Three-of-a-kind 1936 coin to sell in New York

Heritage Auction Galleries' 2010 January Signature World Coin Auction will showcase a number of great coins, but the main star will be the legendary Canadian 1936 Dot cent.

The coin's reputation has grown considerably since it was first struck in 1937, for both its considerable rarity and the story attached.

The 1936 Dot cent
The cent featured George V after his death

When Edward VIII succeeded the recently deceased George V in 1936, it was a year before the effigy of George V on circulated coins was replaced with Edward.

However, upon King Edward's abdication to marry Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, the new dies became invalid before they had been released for circulation.

Eventually, early 1937 saw a severe shortage of Canadian one, 10, and 25 cent pieces. To deal with the problem, Canadian authorities were forced to carry on producing the 1936 George V coins.

In order the distinguish the new run from the old, a small dot was placed on the reverse of the one, 10 and 25 cent coins - today known as the 1936 Dot cents.

The 1936 Dot cent
The coin still bore the previous year's date

It is understood that, of these, only the dotted 25 cents were placed in circulation. Meanwhile, only three examples of the dotted one cents and four examples of the dotted 10 cents survived.

The 1936 Dot one cent was essentially off the market until 1997-99 as the three known examples were owned by numismatist and collector John Jay Pittman from 1961 onwards.

After Pittman's death, a three-part auction was held - the first in October 1997, and the other two during August 1999.

The example due to go under the hammer at Heritage is billed as by far the finest example of the three. Graded Specimen 66 Red by PCGS, the coin is flawless with a full-hued original red colour.

The 1936 Dot cent
The "dot" is visible just beneath the date

It has been lightly lacquered at the Mint to preserve its original colour and prevent surface damage. There are a few brownish streaks, due to the lacquer rather than the coin itself.

The coin is basically "as struck" with a sharp, fully mirrored edge and bold design details, and evidence of heavy polishing of the die prior to striking the coin.

The Canadian 1936 Dot cent is as legendary as it is rare among numismatists, and always generates great excitement when it hits the auction block.

Heritage's auction is scheduled for January 3-4 in New York City.


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