Rare coin and banknote collection: local collector adds unique pieces to collection

            Local coin and banknote collector, Ashish Soobah of Carlyle, excitedly displayed new additions to his collection at a show in Manor on Saturday, April 7.

            Last summer Soobah had accumulated 75 percent of Canadian coins and notes that can be collected, while he now says they have reached 85 percent of this collection and are looking to reach 90 percent for next year.

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            “Everyone is coming to see this note,” Soobah says as he points to an 1878 one dollar bill – the second year for the series of Dominion of Canada banknotes were issued. “It’s an extremely rare piece. They printed two different notes one with the scalloped border and the other with a lettered border. There are only 22 of the scalloped border in the world, of those only two are in museums and the other 20 are held by private collectors. I finally found one and we have the only one in Saskatchewan.”

            “A register of rare varieties of Dominion of Canada 1878 one dollar notes was published in the Canadian Paper Money Society Note Registry, and another register is available at the Canadian Paper Money Forum web site lists. At the present time the issued note recorded is one of 22 registered out of 800,000 minted in Toronto.”

            The oldest notes in his collection are from 1870s, which are 25 cent bank notes.

            “We’re trying to finish the 25 cent banknotes, we currently have 23 in high grade and are working our way to have the complete collection in high grade. We do have others right now that are lower grade, but are looking for a complete high grade set.”

Soobah also has three 1935 $20 bills, which depicts a young Queen Elizabeth

“This banknote is the most favourite and wanted banknote by everyone and the price of this banknote is rising every day,” he explained.

He has also obtained a 20 cent piece from 1858, which is a very rare coin as it was the only year it was minted before Canada switched to the 25 cent piece.

He also has a rare 1947 Maple Leaf dollar: “There is a small Maple Leaf at the bottom of the ‘seven.’”

            “More people are interested in coins and banknotes now,” he said.

            “We’re hoping to do a show each year in the area, but we’d also like to work with schools in the area and speak to the history of Canada through the banknote; it’s something kids particularly want to know. They like seeing them and learning about the story of Canada reflected on our bank notes.”

            Soobah has only been collecting for one and a half years so far. His dream is to complete a collection of 95 percent high grade banknotes and be able to bring the history of Canada through these primary sources.

            “As an immigrant, I’ve gotten a lot from this country,” Soobah says. “My dream has come true and I’ve got a lot of success in this country. It’s a way to say thanks to Canada for giving me my chance to reach where I am today in life. I want to show and share everything I know about the history of the banknotes of Canada.”

            “I thank my mom, Premila Soobah, and my dad, Suresh Soobah; my wife, Ria; the Duttoo family and all my friends who have always been there and encourage me in my journey.”

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