Live Auction – Online & Open for Advance Bidding

All 620 lots for our rapidly approaching Live Auction are now available on our website, many with pictures (which we continue to add), and we are inviting advance bids.

Click here to preview of selected auction highlights on our website. You can also review Terms of Sale, etc. on the site.

Please note: print catalogues will only be available on the day of the Auction.

We have a rough plan of 10am to 3pm, but in reality we may end quite a bit earlier. If you are serious about one or more items, we really recommend arriving earlier. The lunch break at 12 is a great time to stroll around the town and grab a bite to eat at one of the many fine eateries.

Live Auction
Sunday, June 10th, 2018
10am start | 12-1pm lunch | Auction will end when we’re done!
Almonte Old Town Hall – Main Concert Hall
14 Bridge Street, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0

 

We look forward to seeing you this coming weekend!

Live Auction preview working fully now!

Some of you will have experienced issues with accessing the auction preview at times over the last two days. I apologize for the inconvenience and am writing now to assure you that all is fixed. We encountered some unexpected performance issues, and our website developer has implemented some changes that have remedied this!

Click here to preview of selected auction highlights on our website, which will continue to expand as we move towards final completion of sale preparations.

Please note that the complete auction inventory will be available online from next Wednesday, and that print catalogues will not be available until the day of the Auction.

Additionally, we invite our local customers to visit us for a preliminary viewing of available lots, this coming weekend. Alliance Coin & Banknote will be open both Saturday (10-4pm) and Sunday (10-5pm), for your viewing pleasure.

Live Auction: Sunday, June 10th, 2018

Selected items online for preview: Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Live Preview In-store: Saturday, June 2nd (10-4) & Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 (10-5)

2018 Annual Live Coin Auction

I am delighted to report that we continue to steam ahead with preparations for our second annual Alliance Coin & Banknote live public auction, to be held in the Almonte Old Town Hall on Sunday June 10th.

The sale will begin at 10:00 am, with a one-hour break for lunch at noon, before continuing at 1:00 pm.

2018 Live Coin Auction posterThis will be a very diverse sale of 500+ lots, representing virtually every area of the coin, banknote, medal and token fields, as well as some truly unusual items in our “Artifacts,  Collectibles & Bulk Lots” category. With estimates ranging from $10 into the thousands, there will be something offered for every collecting level and budget.

Please note that due to the unfortunate delayed receipt of some important Canadian material, printed sale catalogues will not be available until the actual weekend of the auction. Fortunately, however, complete listings will be available for both viewing and advance bidding on our website by mid-week prior to the auction, once we are able to complete the catalogue and assign final lot numbers.  We do sincerely apologize for the resulting very tight timing, but remain confident you will find it worth the wait.

Beginning this Tuesday the 29th, we are delighted to begin featuring a preview of selected auction highlights on our website, which will continue to expand as we move towards final completion of sale preparations.

Additionally, we invite our local customers to visit us for a preliminary viewing of available lots, this coming weekend.  Alliance Coin & Banknote will be open both Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00 to 5:00, for your viewing pleasure.

Live Auction: Sunday, June 10th, 2018

Selected items online for preview: Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Live Preview In-store: Saturday, June 2nd & Sunday, June 3rd, 2018

 

As always, my family, staff and I warmly thank you for your continued patronage, and I look forward to your participation in our impending public sale!

Sincerely,

Sean Isaacs

 

Alliance’s 2018 Winter Catalogue

With two weeks of mad processing behind us, I am delighted to release our 2018 Winter Catalogue of coins and banknotes. This is the largest price-list we have ever produced, with more than 1,600 items from our diverse world-wide inventory.

I do encourage our customers to respond as quickly as possible on any items of interest, as response is anticipated to be fairly intense.  Please note that all offerings in this catalogue will remain valid until March 31st, and the beginning of our spring show season.

Catalogue & Order Form

Download the complete 2018 Winter Catalogue
Download the 2018 Order Form

From the Isaacs Cabinet: A Farthing fit for a King

The venerable British “Farthing” denomination was first introduced in the thirteenth century under Henry III, and formed an integral part of the English coinage system fairly consistently for a remarkable run of seven hundred years. Only in 1956 during the early years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, would the final Farthings come off the press.

Although struck in Silver for the first 300 years or so, the economic realities facing this lowest of denominations (equivalent to ¼ Penny) inevitably saw a conversion to being struck in Copper (and eventually Bronze) during the reign of Charles I in the 1620s. Under his son Charles II, it would be 12 years into his reign before intense demand for fractional coinage resulted in the first issue of circulating farthings featuring the famous “seated Britannia” design in 1672, with the coin’s date located on the reverse beneath her. The above not-withstanding, however, this was not technically the first Farthing struck under the younger Charles’s reign.

Several years earlier, in 1665, a scarce pattern Farthing was officially struck in fine Silver utilizing a design by John Roettier, which the later copper circulating issues would very much mirror. These Silver patterns utilized a left-facing portrait of the King based on an Ancient Roman Sestertius coin of Antoninus Pius, while the reverse depicted a seated portrait of Britannia holding a spear and resting on a shield. The Duchess of Richmond modelled for this figure of Britannia, and it is written by Count de Grammont (French Nobleman and memoirist) that “the King was a noted admirer of her legs”.  A notable distinction on these pattern strikings, however, was the location of the date below the obverse portrait, rather than beneath Britannia as would soon become the norm.

