The Toronto Coin Expo 2018 Spring Sale is less than two months away, so that means everyone at Geoffrey Bell Auctions Ltd. has been busy with the final preparations to get the auction ready to be presented to the public. There are a number of notable numismatic collecting genres in this sale, such as a very impressive selection of graded Canadian specimen silver dollars.
Just like specimen banknotes, specimen coins can be confusing for collectors. Other than the name, the potential scarcity, and the appeal to collectors, the comparison between specimen notes and coins stops there. The initial raison d’être for specimen paper money was to familiarize bank employees and others with new notes, while specimen coins were utilized for government presentations.
Specimen coins have been struck right from the beginning in 1858. The early sets are rare as they weren’t sold to the public until 1908, then again in 1937 and 1967. It takes bit of experience to differentiate a specimen strike from a normal business strike, but once a collector has become familiar with them, they’ll notice the strong, crisp strike in the design elements and the high, sharp rims that meet the coin’s fields at right angles. This superior product is achieved with specially finished dies and two strikes. Depending on the era, the coins will have a combination of brilliant and frosted relief and backgrounds.
The specimen silver dollars in the Spring Sale are wonderful, eye-catching examples of these highly-collectable pieces. There are some George VI issues that are simply stunning, including the commemorative year of 1939 and the prized 1948.
The good news is that you’ll be able to view them for yourself soon, either online via our iCollector auction site, in our printed catalogue, or at one of our viewings before the sale which takes place May 3rd and 4th, 2018.