This preview for the Stack’s Bowers Galleries January New York
International Auction is a fantastic rarity from our neighbor to the north,
Canada. The coin featured here is a quintessential Canadian rarity,
colloquially known as the “King of Canadian Coins.” The 1921 50 Cents issue had
an initial mintage of 206,398 pieces, although according to Charlton,
contemporary demand was not great for the 50 Cent denomination. Approximately
28,000 pieces were issued from 1921 to 1929. Most experts believe those issued
were dated 1920. When demand for the denomination resurfaced at the turn of the
1930s, John Honeyford Campbell – the mintmaster – decided to melt the 1920 and
1921 issues and then re-coin the silver with the 1929 date. Campbell worried
that if the 1920 and 1921 issues were dispersed in 1929 the general populace
would suspect they were counterfeits due to the large quantity and old dates.
It is believed that approximately 75 pieces dated 1921 survived the melting
pot. Some survived through the sale of Specimen sets (like the present example)
with some circulation strikes sold to visitors to the mint as well.
The design features the stern visage of King George V, with legend around.
The reverse features a four line inscription: “50 / CENTS / CANADA / 1921”, all
surrounded by a wreath, with a crown at top. Beautiful dusty rose toning accents
the surfaces and design alike, with brilliant iridescent highlights and
excellent eye appeal. This example is housed in an older generation green label
PCGS holder. It is the sole example at this designation, with just three
examples certified finer (all at PCGS: two examples at SP-64 and one example at
While we are no longer taking consignments for our January 2018 New York
International Auction, we are taking consignments of world and ancient coins as
well as world paper money for the upcoming May 2018 Collector’s Choice Online
auction. We are also accepting consignments of Chinese and other Asian coins
and currency for our April 2018 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. If you are interested
in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a
single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.