Top 10 most valuable Canadian tokens sold at auction in 2021
By thecanadiannumismatist | Monday, January 3, 2022
The sale of the collection of Canadian tokens from The Partrick Canadian Tokens Collection marked the year 2021 for Canadian tokens. Possibly the finest collection of Colonial and Early American coins, tokens and medals ever assembled, the incredible Donald G. Partrick Collection also featured great Canadian items. Here's the Top 10 most valuable Canadian tokens sold at auction in 2021.
#1 - $25,500 - 1820 Northwest Company - AU-58 NGC
The North West Company was one of the most important companies engaged in the fur trade during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The company began about 1775 as a loose partnership of men from Scottish, French-Canadian and U.S. backgrounds. By 1804 it was a well-organized business offering strong competition to the Hudson's Bay Company.
In 1820 the company issued both brass and copper tokens, each representing the value of one beaver pelt. These tokens were about the size of our present 50-cent piece and most known examples have a small hole at the top.
A NGC VF-30 example also sold in April for $9,750 and an ICCS F-12 from the Sherbrooke Seminary sold in March for around $6,000.
#2 - $14,250 - R.W. Owen - Montreal Ropery - NGC AU-Details (Damaged)
Purchased from Warren Baker on April 22, 1977. An estimate of 15 of these tokens survived, most of them in museums collections. Issued circa 1824, before Owen sold his company to Canada Cordage Co. and J.A. Converse.
Two others sold this year, one at an Heritage Auctions auction certified NGC VG-10 for $13,500 (McKay-Clements Collection) and an ICCS F-12 (Mark) from the Sherbrooke Seminary which sold for around $9,500.
- 2009 - $18,000 - ICCS F-12 - Corrosion (Dr. Bernard O'Connor Collection)
- 2013 - $22,800 - ICCS F-12 - Corrosion (same as previous)
- 2013 - $45,825 - Mint State (John J. Ford, Jr. Collection)
- 2013 - $55,000 - Choice Mint State (John J. Ford, Jr. Collection)
- 2015 - $21,600 - PCGS VF-Detail - Scratches (Geoffrey Bell Collection)
- 2016 - $19,000 - F-VF - Small edge notch, lightly lacquered (The Richard Cooper Collection)
- 2020 - $22,680 - NGC AU-Details (Damaged) - Small edge notch, lightly lacquered (Donald G. Partrick Collection)
#3 - $12,850 - Bust and Harp 1820/5 - NGC MS-63
This Mint State coin is probably the finest known example of the 1820/5 overdate. From The Douglas Robins Collection, a NGC EF-40 example sold for $13,800 on April 20, 2018.
The multiple varieties of the Bust and Harp (Breton #1012) might be hard to identify or remember especially for new collectors. This step-by-step Identification Guide will assist you through the major varieties of this popular token and will help to associate your token with the right variety.
#4 - $11,300 - British Settlement 1796 - NGC PR-61
From the Doug Robins Collection, this exact token sold in 2018 for $4,900 and $2,940 in 2020. A PR-65 example, also from Doug Robins, sold for $10,750 in 2018. Fewer than 25 examples are thought to have survived.
#5 - $11,250 - Copper Company of Upper Canada 1794 - NGC PR-Details (Scratches)
This token was described in 1998 by Stack's Bowser as:
Edge decorated with fine, regularly spaced, shallow diagonal lines resembling engrailing. 206.0 gns, 29.0 mm. Rim thickness 2.1 to 2.35mm. Struck in copper, fire-gilt at Boulton's Soho Mint in Birmingham. Unique, this is the only one we have ever seen or heard of. Light scratches on reverse above COMPANY in the inscription. These tokens were struck in England, on the orders of Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe, as a coinage proposal for Upper Canada.
#6 - $10,500 - Bank of Montreal 1/2 penny 1838 - NGC MS-64
One of the finest known for this variety.
During the first half of the 19th century there was a chronic shortage of small coins in Lower Canada. In 1835, following a government decision to remove all the lightweight pieces from circulation, the shortage became acute. No official coins were issued but the Bank of Montreal, the Quebec Bank, the City Bank and La Banque du Peuple were given authority to issue penny and halfpenny tokens of a weight similar to that of British copper coins.
#7 - $9,750 - Warehouse Halfpenny 1816 - NGC F-15
This Canadian colonial token discovered in 1988. Presumably Unique.
#8 - $9,600 - Hunterstown Lumber Co. - ICCS VF-30
Hunterstown was a small village on the Rivière du Loup, about 25 miles from Louiseville. Sometime, about the year 1850, an American lumbering firm, known as the Hunterstown Lumbering Company, secured the limits, and for years carried on extensive operations. The company had a supply store, and paid their men in script, redeemable at the store. This token, was good for a half-penny. The first specimen known to collectors came into the hands of Mr. P. Murphy at Quebec.
#9 - $9,520 - Anchor and H - 1/2 penny 1816 - NGC VF-35
- 2014 - $9,500 - EF (Lorne Barnes Pre-Confederation Nova Scotia Token Collection)
- 2015 - $7,250 - F (Bell collection)
- 2016 - $7,800 - VF - Pitting and planchet flaws (The Richard Cooper Collection)
- 2020 - $11,340 - NGC AU-50 (Doug Robins Collection)
#10 - $9,000 - Sheaf of Wheat Halfpenny 1840 - NGC AU-58
Issued by James Milner, this token was purchased from Warren Baker on February 28, 1980. One of the finest known.
#11 - $9,000 - Eagle and Machine Shop - NGC F-Details (Scratches)
Only two examples known in private Hands, previously owned by Donald G. Partrick. BL-44 (Extremely Rare) and Wood-27. Two examples are in the Bank of Canada Collection and another one in Stack's Bowers/David Bowers' Collection
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