By Jesse Robitaille
This April, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, Colonial Acres will hold its biannual Premier Auction live and in person.
While Colonial held its past four Premier Auctions online with no in-person floor bidding, this year’s spring event marks a return to the in-person auction after the Ontario government has lifted nearly all of its major pandemic restrictions, including on indoor public gatherings.
The two-session auction will take place on April 8-9 during Trajan Publishing’s National Postage Stamp & Coin Show at the Hilton Mississauga/Meadowvale hotel in Mississauga, Ont., where more than 1,300 lots will cross the block.
“Running the auction in a live setting for the first time in over two years is going to be exciting,” said auctioneer Kirk Parsons, a co-owner with the Kitchener, Ont.-based auction house. “Many customers and bidders alike that attend the show have been long-time friends and loyal customers, and being able to communicate and talk in person and enjoy the camaraderie that goes along with coin shows and live auctions is something we have all missed.”
Both sessions kick off at 5:30 p.m. (EST), but bidding opens online via iCollector on March 18. In addition to online, bids can also be submitted by mail, email, fax, telephone and at Colonial’s Kitchener office.
In the first session, a series of Newfoundland highlights will cross the block from Lots 346-383.
A 1941C Newfoundland cent, featuring a “C” mintmark on the reverse to signify the coin was struck in Ottawa, is offered in Mint-State (MS) condition as Lot 349. Certified as MS-65 by International Coin Certification Service (ICCS), which added a “Red” designation, the coin is described by auctioneers as being “scarce in this grade point.” It’s estimated at $2,500.
A 1946C Newfoundland five-cent coin – also with a “C” mintmark on the reverse – offers an “exceptional example of this rare, highly sought-after coin,” according to auctioneers, who called it a “pristine gem.” In ICCS MS-66 with a “Heavy Cameo” designation, the coin is nearly full white with a proof appearance and carries an estimate of $13,000 as Lot 355.
An 1865 Newfoundland $2 gold coin, the denomination’s first year of issue, will be offered as Lot 375 with an estimate of $1,950. Certified as About Uncirculated-55 (AU-55) by ICCS, it’s one of 10,000 $2 gold coins struck for Newfoundland that year.
The only gold circulation denomination issued by a British colony, Newfoundland’s $2 gold coin was struck from 1865-88.
Another Newfoundland $2 gold coin, this one struck in 1880 among a low mintage of 2,500, will cross the block as Lot 377. Certified as AU-55 by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), this rare key-date example carries an estimate of $5,500.
Among the Canadian large cents, Lot 390 offers a scarce 1895 cent in ICCS MS-65 “Red” with an estimate of $1,600.
Another high-grade cent, this one from 1901 and certified as MS-66 by ICCS, comes from the G.F. Landon Collection, which crossed the block during the 2015 Canadian Legacy Sale II. Described by Colonial’s auctioneers as having a “pleasant orange-red tone over soft finishes,” the coin is expected to bring $1,000 as Lot 395.
Among the small cents, Lot 472 offers a rare 1951 one-cent “No Shoulder Fold” variety in ICCS Proof-like-65 “Red.” Described by auctioneers as being a “full brilliant red coin with mirror finishes,” it’s estimated at $2,000.
In the five cents section, a 1921 issue – known as the “Prince of Canadian Coins” – will cross the block as Lot 539. Certified as Very Good-8 (VG) by ICCS and described by auctioneers as “ultra rare,” it’s one of only about 400 silver examples believed to survive the melting pot.
In 1920, due to the rising price of silver, Canadian coinage was debased from .925 fineness to .800 fineness with the remaining 20 per cent composed of copper. About 2.5 million 1921 five-cent coins were already struck in .800 silver before the Mint decided to switch to a pure nickel coin, according to the Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins; however, most of these silver pieces were melted after the Mint authorized the nickel coin in May 1921.
The example on offer this April features a “natural grey patina throughout the obverse and reverse” plus “full borders and lettering throughout entire coin, which is seldom seen with VG-graded 1921s,” according to auctioneers. It’s expected to bring $6,000.
Rounding out the session one highlights is Lot 639, a 1913-dated 10-cent “Small Leaves” variety in PCGS MS-65. Described as having “medium tones of purple and indigo blues … over MS fields,” it’s estimated at $2,500.
The second session opens with 20- and 25-cent coins, including an 1858 20-cent coin in coinage axis offered as Lot 685.
Certified as Extremely Fine-45 by ICCS, it’s described by auctioneers as a “bright flashy coin with plenty of original mint lustre” and carries an estimate of $790.
Among the 25-cent pieces, Lot 778 offers a modern rare mule error on the 2007 “Wheelchair Curling” commemorative circulation issue. The coin’s obverse features the Olympic logo rather than the Paralympic logo. Certified as MS-65 by ICCS, which added a “Numismatic Brilliant Uncirculated” designation, it’s estimated at $700.
Among the silver dollars, a 1947 $1 “Pointed 7/Dot” variety is offered as Lot 889. Cross-graded by CCCS and ICCS as MS-63, the rare key-date variety is estimated at $4,000.
In the banknote section, Lot 1001 offers a 1917 Canadian Bank of Commerce $10 chartered issue (Charlton 75-16-04-12) featuring the Arid-Logan signature combination and a serial number reading “569973-C.” A variety with the words „GENERAL MANAGER“ printed in italics, the note is certified as VF-25 by Banknote Certification Service. Described by auctioneers as an “extremely scarce note” with only five known to exist – and just one believed to be graded higher in the Canadian Paper Money Society Note Registry – this example is estimated at $3,000.
Another high-grade rarity crosses the block as Lot 1148, which offers a 1954 $50 “Solid 8s” radar note (Charlton BC-42c-N1-i). Featuring the Lawson-Bouey signature combination and a serial number reading “B/H8888888,” it’s certified as Gem Uncirculated-66 “EPQ” (exceptional paper quality) by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG). It’s expected to bring $6,000.
From Canada’s first issue of $1,000 notes, a 1935 Series English-language example (Charlton BC-19) featuring the Osborne-Towers signature combination and a serial number reading “A15992-D” will be offered as Lot 1085. In Choice Uncirculated-64 from PMG, the note is described by auctioneers as “well centred with crisp bright details.” It’s estimated at $26,000.
Closing the banknote highlights is a 1935 French-language $25 commemorative note (Charlton BC-12) offered as Lot 1080. It’s certified as About Uncirculated-50 by PMG, which has graded fewer than 10 examples at a higher grade point. Featuring the Osborne-Towers signature combination with a serial number reading “F002640-D,” it’s estimated at $19,000.
& LOOKING AHEAD
Colonial’s April 8-9 sale marks its ninth Premier Auction since 2018, about three years after the coin-dealing company entered the auction business.
After the pandemic began in spring 2020, the firm was forced to host all of its sales, including the twice-yearly Premier Auction plus its regular monthly auctions, in online venues.
For this spring’s event, lot viewing will be available at Colonial’s office at 991 Victoria St. N. in Kitchener beginning on March 19. Viewing times are Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
“Overall, it is one of our best assortments of offerings we have put together to date, and we look forward to showcasing these items live at the show for people to see, view and bid in person.”
Trajan’s spring 2022 National Show runs from April 9-10, a day behind the sale.