Our 2019 Winter Catalogue

We are pleased to release our 2019 winter catalogue, offering several hundred fresh Canadian and World items from our ever-changing inventory.

Please do note that this price-list will remain valid until Sunday, March 24th 2019 (ending with our Toronto show), so please pick up the phone or email on any items of interest to you.

Download the complete 2019 Winter Catalogue

1796 OP Jones Silver Dollar

The King of Pocket-Pieces: A Young Collector’s Encounter with an Aviation Great

In this series of writings, I have been highlighting special pieces from within my own personal coin collection, and relating the stories and memories these particular items hold for me.

This current chapter continues that tradition, with one notable deviation – the “young collector” referenced in my title is not me.

In May of 2012, a gentleman came to see me at our shop regarding coinage that had been in the family for many years.  Most were (literally) presented to me in an ancient sock, and the greatest numismatic treasure I’ve encountered from the United States came tumbling out among them.

It was a 1796 draped bust Quarter, the very first Twenty-five Cent coin issued by the fledgling “United States”, and a major rarity. The owner told me the story of an ancestor who was a salesman (I believe in the shipping insurance field) in Europe during the 19th century.  Often on the road, he returned to their office at one point only to find out that the company had gone bankrupt in his absence.  With no residual assets except scattered receivables, he spent some time traveling through Europe, collecting these receivables from various customers so that he could survive the insolvency and move forward with his life.  It was he, among his various journeys who collected the majority of these coins, including the fabled Quarter. Working with a good American colleague, I was able to authenticate and find the coin a new home, which yielded the family $27,000.

As noteworthy as this discovery was, however, it was a second coin in the group that would bring forth from this gentleman a much later, though no less remarkable story.

Captain Oscar Philip Jones, CVO OBE

Captain Oscar Philip Jones, CVO OBE

In the 1950s, he and his family had been living in Sri Lanka (or “Ceylon”, at that time).  In 1958, his family of five left for Canada on a British Overseas Airways Corporation turbo-prop aircraft, known as a “Bristol Britannia”. The initial stage of their lengthy journey would take the craft from Colombo to Rome, via India, Bahrain and Damascus. As the seats were configured only in pairs, he – the 11 year old – was seated with an older gentleman for the duration.  This gentleman, as it turned out, was a recently-retired pilot, and would keep his young seat-mate engaged with tales of adventure in the skies during the many legs of their voyage.

No doubt the young David was impressed and engaged by their discussions, however it only would be in later years that he came to fully appreciate the serendipity of their encounter.  Far from being simply a pilot, Captain Oscar Philip Jones, CVO, OBE, was among the most renowned aviators of his generation. A pioneering Civil Aviation Pilot, “O.P. Jones” began his distinguished career at age 18, learning to fly with the RAF in the waning days of World War I.  A founding pilot of both Imperial Airways as well as the BOAC line on which David was flying with him, he would eventually fly 139,000 passengers on 118 types of aircraft throughout the world.

Captain Oscar Philip Jones, CVO OBE

Captain Oscar Philip Jones, CVO OBE

Well-known for his “piercing blue eyes and torpedo beard”, the Captain – at age 28 – became the first Royal Pilot by transporting the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) from Paris to London in 1926. Exactly 25 years later, his career would reach a pinnacle as he commanded the Boeing Stratocruise flagship “Canopus” as it carried Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh on their Royal Visit to Canada.

Although Captain Jones clearly enjoyed his celebrity status as the “Great First Gentleman of the Air”, as he soon come to be known, his stripes were well-earned through his great skill and talent for surviving even the most harrowing of experiences. In one incredible account of a 1932 passenger flight, his Imperial Airlines HP42 (a British four-engine biplane airliner) was struck by lightning in severe weather over England, blowing out the cockpit window which then damaged two of four propellers. With torrential rain pouring into the cockpit, Jones and his co-pilot managed to recover the craft from a steep dive. The cockpit door had become jammed, however, and they had no way of knowing whether the passengers remained alive at that point, as both the tail fin and fuselage had been damaged and compromised. All radio and navigation equipment had been destroyed, and only on spotting a railway line through a break in the dense cloud-cover were they able to find their way to Croydon Airport and land safely. In the end, all survived to fly another day.

That young David was kept suitably entertained by the exploits and adventures of his esteemed seat-mate is likely a given, though what of the numismatic connection I referenced in my introduction, you may ask?

United States “Draped Bust” Silver Dollar of 1796At one point during their voyage, the subject of collecting came up. David mentioned that he had collected both coins and stamps, only to have his collection stolen (presumably in Ceylon).  “That was too bad”, Jones empathized.  And then, sometime later, Captain Jones remembered he had a special coin on him – a good luck piece – that he extracted from a pocket and presented to David in hopes that it might kick-start his collection once again.

