History Of Canadian's Coinage

History of the Canadian Coins

Canadian coin history is considered a difficult journey for Canada’s history compared from the French and British from colonial period up to the current years for political leanings in the Commonwealth of Nations. Canadian coin is composed of 7 different coins with denominations such as 50c, 20c, 10c, 25c, 5c, 1 loonie, and 2 toonies.

On the year 1800s, the Canadian form of exchange was made up of various coins and money released by different individuals, officials, states, and institutions. Some provinces like Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia were combined to become part of Canadian Confederation where they can mint their own version of coins.

With the 1841’s Currency Act, American cents and British coins became official tender in of Canada. On the other hand, coins from Columbia, Mexico, and Peru also entered in the transmission. The first coins deliberated only in Canada were issued in England in July of 1858.

Moreover, the style of the coin was comparable to the Emperor Napoleon III bronze coins of France, but the coins were abandoned. Queen Victoria accepted the first authorized coins in the history of Canadian currency. They were available in 1, 5, 10, and 20 cent denominations created by Leonard Charles Wyon.

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These Canadian coins illustrated the icon of the queen wearing a tiara crown with a bun hair tied with ribbon. Once and for all, it became the myth of Canada, as well as with Queen Victoria Dei Gratia Regina which means “Grace of God”. Then in 1901, Canada was permitted to have its own minted coin under Act of Ottawa Mint.

However, the Ottawa Mint was untied on January 2, 1908. The primary ruler to show on the Canadian coins was King Edward VII. Coin collectors are mostly interested with 1902 Edward Canadian coin which was considered to be an error coins.

The Sovereigns on Canadian coins

In the year, 1902, coins illustrating the portrayal of King Edward VII were released for Canadian currency. King Edward VII was the ruler of the British Dominions and United Kingdom starting January 22, 1901 until May 6, 1910.

Most of the experts are mostly interested with the 5 cents coin in 1902 as it illustrates the St. Edward’s Crown on its reverse. It also believed to be error coins that they had to be collected upon its release. The design was customized consequently in the succeeding year.

George V (1911-1936)

A number of slight modifications in the Canadian coinage were produced under the reign of King George V. George V coin is referred as “Godless Coins”. In 1920, more public criticisms were heard when the conventional Canadian cents were restored with small cents like the US coins.

On the other hand, the 5 cents that made of silver was substituted by coins that made of pure nickel. George V coins were significant pieces in the Canadian history of coins. It was taken place during the sovereignty of King George V, and the coin played nationalistic symbolism of their country.

King George VI (1937-1952)

The year 1937 signified a significant period to the record of Canadian coins. King George VI coinage created designs for its reverse side. Most of the coin’s design to be the styles of the Canadian money nowadays: the icon of a Maple Leaf, Bluenose, Beaver, Canadian coat of Arms, and Caribou (reindeer).

1947 Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Coins

When India achieved its freedom from British decree on August 15, 1947, the inscription “ET IND: IMP” on dome Canadian coins need to be removed, and such modification would take achieve in the following year’s release of coins.

In 1948, coins did not readily exist, and during that time, there was a veritable claim for such coins. The 1947 Canadian maple leaf coins are one of the famous collectable coins because of its history. These coins being released during 1947 were actually produced in 1948.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II Canadian coins are existed in four varieties. In fact, no such ruler had several images like the Queen in the history of Canadian coins.


The Queen’s icon was appeared on the Canadian money when she was 27 years old in 1953. It has the inscription of Elizabeth II or (ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA). Moreover, there were minor complications in producing the 1953 coins by making the icon of Queen Elizabeth showing to have unclothed shoulders. This was considered unsuitable, and so slight changes were made. During 1965, a new style of the Canada coin obverse was presented. From this time, the coin illustrates the Queen bearing a tiara.


Portrait of the Queen when she was 39 replaced the 1953-1964 Canadian currency for its obverse. In the new style created by Machin Arnold, the queen wears a tiara for her head and drapery for her shoulders.


It showed a well-recognized Canadian bird referred as common loon on its reverse side. In the 1990 Canadian coin, the obverse is Queen Elizabeth II having an open crown. The bust of the Queen with an open crown was appeared in the Canadian circulation in the year 2002. This coin created some commotion among the community considering that the Queen wearing a King’s crown just like the other coins in the history of Canadian money. In 1996, 2 dollar Canadian coin was presented and is now commonly called a toonie.


