By Jesse Robitaille
After hosting 45 auctions in 2020, the Québec-based firm will begin 2021 with a nearly 1,400-lot sale featuring the McFaden Collection, the fourth part of the Gem Collection and hundreds of other lots from more than 90 consignors across North America.
“During these difficult times, it can be therapeutic to focus on something that gives us a sense of purpose, challenge and satisfaction,” said TCNC owner and auctioneer Marc Verret, who added the numismatic market shown strength throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our opinion of the market remains positive, and this is supported by excellent results in recent local and overseas auctions, including record prices realized at different major auctions over the last weeks.”
TCNC’s Jan. 8-11 sale will be held across four sessions with a “wide selection of items from tokens through silver dollars,” added Verret.
Leading the way are two rare 1921 specimen coins expected to bring about $250,000 altogether.
Offered as Lot 532, a 1921-dated 50-cent specimen – known as the “King of Canadian Coins” for its rarity – is certified as Specimen-64 by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).
“In 1929, the master of the Canadian Mint decided to melt the entire stock of 1920 and 1921 pieces,” said Verret, who added there are likely fewer than 75 examples across all grades on the market today. “This is a true Canadian rarity.”
In November 2019, another example certified as Very Good-10 by PCGS brought $57,000 in an unreserved public auction in Alberta.
The example offered this January features “attractive and intense original gray toning, with basically almost no contact marks,” said Verret. It’s estimated at $200,000-$225,000 with a starting bid of $150,000.
The other rare specimen – a 1921 five-cent coin known as the “Prince of Canadian Coins” – is certified as Specimen-63 by PCGS, which has only graded three other examples. Described by Verret as a “great example with strong details highlighted with a touch of golden to yellow hues,” the coin offers “a scarce and unique opportunity that our consignor reluctantly turned over to us to offer to our collector and investor base.” It’s expected to bring $40,000-$45,000 with a starting bid of $20,000 as Lot 407.
At TCNC’s 2020 New Year’s Sale, auctioneers sold another 1921 five-cent coin, this in PCGS Mint State-63, for $31,535 (including buyer’s premium).
SOUGHT-AFTER SILVER DOLLARS
A range of silver dollars – among the most popular and affordable Canadian collector coins – will also highlight the upcoming sale.
Canada’s silver dollars were issued from 1935-67. After that year, the coin’s composition was changed from 80 per cent silver and 20 per cent copper to pure nickel (although Emanuel Hahn’s reverse design, depicting a voyageur and an Indigenous guide, was used on the $1 coin until 1987, when the “loonie” was unveiled).
An example from the first year of issue – 1935 – will cross the block as Lot 544. Certified by International Coin Certification Service (ICCS) as Mint State-66, the $1 coin is expected to bring $600-$800 with a starting bid of $200.
Other silver dollar highlights include a 1947 “Blunt 7” variety in ICCS Mint State-65. Described by Verret as a “beautiful Gem example with excellent eye-appeal,” it carries an estimate of $8,000-$9,000 and a starting bid of $3,000 as Lot 556.
A 1945 specimen silver dollar in ICCS Specimen-64 will cross the block as Lot 553. It’s described by Verret as a “nice example with mild yellow and golden tints” and is expected to bring $3,250-$3,500. The starting bid is $1,600.
Another 1945 silver dollar, this a regular strike in ICCS Mint State-60, is offered as Lot 552. It has an estimate of $450-$550 with a starting bid of $200.
A second specimen silver dollar, this dated 1948, will cross the block as Lot 565. Certified as Specimen-60 by ICCS, it carries an estimate of $2,500-$2,750 and a starting bid of $1,250.
A regular-strike 1948 silver dollar in ICCS Mint State-62 will also cross the block as Lot 564. It’s expected to bring $2,400-$2,700 with a starting bid of $1,000.
CANADIAN DECIMAL HIGHLIGHTS
Other decimal coin highlights include an 1892-dated 50-cent “Obverse 4” variety slated to cross the block as Lot 520.
Certified as Mint State-62 by ICCS, it’s expected to bring $18,000-$20,000 with a starting bid of $9,000.
“Only a few examples have been graded in Mint State,” said Verret, who described the coin as an “elegant example to add to the best of collections.”
Rounding out the highlights is a trio of 25-cent coins from 1872, 1894 and 1900.
Lot 459 offers an 1872H 25-cent “7 over 7” variety in ICCS Mint State-65 – the top-graded example from the Toronto-based grading service.
“It’s certainly worth serious consideration for those who wish to hold a piece at the top of the mountain,” said Verret, who added this date is “rarely found in Gem quality, let alone with the added variety of the ‘7 over 7.’”
It’s expected to bring $13,000-$14,000 with a starting bid of $7,900.
An 1894-dated 25-cent coin will also cross the block as Lot 472.
“Don’t let the darkish toning fool you,” said Verret, who added the coin has “outstanding eye-appeal.”
“An even flow of rich blue and purple break into each other and pull away, revealing a spectrum of an artist palette. The details are very sharp.”
Certified as Mint State-65 by ICCS, the coin is estimated at $12,500-$13,000 with a starting bid of $7,500.
Another example in ICCS Mint State-60 will cross the block as Lot 473 with an estimate of $1,250-$1,350 and a starting bid of $625.
Lastly, Lot 476 offers a scarce 1900-dated 25-cent “1 over 1” variety in ICCS Mint State-66.
“The date and variety make it a population #1 coin at ICCS, but it is the eye-appeal which separates it from the pack in the most substantial way,” said Verret, who added the coin is “richly toned in stunning fall colours while not in the least reducing the cameos that would be found beneath the beautiful toning.”
It’s expected to bring $10,000-$11,000 with a starting bid of $6,500.
The four-session sale will also feature noteworthy selections of Maritime coins, Canadian tokens and Canadian paper money.
For more information or to view the lots, visit bit.ly/3gCE3UR.