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Top 10 most valuable Canadian coins sold at auction in 2020

By Lightw4re    |   Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Last year was historical due to the amount of high-end coins that sold at auctions. This year is historical for another reason: COVID-19. Because of the restrictions and limitations on social gatherings around the country, most auctions were online exclusively, without any attendance at physical shows. Nevertheless, the rising prices for precious metals attracted and animated the Canadian coins market. Here's the Top 10 most valuable Canadian coins sold at auction in 2020 so far.

#1 - $58,800 CAD - 1 dollar 1948 PCGS MS-66

1 dollar 1948 - Canada

This 1 dollar 1948 sold at the Sping Sale 2020 - Geoffrey Bell Auctions on April 30, 2020. With a very low mintage of 18,780 examples, only 3 PCGS MS-66 examples exist. NGC and CCCS Population Reports never certified a 1948 silver dollar above MS-64. The auctioneer described this coin as:

Superb rainbow toning, we do not hesitate to say that this coin is the best 1948 dollar you will ever see and ranks #1 with the PCGS rankings tied with two others (03/20). Very rare in this superior quality!

#2 - $54,144 CAD - 1916-C Gold Sovereign PCGS MS-64

1916-C Gold Sovereign - Canada

On May 17, 2020, this 1916-C Gold Sovereign sold at Heritage Auctions and was part of The Caranett Collection of Sovereigns, #1 in PCGS Multi-Country Sovereign Registry Sets. Last year (2019), a MS-66 sold for $207,636.00 CAD.

Only 6,111 Gold Sovereign were produced in 1916. Number of survivors is estimated between 40 to 60. A MS-62 example also sold for $29,290 CAD in February 2020, at Torex Auction.

#3 - $44,030 CAD - 50 cents 1888 Obverse # 2 ICCS MS-63

50 cents 1888 - Canada

Early in 2020, at Torex Auction, The Canadian Numismatic Company sold this 50 cents 1888 Obverse # 2. It was described as:

A sharp, cutting edge, brilliance is complimented with light mauve toning.

Another example of this coin, certified PCGS MS-63 sold for $32,130 CAD on August 29 at the 2020 RCNA Auction.

#4 - $43,992 CAD - 1909 Gold Sovereign PCGS SP-65

1909-C Gold Sovereign - Canada

At the same auction and from the same collection of the #2 on this list, this 1909 Canadian Sovereign is 1 of the 4 known. Two others are SP-65 and one is SP-64.

In 2019, this same coin sold for $33,541 CAD during the ANA World's Fair of Money.

#5 - $42,840 CAD - 50 cents 1881 H PCGS MS-64+

50 cents 1881 H - Canada

On June 27, 2020, at Torex Auction, The Canadian Numismatic Company sold this 50 cents 1881 H. It was described as:

Sublime appeal with an overflow of bright luster with touch of golden rim tones. Top 3, with two graded 65. Largely brilliant with the lightest hint of toning and tremendous luster evenly distributed on both the obverse and reverse. Objectively, an important coin.

#6 - $41,100 CAD - 25 cents 1906 Small Crown PCGS AU-58

25 cents 1906 Small Crown - Canada

This 1906 quarter sold during the sale of The Walczak Collection of Canadian Coins on June 28, 2020 by Heritage Auctions. Another example sold for $20,230 CAD at Torex in June 27, graded CCCS VF-30.

In 2019, a MS-62 piece sold for $51,110 at the George Hans Cook Collection of Canadian Coinage auction.

#7 - $39,456 CAD - 25 cents 1875 H PCGS MS-63

25 cents 1875 H - Canada

At the same auction and in the same collection as the previous coin on this list, this 25 cents 1875 H was described as:

Rare, key date for the series, with silvery-white satin tone over both sides. The devices retain a pleasing level of sharpness, and evidence of handling remains minor throughout, with light contact marks over the Queen's portrait, and scattered wisps in the fields.

In 2019, a SP-68 piece sold for $70,276.80 from Belzberg and Cook collections at the World's Fair of Money.

#8 - $34,584 CAD - 25 cents 2000 P PCGS MS-65

25 cents 2000 P - Canada

This is the only one 25 cents 2000 P certified by PCGS with only 3 to 5 known according to Heritage Auctions. This coin was previously part of The Cook Collection and it sold on January 13 in New York.

#9 - $31,836 CAD - 10 cents 1913 Broad Leaves PCGS MS-64

10 cents 1913 - Canada

With only 1 graded higher (MS-65), this 10 cents 1913 Broad Leaves sold on August 6, 2020 at Stack's Bowers Galleries and it was part of the Duke of Lansing Collection.

#10 - $31,535 CAD - 5 cents 1921 PCGS MS-63

5 cents 1921 - Canada

Considered The Prince of Canadian Coinage this coin was the highlight of the 2020 New Year's Auction Sale by The Canadian Numismatic Company. In 1921, a legislation was passed to remove silver 5-cent coins and replace them with 21mm (instead 15.5mm) 100% nickel ones. At that time, the Mint melted more than 3 million of silver five cents coins which most of them were from 1921. Only 400 silver 5-cents coins are believed to have survived.

#11 - $31,236 CAD - 50 cents 1870 No L.C.W. PCGS MS-62

50 cents 1870 No L.C.W. - Canada

This 1870 half dollar sold during the sale of The Walczak Collection of Canadian Coins on June 28, 2020 by Heritage Auctions and was described as:

This example, a prominent Mint State specimen, features desirable color, velveteen luster, and designs that have received an exacting strike. Presently, the PCGS census reports that only three coins of this variety have been certified at the Mint State level. In addition to this specimen, we sold an MS64+, which was part of the Canadiana Collection from our 2016 April CICF sale that realized an all-in price of $70,500, and back in 2010, we offered an MS64 example that brought $86,250.

Honorable mentions

  • $44,650 CAD - Silver oversized uniface specimen RCMP 1973 commemorative presentation set (3 coins)
  • $30,456 CAD - Gold Sovereign 1908-C PCGS SP-65
  • $30,456 CAD - Gold Sovereign 1911-C PCGS SP-67
  • $26,775 CAD - 1 dollar 1946 PCGS MS-66
  • $22,610 CAD - 10 cents 1870 - Wide 0 PCGS MS-66

Pictures by Heritage Auctions, PCGS and The Canadian Numismatic Company.

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