On June 2, 2003 when the queen reached her 77th year, the Royal Canadian Mints disclosed the fourth design of the Queen’s image to be applied on all Canadian coins for transmission. The design illustrates a grandmotherly and bareheaded Queen Elizabeth II. The first coins released by the mint showing the fresh design were the exceptional 2003 Coronation Proof Canadian Silver Coins sterling.

Decimal Coins of Canada

A lot of information has been written on the Canadian decimal coins. The use of coins exerted an effort to form an economic history. Some coins reached universal fame and were established without any question, from their country of origin. During 19th Century, with a vast numbers of privately released pieces of metal, the demand for an integrated currency was obvious. In particular, business with the American coins from north, set pressure on Canada to set up a monetary system like their neighbours in the southern part.

When the Dominion of Canada was produced in 1867, the government generated 25 cent paper notes as a short-term appraisal while waiting for the coming of the initial Canadian coinage. The notes verified to be sustained and to be issued in the middle of 1930. After the formation of the Dominion, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cent silver pieces were released in 1870. New form of coinage continued in the year 1947, and Prince Edward Island issued cents since 1871. Then, in 1871, the Royal Mint could not verify any requests for further coins for Canada.

The image of King George V shows on Canadian money from 1911 until 1936. However, some considerable changes took place during that period. A Canadian dollar was to be presented in 1911. Although, the suggestion did not get government support, one strike in the lead is taken at the National Currency Collection located in Ottawa. A second silver sample departed until it was trade in London since 1960 until it became the first Canadian coin. Meanwhile, the large cent was substituted in a smaller size since 1920.

In the year 1922, the 5 cent piece was substituted by a nickel coin in a more handy size. 1935 was the initial year when silver dollars were presented for extensive circulation. King George died in the year 1936 while, George VI was crowned. The new obverse image of King George IV, which emerged on coinage in 1952, is distinctive, and it is the initial and only instance the monarch is showed on coins bareheaded. Aside from being worried with the uneven needs of more than thirty million Canadians, the mint must be aware with profit.

In the mid 60’s, this became a significant aspect for the choice to control the nature of most currencies from silver to a nickel alloy. Nowadays, 10 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents, and one dollar dated 1968 were made up of silver and have been dissolved for their worth as a metal or are accumulated by coin collectors. Similarly, the 1 Cent has been the mark of change over the number of years to modify its composition, thickness, width and mass in order to compel the costs down.

A Short History of Canadian Bank Notes

Prior to 1870, the main banks and the government of Canada released paper currency. In 1870, Francis Hincks, presented legislation that eliminated from the banks the right to release $1 and $2 notes. The government also generated Canada’s only partial note, the 25 cent. These were well- known as shinplasters because U.S. Revolutionary soldiers utilized their American twenty five cent notes as a coating in their boots to stop chafing. Canada made the last 25 cent notes in 1923.

In the year 1882, the government released a $4 note. The last date of release for this note was 1911. The Bank of Canada was formed by the 1934’ Central Bank Act. The Bank was provided a sole accountability for the issued Canadian paper money. The Bank’s first issue of notes, in 1935, were in a slighter size than before and were released in English and French. An exceptional $25 note to spot the 25th celebration of the succession of George V was also generated in the same year.

In 1937, King George VI was illustrated on all notes excluding the $1000 and the $500. In the 1954 issue, the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was enthused to the right angle of the notes. In the original picture of the queen, resourceful individual could perceive the features of the devil in the hair of the queen. This caused sufficient argument that another diversity of notes was produced with the queen’s hair. This is also the same year in which the Bank started printing cycle of autonomously amount of notes following the serial number to change faulty notes.

In 1967, $1 note was substituted with a first Parliament building. An exceptional coin collectors issue was equipped with the dates such as 1867 and 1967 substituting the serial numbers. Beautiful and multiple colour notes were generated in 1969. In 1986, a new sequence of notes was redesigned to help the visually damaged, increase competence of high-speed arranging machines and develop security. At this time, the $1 note was terminated. Alternative notes are recognized by the letter “X” as the third note of the prefix

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