RCNA Auction going ahead online with 1,944 lots

By Jesse Robitaille

While the annual convention of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) was cancelled due to COVID-19, the show’s four-session auction is going ahead online.

The 1,944-lot auction was originally scheduled to take place at the July 21-25 convention in Halifax, N.S.; however, with the pandemic causing widespread event cancellations since mid-March, the sale was pushed back until Aug. 28-31. Hosted by The Canadian Numismatic Company (TCNC), the four-session sale features the Fort McMurray Collection, the second part of the Gem Collection, the third part of the Paris Collection plus material from 51 other consignors.

“Our team has been hard at work preparing what we hope will be an opportunity to help change the mood somewhat during these particularly strange times,” said TCNC auctioneer Marc Verret, who’s the owner of the Québec-based auction house.

“We, like all of you, will unfortunately miss out on seeing our old mates and the camaraderie, the friendships and the banquets that make this venue so popular. Fortunately, along with the RCNA hierarchy, we have been able to put together for you – the numismatic public – a great RCNA Auction that will take place during four consecutive evenings.”

Despite the pandemic’s impact on the numismatic show circuit in Canada and abroad, Verret noted the collector market remains strong.

“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.”


The first and second sessions will include the Fort McMurray Collection, which features Canadian coins and banknotes; the Gem Collection, which also features Canadian banknotes; and the Paris Collection, which features Canadian copper coins.

Among the highlights of the opening session, which will offer Canadian paper money from Lots 1-446, is a 1920 Home Bank of Canada $5 note (CH-365-10-08). Crossing the block as Lot 27, the note is only the second known example (with the first example held in an institutional collection).

Only in operation for two decades in the early 20th century, the Home Bank of Canada closed its doors in 1923; however, 1920 was the last year the bank issued notes.

The example to be offered this August is certified by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) as Choice Fine-15 and carries a pre-sale estimate of $45,000-$50,000.

It previously sold for $20,400 US (including buyer’s premium) as Lot 28643 of the April 2019 Central States World Currency Signature Auction by Heritage Auctions.

Other session one highlights include:

  • Lot 32, an 1871 Bank of Liverpool $10 note (CH-400-10-06) in PMG Very Good-10 with an estimate of $15,000-$20,000;
  • Lot 112, a 1911 Dominion of Canada $1 note (DC-18b) in Legacy Currency Grading (LCG) Gem Uncirculated-65 PPQ (premium paper quality) with an estimate of $10,000-$15,000; and
  • Lot 219, a 1733-dated 30-sol issue of French colonial card money with an estimate of $45,000-$55,000.

Also offered in session one, the “three jewels” of the Gem Collection, according to Verret, are a 1937 Series $100 note (BC-27b) offered as Lot 124 in LCG Gem Uncirculated-66 PPQ with an estimate of $2,000-$3,000; a 1954 “Canadian Landscape” $100 note (BC-35a) offered as Lot 127 in LCG Superb Gem Uncirculated-67 PPQ with an estimate of $3,000-$4,000; and another 1954 Canadian Landscape $100 note (BC-43c) offered as Lot 128 in LCG Gem Uncirculated-66 PPQ with an estimate of $2,000-$3,000.

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