Although issued as patterns, the majority of know specimens are found among the circulated grades, thus the series clearly saw some degree of actual circulation (presumably at a notably higher accepted value than their later base-metal cousins). As a young collector and enthusiast of British coinage, I had never encountered these patterns until the early 1980s. It was about that time that the Ottawa numismatic landscape was expanded by the opening of Paul Nadin-Davis’s walk-in office on the upper floor of a downtown Metcalfe office building. As I have mentioned in my earlier writings, I was intrigued by virtually anything in pre-Victorian British coinage, as such offerings only occasionally surfaced in the inventory of my usual weekly haunt, Sears Coin & Stamp in the Carlingwood Shopping Centre.

It was on one of my first visits to Paul’s office that he showed me an attractive VF’ish example of the coin, the earliest British piece I had held in my hands to that point. It was intriguing, old, and scarce — the “triple-threat” to any young collector. I knew I had to have it, although at a couple hundred dollars or so, I also know I couldn’t afford it on that particular day.

“No problem” said Paul, suggesting I put a hundred dollars down and take a month or two to pay off the balance. I happily agreed, filled out some paperwork, and then –- to my significant surprise — he told me to take the coin with me.

I wouldn’t fully appreciate its significance on that particular day, however the extension of both payment flexibility and rather remarkable trust would profoundly shape my own later business philosophy, and in these past 18 years, faith in the integrity of my own customers continues to foster both mutual goodwill as well as enhanced enjoyment of the hobby from both sides of the counter. Sure, I have colleagues that would continue to suggest this is naïve in our 21st-century business environment, however I have always felt I would stand by this philosophy until the day the bonds of reasonable trust became shattered — and that day, I’m pleased to say, has yet to come.

I still own my Charles II pattern Farthing, and it remains one of the most treasured pieces within my small but thoughtfully-assembled collection of English Silver coinage.

Sean Isaacs

My thanks to “Coincraft’s Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins, 1066 to date”, by Richard Lobel, et al.

Inventory Preview Image

New Inventory Sneak Preview!

We have been busy steaming through our backlog of coins in preparation for our first major trade-show of the year, at month-end.

Before this new inventory gets snapped up in Hamilton, however, we wanted to give our local customers an advance preview.

Stop by the store this Saturday January 20, 2018 to view a sample selection of the many hundreds of new Canadian and World coins we’ll be bringing out over the coming weeks, from modern Canadian decimal issues to early pre-Victorian English coinage.  The amalgamated product of dozens of collections we’ve purchased since last summer, we’re confident you’ll find something of interest!

1973 Double Denomination Coin Error

From the Isaacs Cabinet: Memories of Sears and a Very Cool Canadian Coin

As I have recalled in earlier writings, my mother and I came to Ottawa in 1980, where we settled in Westboro.  It didn’t take me long to discover the Sears Coin & Stamp department at Carlingwood Shopping Centre – either an easy 10-minute bus ride or manageable bike trip away – and regular Saturday visits became the highlight of my weekly routines.

The kiosk was owned at that time by Peter Degraaf, and managed by Mabel Driega.  Mabel’s son, the late Andrew Driega, would eventually take over the business in later years.  I was a keen collector, and expect I represented that hybrid of both good customer and pest to the ladies that worked with Mabel.

I was primarily interested at the time in affordable early Canadian & Chartered banknotes as well as generally pre-Victorian English coinage, but would also watch out for anything “neat” that might appear in their cabinets, and which my limited budget could accommodate.

Thirty-five years ago, “errors” were generally a novelty area of numismatics that attracted some restrained interest (even then, only the truly naïve would return a “defective” coin to the Mint for replacement), and I don’t recall having had any examples in my modest collection.  That changed, however, on one particular Saturday that remains clear in my memory.  I rode the #65 bus for the short trip to the mall, and made my way to the coin counter – at that time, in a far corner of Sears’s first floor beside the automotive parts department.

After a few minutes of browsing, I was intrigued by a “lot special” in one of the cabinets, which offered something like 15 various Canadian error coins in small bag for $50.  The deal certainly met the criteria of being “neat”, and I was happy to bite.  The bag would reveal a selection of clips, blank planchets, and some minor off-center strikes.  What especially caught my attention, however, was a funky looking Penny that appeared Silver in colour, and had some odd distortion of both obverse and reverse field designs.  Closer inspection revealed one of the coolest coins that remain in my collection today, and a minor “Holy Grail” of error coins – the “double-denomination” strike.

1973 Double Denomination Coin Error

Click to enlarge

This particular piece started its life as a 1973 Ten Cent, and was then re-fed through a press and struck with One Cent dies of the same date. Thus, clear detail of both denominations remain visible, as well as both 1973 dates from the dual strikings.   Whether the significance of this piece was overlooked when the lot was assembled, or the nature of the error market in the early 1980s was accurately reflected by the lack of attention given to the coin, is not clear.  Looking back, however,  I like to think that I was rewarded for my keen patronage with a great deal, and the coin remains to this day one of the most fortuitous purchases I made during those fun early years of collecting.

This past Monday the doors of that Sears department store closed forever, and among the many, many formative memories I have of the store in general, recollections of my interactions with the ladies of Sears Coin & Stamp (whom, in later years, I would end up working with side-by-side as I entered the coin business) remain among the fondest.

Sean Isaacs