Toronto Coin Expo set to roll out auction, seminars and bourse

By Jesse Robitaille

Alongside millions of books, monographs, films, maps and other related research material, the Toronto Coin Expo is set to return to the downtown Toronto Reference Library on Oct. 4-5.

This fall’s Coin Expo will feature more than 35 coin and banknote dealers on the bourse plus a pair of numismatic workshops, but show-goers have also come to expect camaraderie out of the long-running biannual show.

“Collectors’ Corner is something a lot of attendees enjoy,” said show owner and organizer Jared Stapleton, of the show’s social area, “but we actually have collectors that come to the show and spend half a day in the library to do research for their numismatic papers or collections.”

Located at 789 Yonge St., the five-floor Toronto Reference Library “is a special place,” added Stapleton, who’s also the owner of Metro Coin and Banknote in Toronto’s west end and currently sits on the pricing panel for the Charlton Standard Catalogue for Canadian Government Paper Money.

“There’s a lot of historical significance with the material at the library,” he said, adding he uses the library’s resources for his personal research.

“It’s amazing the amount of information at our fingertips, but it’s not all on the Internet – you need books, too – and the library is a great archive,” said Stapleton, who added the numismatic information available online is only “the tip of the iceberg.”

“The dealers are always excited to come to the show, too, and we have a few new dealers joining us this fall.”

One of the new dealers – Bullion Bank, based in Dartmouth, N.S. – is travelling nearly 1,800 kilometres to man a booth on the bourse this October.

The bourse is set to open each day at 10 a.m., before closing at 5 p.m. on Oct. 4 and 4 p.m. on Oct. 5. Admission is $6, and children aged 16 and under are free.


Continuing the give-away from previous shows, this fall’s Coin Expo will also offer free wooden money to the first 20 attendees each day.

“The ‘wood’ features a colony ship on one side and the Coin Expo logo on the other,” said Stapleton, who added it’s “a unique collectible for collectors.”

“They go quick – there are some collectors who come to the show and pay admission twice just for the wooden token.”

A French 1935 Series $2 note in Uncirculated-60 Original condition is expected to bring $7,000-$8,000 as Lot 346 of the Toronto Coin Expo Fall Sale.


On Oct. 5, two educational workshops – free for children and paid show-goers – will be held.

At 10:15 a.m., a youth-focused workshop will explore how – and what – beginners can collect when they start a collection.

This 30-minute workshop will be followed by a fun-filled auction for younger numismatists at 10:45 a.m. Recommended for children aged eight and up, the auction will offer dozens of collectible coins, numismatic supplies and related hobby items to young bidders using play money, which is provided for free to all participants.

At 1 p.m., a comprehensive workshop for all collectors will be led by long-time numismatist François Rufiange, who’s slated to teach attendees the basics of making a good purchase, “with a better understanding of deciding, ‘Should I buy this coin or not?’”

Problem coins will be discussed, and attendees will have an opportunity to discuss whether certain specific coins should be bought – or not.

The presentation will also highlight personal collecting goals; expenses to be aware of; coin condition and its impact on price; the differences between the Proof-like and Mint State strikes; certified coins; lustre, eye-appeal and cameo; coin dipping, fingerprints, black dots, corrosion, cleaning marks, scratches, traces of wear and other grading issues; and bag marks versus circulation marks.


An 1897 Dominion of Canada $2 note in Very Fine-30 is expected to bring $2,500-$3,000 as Lot 475.

This fall, a one-session auction will also be held in conjunction with Coin Expo on Oct. 4.

The sale kicks off at 6 p.m., following lot viewing from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Hosted by Geoffrey Bell Auctions, it will be a slight departure from the New Brunswick-based auction house’s usual setup – with one session only – but is “packed full of the best rare and scarce numismatic material, making it the one sale in Canada serious collectors won’t want to miss,” according to auctioneer Brian Bell.

A 1969-dated 10-cent ‘Large Date’ variety is expected to bring $16,000-$17,000 as Lot 91.

“This year’s event is chock-full of highlights, including rare Bank of Canada, Dominion of Canada and chartered banknotes and many impressive errors and fancy serial numbers,” Bell added.


Leading the way for paper money is the Bank of Canada’s inaugural 1935 Series plus its first commemorative note, which was also issued in 1935.

The $25 commemorative (BC-11), which is certified by Canadian Coin Certification Service as Uncirculated-63, will cross the block as Lot 358. Described by auctioneers as “a true Uncirculated (note) with lots of embossing,” it depicts King George V and Queen Mary on one side with Windsor Castle on the other.

This example has a serial number reading “A010771/A” and an estimate of $20,000-$22,000.

A French 1935 Series $2 note in Banknote Certification Service (BCS) Uncirculated-60, Original, is also among the sale’s top highlights. Offered as Lot 346, it has a serial number reading “F216436/A” and an estimate of $7,000-$8,000.

Another French 1935 Series note, this a $50 denomination in Very Fine condition, will be offered as Lot 360. It has a serial number reading “F01780/A” and an estimate of $7,000-$8,000.

Described by auctioneers as “an elusive pair” of English and French 1935 Series $100 notes will be offered as Lot 361 and 362, respectively. The first English note (BC-15) is certified by BCS as Very Fine-35, Original, while the second French note (BC-16) is described as Very Fine by auctioneers. The pre-sale estimates are $4,000-$6,000 and $7,500-$8,000, respectively.

What auctioneers describe as an “excessively rare” 1954 $10 “Devil’s Face” replacement note, of which only 4,800 were printed with the Beattie-Coyne signature combination, will also cross the block as Lot 394. It has a serial number reading “A/D0006321” and an estimate of $9,000-$10,000.

Dominion of Canada-era paper money highlights include:

  • an 1897 $2 note in Professional Coin Grading Service Very Fine-30 to be offered as Lot 475;
  • a “dazzling selection” of 1912 $5 bills – the so-called “train notes” – from Lots 479-484; and
  • two examples of the sought-after 1924 $5 “Queen Mary” note as Lots 487 and 488.


Moving onto coinage, a rare 1969-dated 10-cent “Large Date” variety leads the decimal section as Lot 91.

Described by auctioneers as “a coin so rare that its very existence was not confirmed until nine years after it was struck,” the 1969 10-cent coin has become one of Canada’s most sought-after modern rarities, Bell said.

Certified by International Coin Certification Service as Extremely Fine-45, it has an estimate of $16,000-$17,500.

Other rarities include a 2003P non-magnetic cent, which will be offered as Lot 71 with an estimate of $4,000-$5,000, and a 1966 “Small Beads” silver dollar to be offered as Lot 151 with an estimate of $3,800-$4,000.

“Of course, this is only a small representation of a sale full of important Canadian numismatic pieces,” added Bell.

Lot pickup will be available on Oct. 5 on the Toronto Coin Expo bourse.

For more information about the biannual show, visit

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