Sioux coin, artifact set to be offered at ‘Young Collectors’ auction

A six-piece set of coins plus a hand-hewn arrow tip and a hand-drawn postcard are among the items recently donated to the National Postage Stamp and Coin ShowYoung Collectors” auction by the Bradford Exchange.

The six coins are legal tender across the Great Sioux Nation, which has significant populations in Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well as nine U.S. states. The denominations include one, five, 10, 25 and 50 cents as well as $1, and each set is completely unique owing to its arrow tip and postcard, both of which were produced by a member of the Sioux.

The coins’ reverse designs, which honour the American bison, were chosen in a design contest featuring contemporary Sioux artists. They depict a bison skull (one cent); a female with calves (five cents); a tribal headdress surrounded by a running buffalo (10 cents); a hunter on a horse (25 cents); a buffalo scout (50 cents); and a Sioux chief wearing a hair pipe breastplate ($1).

The coins’ common obverse – designed by Hope Conquering Bear – displays the Oglala Sioux flag with eight teepees representing the tribe’s reservation districts.

The set also includes a hand-hewn arrow tip produced by a member of the Sioux.


In the U.S., coinage rights were granted to Indigenous tribes dating back to bilateral treaties of the 18th century. Extensive rights were later granted in the ratified U.S. Constitution of 1788.

A small piece of art, which was produced by a junior member of the Oglala Sioux, features an eagle and is also included with the lot.

The entire set is accompanied by a statement of authenticity and ownership.


The 35-lot youth auction – up from 30 lots last year – will offer both coin and stamp material.

Other highlights of this spring’s sale include:

  • a six-coin uncirculated set issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 1991;
  • a Star Wars-themed item;
  • commemorative sterling silver dollars;
  • a 2015 five-cent Fine silver coin, “The Crossed Maple Boughs,” issued by the Mint as the first coin in its series honouring the nickel’s various designs;
  • stamps and first-day covers recently released by Canada Post; and
  • a “mystery item that is quite large,” according to organizers.

“Once again, a big thank you goes out to all who donate to the youth program,” said organizer Lisa McPherson, who’s the national youth co-ordinator of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) and the first vice-president of the Ontario Numismatic Association.

The “Young Collectors” program enjoys a partnership with the RCNA as well as other numismatic organizations, including the Canadian Association of Numismatic Dealers (CAND), and various individual dealers.

Parents are encouraged to bring their budding young collectors to the Young Collectors booth – open Saturday and Sunday – as well as to the auction on March 24 at 1 p.m. There is no cost involved.

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