That remarkable coin, which accompanied the rare quarter as it tumbled out of the sock on that day in my shop seven years ago, was a United States “Draped Bust” Silver Dollar of 1796.  Only the third Silver Dollar struck by the U.S. Mint, it was a wonderful, naturally-circulated piece, and the first example of this very early coinage I had held in my hands in more than 20 years as a coin dealer.

I acquired the piece from David with gratitude, and to this day, the “Captain O.P. Jones” Silver Dollar remains a proud and storied part of my personal collection of numismatic memories – a true king of pocket-pieces.

Sean Isaacs

Acknowledgements:

Screenshot of online inventory for Alliance Coin & Banknote

Browse and search Alliance Coin & Banknote’s online inventory

I am pleased to report that we are making excellent progress in refreshing our online inventory database at alliancecoin.com.

Please browse through our current offering of more than 300 newly-posted Canadian and World items, all specially-priced for our internet audience. Many will sell at our upcoming show in Hamilton, so visit today for the best selection!

It is somewhat a “catch 22”, in that our inventory experiences heavy adjustments through attendance at our numerous trade-shows, and the key to keeping our listings “fresh” is to take advantage of those pockets of time between shows to post new material. We shall do our very best and invite you to visit often.

You can browse or search at: https://alliancecoin.com/site/Inventory_Summary.cfm

A sample of the coins and medals to be found in our Weird & Wonderful ebay auction

The Return of the “Weird & Wonderful”!

For all fans of our highly-eclectic online sales, we are pleased to announce the impending launch of our latest Ebay sale of tokens, medals and related collectibles.

Launching at midnight next Monday January 28, 2019, this offering will feature more than one hundred neat items from our deep inventory.

Look us up under our eBay user name “Alliancecoin” or jump right in on our eBay auction page Alliance Coin.

Sean Isaacs

2018 Boxing Week Blowout at Alliance!

Our final event of the year will be our near-legendary Boxing Week Sale, which we firmly believe to be the biggest boxing week sale in the Coin Business. In addition to huge discounts on virtually our entire stock, we always pride ourselves on including fresh new inventory.

No items held back or hidden away for the sale. In fact, by the time we open our doors to our loyal customers, we will have added at least 1,000 new coins and notes to stock over the past week or two.

Mark your calendars for Thursday, 27th and Friday, 28th (9am – 7pm) and Saturday, 29th (10am – 6pm) December 2019 at Alliance Coin & Banknote, 88 Mill Street, Almonte.

Flyer front for the 2018 Boxing Week Blowout at Alliance Coin

Door Crashers for Alliance Coin's Boxing Week Sale

The ladies of Acacia Lyra play for our guests

Reflecting on our Open House

Most recently, we were humbled by our December 2nd “Coins & Strings” Open House, which – in spite of threatening winter weather on a Sunday – saw the largest turn-out we’ve had in 15 years of hosting our popular annual event.

Upwards of 100 customers, friends and colleagues joined us for some great traditional harp music (by Acacia Lyra), and took in our special displays of world-class Large Cents and a selection of Silver cigarette cases from my own personal collection.

Thanks to the support of many, we were also delighted to present the proceeds of our final “Penny Round-Up” in support of the Almonte General Hospital’s MRI equipment fund, with a total of $1,250 raised (or 125,000 Pennies!).

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Coins & Strings 2018 Open House

Coins & Strings Open House marks a special anniversary

We are pleased to be putting the final details in place for our December 2nd Open House, which will coincide with my 30th anniversary of first entering the coin business as a keen-and-green collector, barely out of my teens.

Coin & Strings 2018 posterWe look forward to welcoming our local friends and customers to our gallery, where we will once again be hosting the traditional harp duo Acacia Lyra. We are very fortunate to be entrusted with an encore viewing of the “Melron Pennies”, one of the finest and rarest collections of Canadian Large Cents. Since the sets last public viewing six years ago, it has been upgraded with an exceptionally rare 1859 Brass striking, currently among the two most valuable Large Cents in existence. Do not miss the opportunity to see this remarkable display of Canadian copper numismatic heritage.

Our Open House will also see the culmination of our current “Final Round-up” Penny Drive, in support of the Almonte General Hospital’s campaign to bring a new CT Scanner to town. Many friends and local customers have been generous in their donations of pennies to the cause over these past few weeks, for which we extend our sincere thanks.

Lastly – to further thank our local collecting community for their support over these past 15 years in Almonte, we will be holding a Flash Sale during our three-hour Open House, and offering a 30% discount on virtually the entire store, with the sole exceptions of Silver/Gold bullion and 2018/19 dated Royal Canadian Mint products.

We look forward to welcoming you in out of the cold for some warm cheer, tasty refreshments, and great deals!