Paper money ‘very strong’ at Torex sale

By Jesse Robitaille

Prices include buyer’s premium.

The Wildlife Museum Collection – most notably its paper money section – brought several highlights at the June Torex Auction hosted by The Canadian Numismatic Company in Toronto.

According to auctioneers, the four-session sale – held June 22, 23, 25 and 26 – attracted “serious buyers” as the Québec-based auction house set a company record for the number of bidders on the sale’s banknote section.

“The market is strong, and the Wildlife Museum Collection proved it. The consignor was very pleased,” said auctioneer Marc Verret, who added the Wildlife Collection “did meet the expectations with the most expensive coins and banknotes.”

Among the top highlights was a 1935 Series $50 note issued by the Bank of Canada (BC-14) and offered as Lot 225. With a serial number reading “F03976” and a grade of Paper Money Guaranty Choice Uncirculated-64 EPQ (exceptional paper quality), this example realized $38,350.

A 1971 $10 note (BC-49c-i) with a serial number reading “EEP6901819” was offered as Lot 328. Graded Uncirculated-62 by Canadian Currency Grading Service, this note was described by auctioneers as “excessively rare” with only two examples known to date. This 47-year-old example brought $35,400.

Another highlight was Lot 224, a 1935 Series $20 “Large Seal” variety (BC-9a) with a serial number reading “A028338” and a grade of Canadian Coin Certification Service (CCCS) Choice Uncirculated-63. Described as “very scarce” in this grade, this example sold for $17,700.

Lot 380 was a French 1935 Series $50 note (BC-14) with a serial number reading “F04662” and a grade of CCCS About Uncirculated-55. This example brought $14,160.

A 1972 $5 note (BC-48aA) with a serial number reading “*CB1640000” and a grade of Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) Very Fine-30 was offered as Lot 325. Described as “excessively rare” and with only three examples known to exist, this note brought $13,570.

Rounding out the paper money highlights was Lot 188, an issue of French colonial playing card money depicting the Jack of Clubs. This lot realized $2,006 after a pre-sale estimate of only $300-$900.

Verret said the sale’s interest was partially owed to the quality of the notes as well as the quantity of high-grade examples offered to bidders.

“Several notes – not necessary rare but in top condition, Uncirculated-66, 67, 68 – were up for sale. The demand for the top-quality notes is very, very strong now. Also, the low serial numbered notes sold very well, and they are extremely popular and sought after. The selection of low numbered notes, including early Bank of Canada issues, was exceptional in the Wildlife Museum Collection.”

Overall, Verret said the sale was “a great success” with “very strong” results in paper money as well as the five-cent section. Also of note was the 10-cent section, the results of which were “way better than expected.”


Among the top coin and token highlights was an 1886 five-cent “Small 6” variety offered as Lot 498. In PCGS Mint State-66, this coin was described by auctioneers as having “great surfaces and Proof-like fields.” Tied for the finest-graded example and with only one other example known to exist, this piece brought $18,880.

Another 1886 five-cent coin, this a “Large 6” variety, was offered as Lot 497. In PCGS Mint State-65, this example was described as having “superior lustre” and was also tied for the finest-graded example with only one other example known to exist. This coin realized $16,520.

An 1874-H five-cent “Plain 4” variety was offered as Lot 493. In PCGS Mint State-66 – tied for the highest-graded example known to date – this coin was described as having “great eye-appeal” and realized $14,160.

An 1858 10-cent coin in PCGS Mint State-66 was offered as Lot 580. Described as an “absolutely sublime example with deep rustic tones over strong gem lustre,” this example – also tied for the top-graded example – realized $13,800.

An 1872-H five-cent coin in PCGS Mint State-66 was offered as Lot 491. Described as a “superior quality example with extravagant tints of orange and purples,” this example – the solo finest PCGS-graded example – realized $12,980.

An 1882-H five-cent coin in PCGS Mint State-66 was offered as Lot 495. Described as having “attractive toning,” this example – tied with only one other example graded as Mint State-66 – brought $12,980.

Lastly, a Wood 27 token (BL44) in International Coin Certification Service Fine-12 was offered as Lot 117. Described as an “excessively rare example seldom seen,” this example is one of only four known to exist and one of only two in private hands according to the Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Colonial Tokens.

In 1989, Jeffrey Hoare Auctions sold a Fine/Very Fine-graded example that brought $3,300, but no other examples have been offered in the past three decades. The Doug Robins Collection recently offered by Heritage Auctions did not offer an example of this issue, added Verret.

The example recently offered by The Canadian Numismatic Company realized $10,030.

Parts three and four of the Wildlife Museum Collection will be offered this August during the annual convention of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association.

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