Paris Coin Show welcomes collectors back to ‘prettiest little town in Canada’

By Jesse Robitaille

As the biannual Paris Coin Show returns to southwestern Ontario this Sunday, organizers are boasting another sold-out bourse with more than 50 dealer tables offering the gamut of numismatic material.

Known as the Southwestern Ontario Numismatics Show (SWON) before it was purchased by Jared Stapleton two years ago, the rebranded show is slated to return Aug. 11 in Paris, which was voted the “prettiest little town in Canada” by Harrowsmith magazine in 2017.

“It’s a packed show, and as a collector, you never know what you’re going to find,” said Stapleton, who added the show “attracts a wide spectrum of patrons,” from novice collectors to experienced veterans.

Kirk Parsons (right) is one of the roughly 35 dealers on the bourse of the upcoming show. (Submitted photo)

“It’s always a surprise, but collectors always find something – either small or large, inexpensive or expensive – for their collections.”

Also returning on Aug. 10 – one day before the show – is a live auction hosted by Geoffrey Bell Auctions. All bidders will receive a free admission coupon to the Paris Coin Show the following day; otherwise, show admission is $4, which includes a draw ticket for a Royal Canadian Mint gold coin.

Centrally located at the Paris Fairgrounds on 139 Silver St., the show will be open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and is about a one-hour drive from anywhere in southern Ontario. With a mix of full-time dealers plus local “vest pocket” dealers from across the region, the bourse will offer collectors an opportunity to browse about 35 dealers’ stocks without the big-city costs, Stapleton added.

“My main goal was to preserve what Ted Bailey was doing with the show,” said Stapleton, who also runs the biannual Toronto Coin Expo and owns Metro Coin and Banknote in that city’s west end.

Bailey, the dealer who formerly owned and organized SWON, hosted 42 events throughout more than two decades, beginning with the first show in 1996.


A French 1935 Series $20 note graded Very Fine-20 by Banknote Certification Service (BCS) is expected to bring $5,000-$5,500 as Lot 419.

Among the top highlights of the one-session, 572-lot auction on Aug. 10 are early Bank of Canada issues, a pair of 1972 test notes and a range of chartered notes.

Leading the way is a French $20 note (BC-10) from the Bank of Canada’s 1935 Series. Offered as Lot 419 – and “rarely offered” in a better condition, according to auctioneers – this example is graded Very Fine-20 by Banknote Certification Service (BCS) and is expected to bring $5,000-$5,500.

An English $20 “Large Seal” variety (BC-9a) from the 1935 Series will also be offered as Lot 417. In Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) Very Fine-20, this note has a pre-sale estimate of $2,500-$3,000.

A 1972 $5 test note (BC-48bT) described by auctioneers as Very Fine-plus is expected to bring $1,300-$1,500 as Lot 513.


Lots 513 and 515 feature two Bank of Canada $5 test notes issued for the Scenes of Canada Series.

Both notes feature the Lawson-Bouey signature combination on the front – alongside Canada’s coat of arms and a portrait of Sir Wilfrid Laurier – plus the “RS” prefix.

“The rule that the first prefix letter on double prefix notes may only be associated with one specific denomination was violated once in the 1969-1975 issue,” reads the Charlton Standard Catalogue Canadian Government Paper Money (30th edition), which adds the denominational letter “R” was used for both $2 and $5 notes.

An English 1935 Series $20 ‘Large Seal’ variety (BC-9a) in Paper Money Guaranty Very Fine-20 has a pre-sale estimate of $2,500-$3,000 as Lot 417.

“The RS $2 and $5 notes are believed to be test notes, placed in circulation in limited quantity to test the durability of new innovations in ink or paper composition, printing procedures, or other changes.”

The first example (BC-48bT), Lot 513, is described by auctioneers as Very Fine-plus and has a serial number reading “RS8166526.” It’s expected to bring $1,300-$1,500.

The second example, which is described by auctioneers as Very Fine, has a serial number reading “RS8166213” and a pre-sale estimate of $800-$1,300.

A 1917 Canadian Bank of Commerce $50 bill (CH 75-16-04-22) in BCS Very Fine-20 is expected to bring $3,000-$3,750 as Lot 566.


Moving on to chartered notes, a 1917 Canadian Bank of Commerce $50 bill (CH 75-16-04-22) will be offered as Lot 566. Also certified as Very Fine-20 by BCS, this note is expected to bring $3,000-$3,750.

A 1900 Dominion of Canada $4 note (DC-16) in PMG Very Good-10 will cross the block as Lot 551 with a pre-sale estimate of $1,250-$1,500.

Rounding out the chartered notes are a pair of 1927 Royal Bank of Canada bills, including a $20 note (CH 630-14-10) to be offered as Lot 571. Described by auctioneers as rare and with 35 examples listed in the Canadian Paper Money Society Note Registry, this note is expected to bring $1,000-$1,250.

A $50 Royal Bank of Canada note (CH 630-14-16) in BCS Fine-18 has a pre-sale estimate of $1,000-$1,200 as Lot 572.

Lastly, a $50 Royal Bank of Canada note (CH 630-14-16) – described by auctioneers as a “popular high denomination” – will be offered in BCS Fine-18 as Lot 572. It has a pre-sale estimate of $1,000-$1,200.


Among the top coinage highlights are:

  • Lot 234, a 1914 $10 gold coin with a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-$2,250;
  • Lot 86, an 1872H Newfoundland 25-cent coin with a pre-sale estimate of $1,000-$1,100; and
  • Lot 154, an 1885 Canadian 25-cent “Curved 5 Top” variety with a pre-sale estimate of $900-$1,000.

A 1914 $10 gold coin is expected to bring $2,000-$2,250 as Lot 234.

The auction will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Hampton Inn and Suite in nearby Brantford, Ont., with lot viewing from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. followed by the live auction at 5 p.m.

Looking forward to next year, the Paris Coin Show will be held at the same venue on Feb. 2, 2020, as well as Aug. 9, 2020.

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