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

Diamond and gold engagement rings from Almnote's Alliance Coin

Diamond rings sold right here in Almonte

Looking for an engagement ring this Christmas?  At Alliance Coin & Banknote, we always have a small but diverse selection of ladies fine diamond and gold rings, with fresh appraised replacement values of $1,000 to $10,000.

And the best news?  We sell our jewellery at least 70% off these appraised values, each and every day!

We make it even easier to fit any budget by offering a flexible lay-away plan.

Don’t buy a diamond ring anywhere else before checking with Alliance Coin & Banknote first!

Ottawa coin auction

Live Coin Auction – 600+ Lots Listed in Just Released Catalogue

Sean Isaacs

Sean Isaacs

I am truly delighted to present The Alliance Coin & Banknote Sale, our first public auction here in Almonte since opening our gallery 12 years ago. It will be held Sunday, 2 April 2017 at the Almonte Old Town Hall from 10am to 5pm.

Among the 600+ lots in this sale I believe there will be something for everyone, and with No Buyer’s Premium, the opportunities for bargains will be plentiful and transparent.

We look forward to welcoming our live bidders on sale day, and invite you to explore our historic downtown Mill Street (just steps away from our store and from the auction venue, at the Almonte Old Town Hall) where you’ll find no shortage of cafes, antique shops and galleries to while away the lunch break.

I am very pleased to welcome my good friend and colleague, David Giles, who will serve as our auctioneer. David brings with him significant experience as caller for the venerable Sparks philatelic auctions in Ottawa, and I am confident he will provide a fun and well-conducted sale for all in attendance.

With all the diversity you have come to expect from Alliance Coin & Banknote, we promise a fun auction experience and the potential for some really great deals!

View the Auction Catalogue

You can download the complete catalogue and find out all the auction details, including viewing of lots and placing bids, on the Alliance Coin & Banknote website.

 

Bank of Montreal One Dollar 1859

Almonte’s First Coin Auction

Our very first public coin auction will be held on Sunday April 2nd, 2017.

Several hundred lots, more than $100,000 in Coins and Banknotes up for offer, including a diverse selection of our famous ‘Odd & Curious’ Medals, Tokens and assorted Collectibles.

We anticipate having the full catalogue completed and posted to our website by mid-month, and invite everyone to join us on sale day at the Almonte Old Town Hall (just steps from our business), or for those unable to be here in person, to participate by submitting advance bids by either email, fax or telephone.

With all the diversity you have come to expect from Alliance Coin & Banknote, we promise a fun auction experience and the potential for some really great deals!

Ottawa Coin Auction

Sunday, 2 April 2017
10:00 am to 5:00 pm
(with a lunch-break between sessions)

Almonte Old Town Hall
Multi-Purpose Room
14 Bridge Street
Almonte, Ontario K0A 1A0

For more details, and a selection of sneak preview items, please visit the Auction page on our website.

The Alliance Coin 2016 Boxing Week Sale!

Join us for our largest sale of the year, with hundreds and hundreds of new items added to inventory in recent weeks. Thursday, Friday & Saturday December 29, 30 & 31st 9:00 – 6:00 pm.

2016 Boxing Week Sale Highlights

50% off

Our superb new inventory of Canadian Municipal Trade Tokens

40% off all

World Coins & Sets
Canadian Decimal Coins
ICCS/PCGS Certified Coinage
Canadian Banknotes
World Banknotes
Medals & Tokens
Collectible Stamps
Ancient Coins
Silver Coin Rings

Gold & Silver Bullion, Royal Canadian Mint products excluded. Coins and banknotes will not be sold below face value.

30% off all

2015 & earlier Royal Canadian Mint Products
Gold & Diamond Jewellery (already at 60% or more off retail !!)
Supplies, References, Posters

Bullion excluded; banknotes not sold below face value.

20% off all

2016 & 2017 Royal Canadian Mint Coins & Sets

Bullion excluded; coins not sold below face value.

Terms of sale

Cash, Debit, Visa or Mastercard welcomed. No holds or telephone purchases.

2016 Selected Door Crasher Specials

2013 “Vintage Superman” .999 Silver Ten Dollars

Vintage Superman Coin

Retail: $40. While they last: $20.

United States Blank One Cent Planchet with BU Lincoln Cent

Lincoln cent with blank planchet

Just $1.00/pair !!

Set of 5 Montreal Canadians 2009 Vintage Jersey coloured 50 Cent Coins

Retail: $40+. An unbelievable: $10/set.  *one set per customer, please

Three Days Only! Don’t miss out on superb year-end deals! Thursday, Friday & Saturday December 29, 30 & 31st 9:00 – 6:00 pm.

Ottawa Geek Market Far from the Ordinary!

Sean and a Veteran Storm Trooper

Sean and a Veteran Storm Trooper

The Ottawa Geek Market came to a close this past Sunday afternoon, and with it one of the most unusual experiences of our 2013 trade-show calendar.

Held within the colossal field house at Carleton University, this two-day show featured an eclectic (ok, bizarre) celebration of all things Comics, Super-Hero, Steam-Punk and Sci-Fi.  Indeed, one of the only shows I’ve attended where many of the customers were actually more interesting than the merchandise being offered.

My personal favorites?  Certainly the 8-foot Chewbacca, strolling the floor in huge strides with the occasional Wookie-howl echoing off the domed ceiling. I was also impressed by one of the coolest Storm trooper costumes I’ve seen, with his helmet depicting the wicked after-effects of a blaster-strike (see photo).

Sean at our Ottawa Geek Festival Tables

Sean at our Ottawa Geek Festival Tables

As the only coin dealer in attendance, our main interest in the show (aside from just having some fun) was to debut a number of thematic collectibles that fit in well with the Festival’s primary themes. Thus, in addition to the New Zealand Mint’s Star Wars and Doctor Who coinage, we also promoted the cool and bizarre new “Zombucks” apocalypse coinage, together with a large variety of authentic U.S. One Dollar novelty notes featuring the likenesses of [again] Star Wars and Doctor Who characters, as well as a few key “Walking Dead” characters.

We found the first day of the show (Saturday) well-attended but starved of willing buyers, whereas Sunday’s warm sun seems to have brought out the keen shoppers.

All-in-all a fun weekend (joined much of the time by my sister Shane, on her first visit from the west coast in 3 years!), but now time to concentrate of planning for our impending Montreal Nuphilex, the semi-annual “flagship” event in our show calendar.

Ottawa Comiccon special offer: Star Wars and Doctor Who

Alliance Coin & Banknote is coming to Ottawa Comiccon and we’re really excited about these special offers:

Exclusive Ottawa Comiccon Offer!

New Zealand Mint, set of four gold-plated One Dollar “Star Wars” coins in your choice of limited edition Darth Vader or Millennium Falcon case (with sound!).

  • Mint issue price: $125/set
  • Comiccon price: $60/set plus taxes

The Doctor is in!

Exclusively at Comiccon, the official 2013 “Doctor Who” Postage Stamps and Collector Medallions from England.