If you ’ re like me, you hang onto every canadian coin you find in circulation because they look sol different from U.S. coins .
And while it seems that some of my non-numismatic friends view canadian coins as something of a pain, I say that the neologism of Canada offers a bounty of beautiful designs and unique coin collecting opportunities .
I ’ megabyte sure I echo the opinion of many fellow numismatists. After all, what ’ s not to love about the beautiful, largely nature-inspired designs of Canada ?
A Brief History of Canadian Coins
interestingly, money in both Canada and the United States shares a common background. As was the case in the United States during the late eighteenth century and the foremost decades of the 19th, the Spanish dollar circulated unofficially in Canada and was used widely in deal. As part of the british Empire, Canada besides circulated tokens and neologism imported from Great Britain. Barter and the fur craft besides supported commerce early in Canada ’ s history .
Trade with the United States increased during the nineteenth century, so the canadian colonies wanted to replace the British-based greatest system with the same decimal fraction arrangement used in the United States. Our neighbors in the Great White North authorized their current neologism system in 1858–some 65 years after the U.S. Mint struck its inaugural official mint. The beginning coins struck for the Province of Canada include the 1858 and 1859 bronze big cents and a few silver denominations, including the five-cent coin, the dime, and the 20-cent musical composition ( all initially struck only in 1858 ). further silver medal neologism wouldn ’ thymine be produced until 1870, when the half-dollar was besides introduced. The future copper cents wouldn ’ t watch dismissal until 1876 .
The first base canadian silver dollars weren ’ triiodothyronine strike until 1935 .
While Canada ’ mho decimal fraction arrangement might resemble the United States ’, the obverse designs customarily take a numismatic bow ( or curtsy ) before the reigning resident of the british throne. Queen Victoria was the first monarch to appear on official canadian coins, followed in royal succession by Kings George IV ( from 1902 through 1910 ) and George V ( from 1911 through 1936 ) .
King Edward VIII abdicated the enthrone good months after his 1936 coronation, and thus no official canadian coins were produced in meter to honor his predominate. It should be noted, however, that practice pieces and coins for other british commonwealths did produce limited supplies of Edward VIII coinage .
George VI would foremost appear on canadian coinage in 1937, where his effigy appeared until his death in 1952. The follow year, George VI ’ south young daughter– Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II –made her first appearance on Canada ’ mho coins after her ascension to the throne .
Canadian Coins Popular among U.S. Coin Collectors
In the 1960s and ‘ 70s and into the early ‘ 80s, there were dozens of coin albums, coin folders, and coin holders for sale in the U.S. designed specifically for canadian coins. From big cents of the 19th and early on twentieth centuries to silver dollars and everything in between, canadian coins of all denominations were actively pursued by american coin collectors. In the mid-1960s, canadian coins were particularly popular among U.S. numismatists looking for collecting alternatives when the United States Treasury Department phased out 90 % silver coinage and temporarily abolished the use of mint marks .
Canada would similarly cease production of its 80 % silver circulate neologism in 1968, three years after the second coming of copper-nickel invest neologism in the United States. however, circulating canadian silver neologism would bow out with one last hurrah during the memorial of the Canadian Confederacy ’ s centennial in 1967. The reverses of all six circulating coins, from the cent to the dollar, were redesigned with dim-witted yet beautiful portraits of canadian wildlife. These commemorative coins were greeted warmly by american numismatists, who had grown tired of the relatively cold state of matter of U.S. neologism in the mid- ’ 60s .
While few 1967 canadian coins circulated with regularity in the United States, American collectors of the time could buy 1967 Pliofilm-packaged proof-like sets for US $ 4 to $ 5 from coin dealers. comfortable numismatists could spring for the boxed 1967 canadian proofread fit, which contained the six aforementioned commemorative coins plus a $ 20 gold coin bearing the canadian coat of arms on the reverse. These especial proof sets were issued for $ 40. today, the 1967 prooflike set sells for $ 20 to $ 30, while the 1967 boxed proof place has a commercialize value of more than $ 750 .
canadian flatware coins in general are popular among both numismatists and bullion investors, with the nation ’ s 80 % ash grey coins finding a huge market in the trash silver sector. The canadian ash grey dollar enjoys an particularly robust following among both groups.
Coin collectors, meanwhile, enjoy assembling date sets of canadian dimes, quarters, and half dollars .
