King of Canadian Coins” – realized $57,000 in an unreserved public auction hosted by Alberta’s Scribner Auction last weekend.

The coin is one of only about 75 examples believed to survive the melting pot when the government resurrected the half-dollar denomination in 1929. Consigned by Wymond Hazelwood, owner of Brick Road Collectibles in Rocky Mountain House, Alta., it crossed the block as Lot 294 of Scribner’s latest “Coin and Currency Auction.” It was certified as Very Good-10 by Professional Coin Grading Service.

“I told him, ‘Let’s get a fair market value as best as we can for that coin, all from this little town in western Canada,'”  Scribner owner and auctioneer Katrina Scribner told CCN before the Nov. 22 sale.

In business since 2000, Scribner is located in Wainwright, Alta., a town of about 6,000 people, which can double depending on the exercises happening at the local Canadian Forces Base. Throughout its nearly 20-year history, the auction house has only conducted sales with no reserve price.

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