Market Watch: Colonial Acres’ Spring Numismatic Auction shows market strength with ‘astounding’ growth

Prices include 15 per cent buyer’s fee

This past weekend, Kitchener, Ont.’s Colonial Acres Coins hosted its biannual Spring Numismatic Auction, which saw “astounding” growth since its previous sale last spring.

“The auction was a complete success,” said Colonial Acres co-founder Todd Sandham, who added the 2016 Spring Numismatic Auction saw the more bidders than any sale they’ve had in the past. “We’ve been running auctions for a year now, and the growth of our auctions has been astounding. The breadth of items available has continued to get better as more customers realize that consigning with us means higher prices realized and a strong sell-through rate.”

Sandham said participation in Colonial Acres’ sales has seen a “growth of double digits” following each auction.

“Our sell-through rate of items is very strong and averages at just over 90 per cent,” he added. “[The] May [27-28] auction had a sell-through rate of 87 per cent, [and] sold 888 lots out of 1,023.”


Sandham said as Colonial Acres continues to move forward with its biannual auction schedule, it sees the market moving forward along with it.

“We hope more people participate – more bidding – and that’s what’s happened,” he said. “I think the market is quite healthy. Once again, price will dictate what a coin will sell for, so if a coin doesn’t go for what you thought, then that part of the market might not be as strong as you thought. Some parts of the market might be stagnant … but others will be strong. Something is always moving forward.”

Among the top highlights was Lot 502, an 1899 50-cent coin graded About Uncirculated-55 by International Coin Certification Service (ICCS). It realized $4,946 after a starting bid of $4,000.

“It basically sold for 50 per cent of Trends,” said Sandham. “It’s a great coin – AU-55 is often the catching point, the swing grade – but it wasn’t a Mint State [MS] coin, which would’ve gotten closer to estimate because people are more interested in those higher grades.”

Lot 522, this 1947 50-cent ‘Curved Seven’ Maple Leaf coin in ICCS Specimen-62, realized $3,450. (Photo by Colonial Acres Coins)

Lot 522, this 1947 50-cent ‘Curved Seven’ Maple Leaf coin in ICCS Specimen-62, realized $3,450. (Photo by Colonial Acres Coins)

Indeed, an 1899 50-cent in MS-60 has a Trends valuation of $22,000, “so it’s a big jump from AU-55,” added Sandham.

Another highlight was Lot 522, a 1947 50-cent “Curved Seven” Maple Leaf coin in ICCS Specimen-62. It crossed the block for $3,450 after a starting bid of $1,950 and an estimate of $3,500.

“That’s a really tough coin to get,” Sandham said, “and it was pretty much spot on to estimate, but it could’ve gone over estimate because it’s that hard to find. But when something sells close to the estimate it tells me the market is strong, healthy, and there’s enough interest.”

Continuing the highlights was Lot 647, a 1967 “Diving Goose” dollar in ICCS MS-65 – tied for the highest-graded ICCS example – that sold for $1,610.

“For someone who wants to get the nicest coin and not have to upgrade again, an MS-65 is the perfect coin,” said Sandham, who added there was a pre-sale estimate of $2,000. “It didn’t go for full estimate, but there was strong bidding on this variety.”

Another variety that crossed the auction block was Lot 496, an 1890H 50-cent Obverse 4 in ICCS Good-6. It sold for $1,380 after an estimate of $1,550.

“It wasn’t a particularly high grade, but 1890s are hard to find in general,” said Sandham. “Once again, there was strong bidding on a coin that deserves that bidding, so it tells you in general the market is pretty healthy.”

More fervent bidding came for Lot 289, a 1939 five-cent in Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) MS-66. It realized $1,120 after an estimate of $1,250.

“It shows you how healthy the market is when a lot starts at $600 and ends at nearly double that amount,” said Sandham, adding 78 people viewed this lot online prior to the sale.


“We also had a nice selection of modern Canadian coins that had brisk multiple bidding,” said Sandham.

Among those highlights was Lot 483, a 1999 25-cent September Mule in ICCS MS-67, which is tied for the finest example known by ICCS. It sold for $448 after an estimate of $450.

“This variety is another coin with no real Trends value, so we estimated it at $450, and it sold over estimate after strong bidding.”

Another modern coin that showed there’s interest in the modern Canadian market was Lot 360, a 1986 five-cent in ICCS MS-66. This lot also realized $448 after an estimate $450.

“Even though it’s a modern coin, and some collectors aren’t too interested in that, I think there’s a huge following on that.”

Rounding out the moderns was Lot 347, another five-cent piece in ICCS MS-66, this from 1974.

“Once again, this is a tough coin to get,” said Sandham. “We estimated it at $150, but it actually sold for $425, which is quite a bit over estimate, which shows you some of these modern coins are actually sought-after and tough to get.”


The sale also included some noteworthy notaphily, one highlight of which was Lot 767, a 1954 Devil’s Face $50 note (BC-34a) in Paper Money Guaranty Gem

Lot 718, this 1917 Banque d’Hochelaga note in Paper Money Guaranty Very Fine-25, sold for $3,450. (Photo by Colonial Acres Coins)

Lot 718, this 1917 Banque d’Hochelaga note in Paper Money Guaranty Very Fine-25, sold for $3,450. (Photo by Colonial Acres Coins)

Uncirculated-66. It sold for $2,530 after an estimate of $1,600.

“All Devil’s Face notes in Gem-66 sold for 90 per cent to 160 per cent of the estimate,” said Sandham. “It was amazing. The Devil’s Face has always been popular as it was only made for a short run – approximately two years – so every paper money collector has an interest in these notes.”

Another lot that sold above estimate was Lot 849, a 2012 $50 error note (BC-72a) with multiple serial numbers. It nearly quadrupled its pre-sale estimate of $600 when it crossed the block for $2,012.

“An error is often worth what the market will bear. This was of interest to collectors, and they drove it up,” said Sandham. “It has an extra serial number pretty well overlapping the other one, so it’s a unique note, and obviously there’s enough interest because so many people collect error notes and coins.”

Lastly, Lot 813, a 1975 Bank of Canada $100 Specimen note (BC-52aS), sold for $1,070 after an estimate of $350.

“This was part of the 1970s multi-coloured series and we had all denominations in the sale,” said Sandham. “I’ve handled numerous of these specimens, but not always certified, so maybe that drove them up, or maybe it’s another instance of the market telling us these items are worth more.”

For more information about Colonial Acres Coins, visit

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