By Jesse Robitaille
A complete set of eight specimen banknotes from the Bank of Canada’s 1937 Series – its second issue after forming two years prior – is among the top highlights of the two-session auction, which begins Sept. 6, a day before the biannual show kicks off in Mississauga.
“This set is seldom offered to the public,” said Kirk Parsons, co-owner of the Kitchener, Ont.-based auction house, who added the notes were originally released to the public during the November 1999 Bank of Canada Auction, by Moore Numismatic Auctions, with a pre-sale estimate of $3,000.
“With only 47-48 notes of every denomination being released, this is a rare opportunity to own a complete set.”
The notes, which are all certified by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) as either Choice Uncirculated-64 or About Uncirculated-55, include:
- the $1 “Narrow Panel” variety (BC-21S-i) with an “H/A” prefix;
- the $2 note (BC-22S) with the “A/B” prefix;
- the $5 note (BC-23S) with the “A/C” prefix;
- the $10 note (BC-24S) with the “A/D” prefix;
- the $20 note (BC-25S) with the “A/E” prefix;
- the $50 note (BC-26S) with the “A/H” prefix;
- the $100 note (BC-27S) with the “A/J” prefix; and
- the $1,000 note (BC-28S) with the “A/K” prefix.
“Also note that the $2, $5 and $10 bills were printed by the British American Bank Note Company and only have the perforated words ‘SPECIMEN’ diagonally across the notes whereas the $1, $20, $50, $100 and $1,000 were printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company (CBNC) and have the diagonal perforations along with the four holes punched along the lower signature blocks.”
With a starting bid of $13,500, the set – offered as Lot 1265 – has a pre-sale estimate of $25,000.
“We have been elated by the participation from the public and enthusiasm that collectors have shown to make our auctions an overwhelming success,” said auctioneer Kirk Parsons, co-owner of Colonial Acres, which began hosting its biannual Premier Auction with the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show in spring 2018. “We pride ourselves with procuring numismatic material geared for all collector types, with exceptional deals on collectables, and great customer service in ensuring that your items are appropriately represented and, of course, arrive safely.”
1937 $1,000 SPECIMEN
Another specimen note from the 1937 Series – this a single $1,000 note in About Uncirculated-58 – is also among the highlights of the 1,591-lot sale.
Graded by Banknote Certification Service, this note was also printed by the CBNC and features the perforated word “SPECIMEN” diagonally across the note, which has four horizontal holes punched along the signature margin.
With a starting bid of $5,500, this note will be offered as Lot 1264 with an estimate of $12,000.
UNCUT SHEET OF $10 NOTES
Described by auctioneers as “very scarce,” an uncut sheet of 1989 $10 notes from the Bank of Canada’s Birds of Canada series – its fifth since 1935 – will be offered as Lot 1422.
With 40 notes in total – measuring five notes across and eight down – the sheet features the “BEF” prefix, which is only known to exist on one other uncut sheet.
“All other uncut sheets have the common prefix ‘BEH,’” added Parsons.
With a starting bid of $5,000, this lot has an estimate of $10,000.
1858 CENT ‘NARROW 9’
Moving onto coinage, an 1859 “Narrow 9” brass cent will be offered as Lot 291.
Certified as Very Good-10 – but with corrosion – by International Coin Certification Service (ICCS), this is a “very rare coin with less than 30 known examples,” said Parsons, who added “most examples are in very poor condition.”
“The notation corrosion is very light and not distracting from the overall appeal of this coin.”
With a starting bid of $15,000, this lot has a pre-sale estimate of $25,000.
1872H DOUBLE VARIETY
An 1872H 25-cent “Obverse 2” double variety will also cross the block as Lot 639.
Certified by ICCS as Mint State-63, this is the finest known example and “a rare find with great eye-appeal,” Parsons said.
“This coin has the ‘7 over 7’ variety on the reverse as well as the die break inverted ‘A’ on the spelling of ‘VICTORIA’ on the obverse. It should be noted that there is more doubling on the obverse with several letters. This coin is worth a close look and a premium bid.”
With a starting bid of $3,000, this lot is expected to bring $10,000.
Other coinage highlights include Lot 843, an 1890H 50-cent “Obverse 4” variety in ICCS Very Fine-30. It has a starting bid of $5,000 and a pre-sale estimate of $7,750.
Lot 560 will see a 1903-dated 10-cent coin in ICCS Mint State-64 cross the block. Described by auctioneers as an “attractive coin with great eye-appeal,” it’s the sixth-highest graded example. It has a starting bid of $2,500 and a pre-sale estimate of $5,500.
Rounding out the highlights is Lot 257, a 1944-C Newfoundland cent in ICCS Mint State-64 Red. A rare offering, it’s the only example certified by ICCS in this grade and has a starting bid of $2,250. It’s expected to hammer down for $5,000.
Both evening live-auction sessions on Sept. 6-7 will be preceded by lot viewing throughout the day.
Lot viewing will also be available at Colonial Acres’ storefront on 991 Victoria St. N., in Kitchener, Ont., through Sept. 5. Viewing times are Monday to Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
At the show, lot viewing will begin on Sept. 6 at noon and Sept. 7 at 10 a.m., followed by the live auction at 5:30 p.m. each day.
In addition to bidding from the floor, bids will be accepted online before and during the event as well as by phone and mail.
To view the auction catalogue, click here.
For more information, visit colonialacres.com.