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CNA Convention a great success

By George Manz    |   Sunday, 1 September 2002

This year's Canadian Numismatic Association annual convention held in Vancouver, Canada in mid-July, was a great success.

Altough organizers were hampered in promoting the show due to a newspaper strike, collectors attended from all over canada (particularly the province of British Columbia), as well as quite a large number of collectors from the United States and even from Australia.

Mike Souza, member of the Convention Organizing Committee, said he was very pleased with the turnout. Canadian and American coin dealers had high praise for the event, selling coins, medals, tokens and paper money to the enthusiastic crowd.

Many numismatic groups held meetings for members, including the Canadian Paper Money Society and the Classical and Medieval Numismatic Society.

Among the many education forums open to the public was a presentation by Wayne Jacobs on The Wellington Tokens and their Canadian Connection. But the event that had everyone talking was the CNA Auction which set a new record for prices realized. Michael Walsh, the Canadian Coinoisseur, conducted the auction and reported sales in excess of $1.0 million (prices in Canadian dollars which are slightly above par with the Australian dollar).

Part of the reason for the record sales was the inclusion of part of the Douglas L. Mason collection of Canadian and Maritime decimal coins, considered the finest ever assembled.

When the famed Pittman and Norweb collections were sold several years ago, they received a great deal of publicity because their collections were huge, including specimens, proofs and patterns, as well as business strikes. While Pittman and Norweb colections had many outstanding coins, the Mason collection, consisting of only 600 pieces, virtually all of which are in the ICCS Top Ten Census, contained several coins missing from both the Pittman and Norweb collections. As well, the quality of the Mason collection was such that the coins were often in higher states of preservation than the coins in the Pittman and Norweb collections.

Nearly half of the collection consists of the highest-graded examples, over 80 of which are the solo highest graded.

- Michael Walsh, the Canadian Coinoisseur

Some of the most interest was in lot 424, a lovely 1910 Victorian Leaves 50 cents graded MS-65 by ICCS. The coin showed superb eye appeal and was catalogued at $50,000. After spirited bidding, the coin sold for $75,000 plus 1 0 percent buyers fee. A rare 1859 Brass cent graded VG-8, sold for $4,620 compared to its $4,000 catalogue price. ICCS has graded only 16 examples of this rarity. A very rare and spectacular 1921 50 cents graded MS-65 sold for $104,500 to a mail bidder in Toronto. A second 1921 50 cents graded VG-8 sold for $18,700 to a bidder who flew in from Wisconsin to buy it.

The sale of pre-Confederation coinage from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island also attracted strong floor bids. Among the highlights was an 1888 Newfoundland 10 cents graded EF-40 by ICCS which sold for $1,705, considerably higher than its $600 Trends value. All in all, this CNA show was one of the best in recent memory. Next year's CNA will be held in Windsor, Ontario.

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