Auction preview: Specimens, proofs to highlight Toronto Coin Expo sale this May

A large offering of proof and specimen banknotes are among the 1,213 lots to be offered across two sessions during the Toronto Coin Expo Spring Sale this May.

Held by New Brunswick’s Geoffrey Bell Auctions, the May 3-4 sale will be held in the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram and Bluma Appel Salon.

“This sale features a superb offering of English and world coins and a fresh chartered proof banknote collection that are coming out of storage for the first time in numerous years,” said auctioneer Brian Bell, who added “rarity reigns” on the cover of the auction catalogue.

The cover features two banknotes issued by the Bank of Toronto, a 1911 $5 note (CH 715-22-08) and an 1876 $4 note (CH 715-18-02), the latter of which is a new discovery.

“We have chosen the Bank of Toronto pair for different reasons. Firstly, they are great discovery notes that warrant such a prestigious place in GBA history. Secondly, one of the notes tells a story on how two families got together and bonded into a lasting friendship.”

To be offered as Lot 1196, the $5 note was graded Fine-15 by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and is described as a “superb rarity” as the only example known to exist. It has a serial number of “558905/B” and a pre-sale estimate of $20,000-$30,000.

A 1911 Bank of Toronto $4 note is expected to bring between $10,000 and $12,500 as Lot 1192.

The $4 note will be offered as Lot 1192. Also described as a “superb rarity” with the only previous example residing in an institutional collection, this note has a serial number of “08332/B” and a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$12,500.

Bell said he expects “spirited bidding on these outstanding specimens,” adding the offering of proofs and specimens “is one of the most interesting collections that we’ve seen with one-of-a-kind pieces such as the Farmer’s Bank Malden pieces sure to draw the attention of the Bank of Canada, who have in their procession one of the notes to complete the set we have to offer.”

SOLID SERIAL NUMBERS

Three nine-piece Bank of Canada sets – the first with $1 notes from the 1954 Series; the second with $2 notes from the Scenes of Canada series; and the third with $20 notes also from the Scenes of Canada series – feature solid serial numbers. The first two sets were graded by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) while the third was graded by PCGS, and each set is expected to bring between $12,000 and $15,000.

One of the nine pieces comprising Lot 766 is a 1954 $1 note with a ‘solid nines’ serial number.

The set of 1954 $1 notes, which will be offered as Lot 766, includes:

  • BC-37b in PMG Gem Uncirculated-65 EPQ (exceptional paper quality) with a star designation and a serial number of “Z/O1111111”;
  • BC-37b-i in PMG Choice Uncirculated-64 with a serial number of “P/Z2222222”;
  • BC-37b in PMG Choice Uncirculated-64 EPQ with a serial number of “U/O3333333”;
  • BC-37b-i in PMG Choice Uncirculated-64 with a serial number of “M/Z4444444”;
  • BC-37b in PMG Gem Uncirculated-65 EPQ with a serial number of “B/Y5555555”;
  • BC-37b-i in PMG Choice Uncirculated-64 with a serial number of “G/Z6666666”;
  • BC-37b-i in PMG Choice Uncirculated-64 with a serial number of “O/P7777777;
  • BC-37b in PMG Choice Uncirculated-64 with a serial number of “X/O8888888”; and
  • BC-37d in PMG Choice Uncirculated-64 EPQ with a serial number of “C/I9999999.”

Each of the nine notes comprising Lot 784 also feature solid serial numbers.

The set of 1974 $2 notes, which will be offered as Lot 784, includes:

  • BC-47a in PMG Gem Uncirculated-65 EPQ with a star designation and a serial number of “BH1111111”;
  • BC-47a in PMG Gem Uncirculated-65 EPQ with a serial number of “RH2222222”;
  • BC-47a in PMG Gem Uncirculated-66 EPQ with a serial number of “BS3333333”;
  • BC-47a in PMG Gem Uncirculated-65 with a serial number of “UA4444444”
  • BC-47a-i in PMG Gem Uncirculated-65 EPQ with a serial number of “AB5555555”
  • BC-47a in PMG Gem Uncirculated-66 with a serial number of “BV6666666”
  • BC-47a in PMG Gem Uncirculated-64 EPQ with a serial number of “RG7777777”
  • BC-47a in PMG Gem Uncirculated-66 with a serial number of “RG8888888”; and
  • BC-47a in PMG Gem Uncirculated-65 EPQ with a serial number of “RK9999999.”

The set of 1969 $20 notes, which will be offered as Lot 785, includes:

Each of the nine notes comprising the following lot also feature solid serial numbers.

  • BC-50a in PCGS Very Choice New-64 PPQ (premium paper quality) with a serial number of “EC1111111”;
  • BC-50a in PCGS Very Choice New-64 PPQ with a serial number of “EA2222222”;
  • BC-50a in PCGS Gem New-65 PPQ with a serial number of “EX3333333”;
  • BC-50a in PCGS Gem New-65 PPQ S/N:EH4444444;
  • BC-50b in PCGS Very Choice New-64 PPQ with a serial number of “EZ5555555″;
  • BC-50a in PCGS Gem New-66 PPQ with a serial number of “EA6666666”;
  • BC-50a in PCGS Gem New-66 PPQ with a serial number of “EA7777777”;
  • BC-50a in PCGS Gem New-65 PPQ with a serial number of “EE8888888”; and
  • BC-50a in PCGS Gem New-65 PPQ with a serial number of “EW9999999.”

