“Collect the best,” is a piece of advice often gifted by knowledgeable numismatists and the rare opportunity to obtain the ultimate “best” Canadian coin is here with the latest offering from Geoffrey Bell Auctions Ltd. Their Toronto Coin Expo 2018 Fall Sale is a momentous auction as the finest-known King of Canadian Coins, along with a host of other rare fifty-cent pieces, takes centre stage.
The headliner in this star-studded lineup is undoubtedly the fabled 1921 half dollar, to borrow an American term. This coin has been graded by both PCGS and ICCS as MS66 and is perfectly preserved with stunning toning and choice, original surfaces. This piece is the finest-known mint state example and is thus a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire the best of Canada’s most famous coin.
The story is one most Canadian collectors are familiar with: minted originally in large quantity, but with little demand for the denomination only a relatively small number where issued between 1921 and 1929, with most of those assumed to have been 1920-dated coins. Demand for 50-cent pieces increased in 1929, resulting in a decision by the Master of the Ottawa Mint to melt the existing stock to recoin the metal into 1929 coins. As Charlton states, “It is believed that the 75 or so 1921s that have survived came from Specimen sets sold to collectors or from circulation strikes sold to Mint visitors.” This stunning piece is from the Canadiana Collection.
As with the best Hollywood films, you won’t be able to ignore the other fifty-cent pieces in this ensemble, including the finest graded 1914 half by either ICCS or PCGS. This MS66 example is ex-Norweb and currently of the Canadiana Collection and is a very important coin with the cataloger for the Norweb auction noting, “In mint state, this gem eclipses in rarity the far more famous 1921.”
There is also a superb 1934 fifty-cent piece graded by NGC MS67, cross-graded by ICCS MS66, making it a highly desired example for registry set collectors. And a 1888 fifty-cents, obverse 3 graded ICCS MS64 is certainly one of the finest available for the year.
The list doesn’t end there, so be sure to watch your mailbox for your Toronto Coin Expo 2018 Fall Sale catalogue and visit the auction online. Visit our table at the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show September 8th and 9th in Mississauga for a free coop or contact Dawn Bell to order a copy for $15 if you aren’t subscribed to receive our catalogues yet. The year’s most important Canadian numismatic offering takes place September 27 and 28 live at the Toronto Reference Library.