Queen Mary’s $5 Issue of 1924

We consider ourselves very lucky; whether it’s through our Geoffrey Bell Auctions Ltd. sales or via our Moncton, NB storefront, the Coin Cabinet, we get to handle a lot of scarce and rare material.  Some of our favourites are the many trophy notes we’ve seen, such as those from the Covered Bridge Collection.  One that never fails to generate a lot of excitement is the Dominion of Canada $5 of 1924 featuring Queen Mary.

queen mary banknote

Interestingly, with Canada celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, it’s also the sesquicentennial of Queen Mary’s birth.  Born May 26th, 1867, and christened as Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes, she was informally knows as “May” after her birth month.

Although she was first engaged to marry Prince Albert Victor, she would wed the man who became King George V one year after Albert Victor died of influenza.  She became queen mother when her son, Edward VIII ascended to the throne after her husband’s death, but was disappointed when he abdicated, leaving his brother George VI to become king.  She also got to witness her granddaughter, Elizabeth II become queen, but died in March of 1953, before Elizabeth was crowned.

Her 1924 Dominion of Canada $5 banknote was largely unnecessary, which would play a factor in its scarcity today.  The $5 denomination had its needs met by the chartered bank issues of the time, which was one of the factors that lead to it not being put into circulation until 1934.  Of course, the newly formed Bank of Canada began issuing notes the next year, withdrawing the Dominion notes.

Most recently, as part of the Covered Bridge Collection, a beautiful example of the 1924 banknotes was sold at our Toronto Coin Expo 2017 Spring Sale, realizing $14,500.  At our sale two years earlier, a PCGS New 62 PPQ sold for $15,000.  If you missed out, have a look at a PMG About Uncirculated 50 note currently at the Coin Cabinet.

The Dominion of Canada $5, 1924 note is an elusive one for most collectors, but nice examples do come available.  Keep watching our auctions and you’ll find something to add to your portfolio.


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