The Evolving Canadian Dollar Coin
Canada has produced circulating dollar coins since 1935. These were initially issued with a composition consist of 80 percentage silver. During the course of the dollar ’ s range, which lasted from 1935 through 1967, six circulating commemorative coins were produced :
- 1935 George V Silver Jubilee dollar with Voyageur reverse (this would become the regular reverse design for Canada’s dollar coins through 1987)
- 1939 George VI Royal Visit dollar with Ottawa’s Parliament building on the reverse
- 1949 Newfoundland dollar with John Cabot’s ship the Matthew on the reverse
- 1958 British Columbia centennial dollar with totem pole reverse
- 1964 Charlottetown, Quebec centennial dollar with French fleur-de-lis, Irish shamrock, Scottish thistle, and English rose on the reverse
- 1967 Confederation centennial dollar with the Canada Goose on the reverse
Each of these coins can be bought for under $ 50 in Mint State grades. however, there are several key-date canadian dollars to challenge numismatists, including the low-mintage 1945 dollar ( which sells for $ 125 in Fine-12 ), 1947 dollar with maple flick adjacent to the date ( $ 150 and up in Fine-12 ), and barely 1948 dollar, which had a mintage of precisely 18,780 pieces and sells for $ 750 in Fine-12 .
even after the execution of a nickel composition in 1968, Canada ’ s circulating dollar coin continued to serve as a poll for commemorative designs in the 1970s and early ‘ 80s. The alleged “ Loonie ” dollar, a small-sized golden dollar coin bearing a depicting of a loon on the invert, debuted in 1987 and replaced both the larger Voyageur dollar and the nation ’ s $ 1 bill. Mint State examples of circulating nickel Voyageur dollars and Loonies can be bought for less than $ 2 .
Canadian Confederation Commemorative & Millennium Series Quarters
In 1992, seven years before the debut of the democratic 50 States Quarters program in the United States, Canada issued a series of 12 circulating quarters honoring the nation ’ second provinces. The coin designs were released in concurrence with the hundred-and-twenty-fifth anniversary of the nation ’ s alliance. The 125th anniversary quarters turn up in american english circulation from time to time, though they can be bought in sets of 12 coins from coin dealers for a small as $ 15 .
In 1999, Canada began a biennial series celebrating the new millennium. Comprised of 24 coins released over the course of 1999 and 2000, the Millennium series was broken into two segments : 1999-dated coins honored Canada ’ s past while 2000 quarters provided glimpses of the hopes and dreams for the nation ’ s future. These circulating quarters provided numismatists and casual change-checkers with a huge array of unique designs that piqued the interests of coin collectors on both sides of the border .
The Millennium quarters, which became as popular among Canadians as the 50 States Quarters were hera in the U.S., can be bought in many aftermarket forms, including color versions. Americans in the northern states or early areas with high concentrations of canadian travelers can assemble sets of these coins from pocket change. however, Mint State sets of standard business-strike millennium quarters can be bought from coin dealers for less than $ 20 .
Since 2004, Canada has besides issued 12 circulating quarters with colored segments. The beginning, a 2004 Remembrance Day quarter with red-colored poppy on the reverse, saw far-flung popularity in the international numismatic community. other colored circulating canadian quarters include the 2006 Breast Cancer Awareness quarter with pink ribbon and a three-coin series from 2011 featuring green, blue, and yellow elements on quarters depicting, respectively, the wood bison, killer whale whale, and mobile falcon. These quarters are available in the aftermarket for angstrom little as $ 1 each .
A Word about Canadian Pennies
The appellation most normally found in U.S. circulation is possibly the canadian one-cent mint .
The denomination was phased out on February 4, 2013 due to environmental issues and the handling costs imposed on retailers and fiscal institutions–not to mention the rising cost of producing pennies. According to one canadian government appraisal, the elimination of the one-cent mint saves taxpayers CA $ 11 million a year. The canadian politics has implemented a diaphanous rounding system for dealing with cash transactions when the penny is unavailable, and indeed far the nation ’ s economy seems to be faring well enough without the one-cent coin .
Whether or not the elimination of the one-cent mint would work a well here remains to be seen. still, Americans can find canadian one-cent coins mixed in among the plentiful pennies that continue circulating in the United States. Most of these canadian one-cent coins are generally worth a noun phrase measure over face value, at best. Among the more matter to finds american collectors could make are the 1967 Confederation centennial rock dove penny and any pennies bearing the portraits of a young Queen Elizabeth II ( pre-1965 ) or her royal male predecessors.
There are a few hearty rarities among Canada ’ s small cents, which were foremost made in 1920. The most celebrated among these is the 1936 dot cent. The 1936 dot cent, so named for a bantam department of transportation under the date on the reverse, was made in 1937, after George V died but prior to die preparations for raw pennies bearing the likeness of George VI on the obverse. These pieces were never released for circulation, though three 1936 department of transportation cents are known to exist. The late John Jay Pittman, one of the most esteemed U.S. numismatists, had all three known specimens in his esteemed coin collection from 1961 until his death in 1996. The three 1936 point cents have since been sold and sell for more than $ 200,000 whenever they hit the auction block .
other barely canadian cents include the 1922, 1923, and 1925 pennies, which all deal for $ 15 to $ 40 in the lower circulated grades. The 1955 Queen Elizabeth II penny with a flog across her shoulder is worth upwards of $ 100 .
Other Canadian Coins
The complexity of the Canadian coin scene can barely be represented in barely one article, but I think most U.S. coin collectors reading this get the estimate that there are many excite finds among Canada ’ s coins. In the second part of this bipartite series, I will discuss non-circulating canadian coins, including the ever-popular Maple Leaf bullion coins, special-issue commemoratives, and even holographic neologism. Oh, Canada – what a nation of concern coins !