Paper money highlights Premier Auction

By Jesse Robitaille

Continuing its show of strength at Canadian numismatic auctions, paper money led the way at this fall’s Premier Auction hosted by Colonial Acres.

The two-session sale was held in conjunction with the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show and began Sept. 6, a day before the biannual show kicked off in Mississauga, with “lots of active bidding,” according to auctioneer Todd Sandham.

“Both sessions had such active bidding that we ended up going almost to midnight on both nights,” added Sandham, co-owner of the Kitchener, Ont.-based auction house. “We appreciated all of the bidders who were able to stick it out to the end and be there to the last lot.”

Among the most active of the auction’s 1,591 lots were those offering Bank of Canada notes, which “sold very well,” Sandham said.

“The many different specimen notes available in this section were definitely a highlight, and we had lots of spirited bidding on many lots in this section. Paper money has really been doing well over the last couple auctions, and this auction was no different.

A $1,000 specimen note from the 1937 Series brought $7,762.50 as Lot 1264.


A complete set of eight specimen notes from the Bank of Canada’s 1937 Series – its second since forming only two years earlier – was the highest-earning lot, bringing $17,250.

Rarely offered at auction, the specimen notes were originally released to the public during the November 1999 Bank of Canada Auction by Moore Numismatic Auctions. Fewer than 50 notes of each denomination were released.

All certified by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG), the notes offered this September as Lot 1265 were each graded Choice Uncirculated-64 – except for the $2 note, which was in About Uncirculated-55.

An uncut sheet of $10 notes from the Bank of Canada’s Birds of Canada series brought $5,750 as Lot 1422. The sheet’s notes feature the less-common ‘BEF’ prefix.

Another specimen note from the 1937 Series – this a single $1,000 note in About Uncirculated-58 – was offered as Lot 1264. Graded by Banknote Certification Service (BCS), the note brought $7,762.50.

Moving ahead to the Bank of Canada’s “Birds of Canada” series – its fifth since 1935 – an uncut sheet of 1989 $10 notes was also offered. Described by auctioneers as “very scarce,” the sheet’s 40 notes feature the “BEF” prefix, which is only known to exist on one other uncut sheet (with more common uncut sheets featuring the “BEH” prefix). Crossing the block as Lot 1422, it brought $5,750.

More recent still, a pair of 2000-dated $10 “ghost notes” from the Bank of Canada’s “Canadian Journey” series were offered as Lot 1437.

A pair of 2000-dated $10 ‘ghost notes’ from the Bank of Canada’s ‘Canadian Journey’ series brought $5,748.85 as Lot 1437. The notes feature a printing error.

The notes feature a printing error, all known examples of which “have originated from the same sheet,” said Sandham, who added there’s “a high possibility that only 40 examples exist, making these a very rare and desirable error note.”

Both certified by PMG with the “EPQ” designation for exceptional paper quality – one as Gem Uncirculated-65 and the other as Gem Uncirculated-66 – the notes brought $5,748.85.

Rounding out the paper money highlights is a low serial number $50 note from the Bank of Canada’s inaugural 1935 Series. In BCS Very Fine-30, this note brought $5,520 as Lot 1226.


A low serial number $50 note from the Bank of Canada’s 1935 series brought $5,520 as Lot 1226.

Moving onto coinage, about 50 Mint-State (MS) 25-cent coins from the Edward VII and George V eras were offered from Lots 683-779.

“There was great interest in these coins with many of them selling for almost full Trends after the buyer’s fee was added,” said Sandham.

Among the top coinage highlights was one from the Victorian era: an 1872H 25-cent “Obverse 2” double variety was offered as Lot 639.

“This coin has the ‘7 over 7’ variety on the reverse as well as the die break inverted ‘A’ on the spelling of ‘VICTORIA’ on the obverse,” said Sandham, who added there is “more doubling on the obverse with several letters.” Graded as MS-63 – the finest known example – by International Coin Certification Service (ICCS), it brought $4,715.

Another highly graded ICCS coin, this in MS-64 Red – the only example certified by ICCS in that grade – was offered as Lot 257. Lauded by auctioneers for its “exceptional reverse,” it brought $4,025.

An 1872H 25-cent ‘Obverse 2’ double variety brought $4,715 as Lot 639.


Rounding out the highlights is what’s described by auctioneers as an “extremely rare” 100-ounce Fine silver bar.

Produced by Johnson Matthey and Mallory, the bar features the company’s official stamp at the top left of one side, above the numeral “8” and serial number “3938.” A maple leaf stamp, the purity (“999+”) and weight (“100+ oz”) are also engraved the same side.

Offered as Lot 169, it brought $2,609.35.


An ‘extremely rare’ 100-ounce Fine silver bar produced by Johnson Matthey and Mallory brought $2,609.35 as Lot 169.

Since spring 2018, Colonial Acres has hosted its Premier Auction at the biannual “National Show” hosted by Trajan Media.

“Once again we had lots of customers viewing the auction lots prior to the live event and I’m sure that was partly helped by the successful show that is held in conjunction with the auction,” said Sandham.

“The show in Mississauga run by Trajan has always been a very busy and successful show for all parties involved.”

The partnership is set to continue next year, with Colonial Acres’ next Premier Auction being held in April 2020 in conjunction with the Spring National Postage Stamp and Coin Show in Mississauga, Ont.

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