By Jesse Robitaille
In what’s arguably the auction house’s “best sale of the past 10 years,” The Canadian Numismatic Company’s upcoming Torex Auction is offering “several key date issues in surprisingly high Mint State (MS) grades” as well as some “very rare type varieties.”
What’s more, there are a handful of Specimen coins and a large selection of tokens and error coins slated to cross the block June 24-26. “There’s a balance between every denomination we’re selling, be it coins or banknotes,” says auctioneer Eric Paquet. “There is material for every type of collector.”
The June 2016 Torex auction includes more than 1,500 numismatic lots featuring an 1890H 50 cents, a solid MS-65 example; a 1901 50-cents ICCS MS-65; and, a 1921 five-cents PCGS MS-67. Also included in this sale are some fantastic silver dollars including a 1945 $1 ICCS MS-65 and a 1951 in MS-67.
“This auction will be unlike any other seen in this country,” states TCNC. “This should be a memorable sale!
“Every section of the sale has a highlight or highlights,” Paquet adds. “There’s a major piece, or a top-graded piece, or an excessively popular piece in every denomination in this sale. We have so much stuff that’s unexpected and interesting and rare that it’s really going to make for an outstanding sale.”
The first two sessions will be held June 24-25 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Toronto. Session three will be held June 26 via the Internet, phone, fax and mail.
“We’re happy with all our sales, but this particular one – especially at this given time, with the market where it’s at today – is encouraging and exciting to put together,” says Paquet. “We’re intensely proud of what we have to offer this session. I think it’s one of the best sales we’ve had, or put out to the market, in the past 10 or 15 years.”
Other highlights include The British Columbia Collection of Canadian Coins, which features an “impressive offering” of “Gem” silver dollars, including some of the finest-known examples in existence. The auction will also see the continuation of the sale of The Phil Harter Collection, which features newly discovered chartered banknotes as well as some highly graded Dominion of Canada notes.
One of the big museum pieces – described by auctioneers as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” – is Lot 840, an 1890H 50-cent coin in ICCS MS-65.
“It’s the solo highest graded 1890H issue on the market,” Paquet explains. “It’s a fabulous piece – it’s blast white with no flaws – and an almost perfect example of 1890 half.”
This “fully lustrous issue with superb fields” is estimated to cross the block at $350,000-$375,000; it has an opening bid of $225,000.
Another highlight is Lot 659, a 1921 five-cent piece in Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) MS-67.
“This is another issue that basically is the best of the best,” adds the long-time auctioneer. “It’s the top-graded piece out there – again, another full blast white lustrous coin – so there’s no hidden flaws. The coin is absolutely stupendous.”
Although it “may realize over estimate,” its pre-auction estimates are $175,000-$225,000 with an opening bid of $90,000.
Another “extremely rare and desirable” coin is Lot 701, an 1875H 10-cent in ICCS MS-66.
“Again, this is the finest-graded piece known,” says Paquet. “The thing important with these dates is they’re key date coins.”
He explained key date coins are those with lower mintages, which means increased rarity.
“They’re produced in less quantity, so there are less out there for the average collector,” he adds. “It’s always a question of supply and demand, and these are low-mintage coins – and they’re in MS condition – so it brings up the rarity.”
Another key date highlight is Lot 705, an 1884 10-cent in ICCS MS-64.
“This is another coin that’s the best – the highest graded – on the market,” Paquet says.
With “spectacular original rustic tones over strong lustre,” this coin has an estimate of $50,000-$55,000 and an opening bid of $19,000.
Among the top variety highlights is Lot 535A, an 1859 “double punch penny Type 4” in PCGS MS-64 Red Brown.
“It’s a really excessively rare type variety and the highest grade known,” says Paquet, adding the coin has a pre-sale estimate of $4,000-$5,000 and an opening bid of $1,500.
Moving on to banknotes, there’s Lot 234, a 1900 $4 DC-16 note with a serial number of “000001,” and Lot 235, another 1900 $4 DC-16 with a serial number of “000002.”
“The notes are in themselves to be considered rare for type and especially grades; however, what makes these even more appealing is the fact that they are #1 and #2 serial numbers, which is extremely extraordinary for these type notes,” Paquet says, adding these rare serial numbers command a premium, especially when found on rare notes such as these.
Lot 234 is estimated at $80,000-$90,000 with an opening bid of $50,000, and Lot 235 is estimated at $75,000-$85,000 with an opening bid of $35,000.
Another note that “should command a premium” is Lot 225, an 1882 $4 note in PCGS Extremely Fine-45.
“Again, it’s the highest-known grade to exist for this particular note,” says Paquet.
It’s estimated at $50,000-$60,000 with an opening bid of $25,000.
Lastly, Lots 181 and 182 are a pair of oddly denominated banknotes issued by Molsons Bank in 1871.
The former, a rare $6 note, is “by far” the finest of the three examples known to exist. It has an estimate of $50,000-$60,000 and an opening bid of $25,000.
The latter, an “exceptionally rare” $7 issue with a “TORONTO” overprint, is one of three known to exist (two are in institutions). It has an estimate of $4,500-$7,500 and an opening bid of $2,000.
“Anything with an odd denomination is excessively popular in the Canadian market. When you can get a Dominion note, it’s even scarcer, and Molson notes are out of this world,” says Paquet. “To have a $6 and a $7 in the same sale is something else.”
For more information and to view the lots, visit canadiancoinsandpapermoney.com.