By Geoffrey Bell Auctions and Toronto Coin Expo….
Hundreds of pieces of Canadian history are ready to be auctioned off starting May 28, 2015 at the Toronto Coin Expo. Held in partnership with New Brunswick’s Geoffrey Bell Auctions, the semi-annual coin show takes place May 29 and 30 at the Toronto Reference Library at 789 Yonge Street. The show is Canada’s most popular coin show and auction with a wide array of coins, tokens, medals and banknotes.
Geoffrey Bell Auctions is offering the largest pre-Confederation token collection sold in the last 25 years. The highlight is the excessively rare Peter McAuslane token of St. John’s, Newfoundland. McAuslane was a merchant in St. John’s and Prince Edward Island. He was a blacksmith by trade and a dry goods merchant on Water Street in St. John’s circa 1844. It is believed 100 tokens were originally ordered and likely most were destroyed by the Great Fire of 1846. The specimen was part of the famous John J. Ford, Jr. collection and expected to sell for $45,000.
There is also a Prince Edward Island holey dollar and the very rare “dump”. Around 1813, the Spanish-American dollar was the main circulating coinage. Most were used to purchase goods outside the Island in places like Saint John, Halifax and Boston. As a result, there was a scarcity of local currency. The Lieutenant Governor of the day came up with a clever idea. He had the center of 1,000 of the dollars cut out and valued the outer ring at five shillings and the cut-out portion at one shilling. The Spanish-American dollar was valued at five shillings at the time so obviously the newly-cut-up piece valued at six shillings would only be accepted on the Island. It therefore tended to stay on the Island to provide a local currency. The center piece or “dump” is expected to bring $10,000 to $15,000.
Also in the auction is the largest collection of counter-stamped coins ever assembled in Canada. The collection was originally put together by a noted American collector and later purchased by a Montreal-based collector. Counter-stamped coins were yesterday’s business cards. They were handed out to customers for advertising and marketing purposes. Merchants in the 1880s often found obsolete tokens, foreign coins and American coins in their tills and decided to counter-stamp their name, address and town on the otherwise valueless coins. One such example has “G.Crowe, Brick Layer, Ont.” Counter-stamped coins are very popular with collectors who want to find out who these people were, where they resided and what their occupation was. The Counterstamp Coin Collection in this sale is the first part of a multi-million dollar collection to be sold over the next four Toronto Coin Expo sales.
These and many other rare coins, tokens and banknotes will be available for viewing at the Toronto Coin Expo prior to the Geoffrey Bell Auction on May 28-29, 2015 at the Toronto Reference Library, located at 789 Yonge Street. The Toronto Coin Expo is Canada’s premier coin and banknote show and auction, hosting world renowned coin and banknote dealers. The public is invited to the bourse floor where 35 dealers will be offering coins, medals, tokens and banknotes from Canada and the world.