Lot 1038 is a 1921 one-pound note issued by the Canadian Bank of Commerce in Kingston, Jamaica. It’s expected to bring $12,500-$15,000.

PAPER MONEY

Other banknote highlights include Lot 1038, a 1921 one-pound note issued by the Canadian Bank of Commerce in Kingston, Jamaica. With a serial number of “03553/B” and a grade of PMG Very Fine-20, the note is believed to be one of only a handful of examples. PMG population data suggests there are three graded examples with only one note in better condition. It’s expected to bring $12,500-$15,000.

An 1858 Bank of New Brunswick one-pound note (CH 515-12-22) will be offered as Lot 1130. With a serial number of “10838,” this note is described as “rare” with only five examples on the Canadian Paper Money Society Note Registry. It’s also only the second example made available to the public and has a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$12,500.

An 1858 Bank of New Brunswick one-pound note will be offered as Lot 1130. It has a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$12,500.

A 1914 Bank of Hamilton $50 note (CH 345-20-24) will be offered as Lot 1067. With a serial number of “016923” and a grade of PCGS Fine-15, this example is one of only six known to exist; two are in institutional collections. It’s expected to bring between $7,500 and $10,000.

An 1882 Dominion of Canada $4 note (DC-10) with a serial number of “270147/B” will be offered as Lot 955. It’s expected to bring $6,500-$8,500.

A 1914 Bank of Hamilton $50 note will be offered as Lot 1067. It’s expected to bring between $7,500 and $10,000.

A 1902 Newfoundland government 80-cent cash note (CH NF-4b) with a serial number of “27035” will be offered as Lot 994. In PCGS Fine-12, this example is one of 10 in the Canadian Paper Money Society Note Registry (with two examples in institutional collections). It has a pre-sale estimate of $4,500-$8,000.

SPECIMENS

A rare specimen of the Dominion of Canada’s 1923 $1 note (DC-25S) will be offered as Lot 974. Described as being in Extremely Fine condition, this note has a pre-sale estimate of $5,000-$7,500.

A rare specimen of the Dominion of Canada’s 1923 $1 note will be offered as Lot 974. It has a pre-sale estimate of $5,000-$7,500.

Another rare specimen, this of the Dominion of Canada’s 1917 $1 note (DC-23bS) with a serial number of “000000/A” will be offered as Lot 969. Described as being in Fresh About Uncirculated/Uncirculated condition, this note is expected to bring $4,000-$5,000.

Another rare 1917 Dominion of Canada $1 specimen note, this with a serial number of “000000/D,” will be offered as Lot 970. Described as being in Fresh About Uncirculated condition and a “great match” with the previous lot, this example has a pre-sale estimate of $2,500-$5,000.

Lot 698 is a Labrador District aluminum token with a denomination of five made beavers and a pre-sale estimate of $6,000-$7,000.

FUR TRADE TOKENS

The sale will also offer the last major piece of a large collection of Hudson Bay Company (HBC) and other fur trade tokens.

“The fur trade industry and the Hudson Bay Company have been a most important part of Canadian history,” said Bell, adding the sale’s token offering is “excellent.”

Among the top HBC highlights is Lot 698, a Labrador District aluminum token with a denomination of five made beavers, or “5 M.B.” (Gingras 255f). In Very Fine and described as “very rare,” this piece has a pre-sale estimate of $6,000-$7,000.

Another Labrador District aluminum token, this with a denomination of 10 made beavers (Gingras 255g), will be offered as Lot 700. In Very Fine and described as “very rare,” this piece has a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-$2,500.

Another Labrador District aluminum token, this with a denomination of 10 made beavers, will be offered as Lot 700. It’s expected to bring $2,000-$2,500.

Other HBC highlights include Lot 697, an Ungava Bay District aluminum token with a denomination of one made beaver (Gingras 245). In Very Fine and described as “rare,” this piece has a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-$2,200.

Rounding out the HBC highlights is Lot 719, a trio of aluminum incuse tokens denominated “10,” “50” and “100.” The discovery of the hoard from which these tokens originate was described by Greg Ingram, who also analyzed the pieces and published an article in several numismatic publications, including the March 2010 issue of Numismatic Canada.

“Mr. Ingram indicated only denominations of 10, 50, and 100 were found with no specimens for the 5 and 25,” reads the Bell auction catalogue. “The tokens are somewhat similar to the 1946 Eastern Arctic issue [Gingras 285a, c and d] but differ in size and weight.”

Bell said the sale has already exceeded his expectations.

“Our pre-auction bids have exceeded our expectations and have keyed in over 1,000 bids already,” he said. “It’s one of our most rounded off sales that we’ve ever had with something for everyone.”

For more information, visit gbellauctions.com.

Leave a Reply

Keep up to date with the numismatic community

Sign up to receive our newsletter.

Canadian Coin News

Canada

Canadian Coin News is Canada's premier source of information about coins, notes and medals.

Although we cover the entire world of numismatics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

Send Us Your Event

Running an event? Send it to us and we will display it on Canadian Coin News!

Submit Event →

Subscribe To 26 Issues For Just $47.99/year

Subscribe today to receive Canada's premier coin publication. Canadian Coin News is available in both paper and digital forms.

Subscribe Now

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.