Canadian Coins 3D print model
Denominations There are six denominations of Canadian circulation coinage in production: 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, $1, and $2. Officially they are each named according to their value (e.g. 10-cent piece), but in practice only the 50-cent piece is known by that name. The three smallest coins are known by the traditional names nickel (5¢), dime (10¢), and quarter (25¢), and the one-dollar and two-dollar coins are called the loonie (for the loon depiction on the reverse) and the toonie (a portmanteau of two and loonie) respectively. The production of the Canadian 1-cent piece (known as the penny) was discontinued in 2012, as inflation had reduced its value significantly below the cost of production.
The 50¢ piece is far less circulated than other Canadian coins. Between the years 2000 and 2007 the Royal Canadian Mint struck less than 16 million of them; in comparison, during the same period over 2.25 billion quarters were released. This coin is sometimes called a half-dollar.
Other than the $2 coin (for which there is no United States analog), the denominations of Canadian coinage correspond to those of United States coinage. The sizes of the coins other than the 50¢ piece are roughly equal to those of U.S. coins, though this was not always the case. They have a different metallic composition and most of them are thinner, and thus weigh slightly less, than the analogous U.S. coins. The U.S. penny settled on its current size in 1857, whereas the Canadian penny was much larger (25.4 mm (1.00 in)) until 1920. Because they are easily mistaken for each other and the difference in their official value is generally small, modest quantities of U.S. and Canadian coins circulate at par in the other country, particularly near their shared border. Their differing physical characteristics prevent them from being accepted interchangeably by most coin-operated machines.
There was formerly some correspondence between the size of Canadian coins and British coins of similar value. For example, the large Canadian penny was identical in size and value to the contemporary British half-penny, which was 25.4 mm (1.00 in) in the Edward VII version, and slightly larger during Victoria's reign. Likewise, the Canadian quarter (23.81 mm diameter) was virtually identical in size and value to the British shilling – worth 12 British pence or about 24 Canadian cents, with a 24-millimetre (15⁄16 in) diameter. The Canadian 5¢ coins, until the larger nickel coins of 1922, were 15 mm silver coins quite different from the U.S. Liberty head nickels of 1883–1913, which were 21.2 mm and copper-nickel alloy, but more like the older U.S. half dimes.
Developments in coinage The most significant recent developments in Canadian coinage were the introduction of $1 and $2 coins and the withdrawal of the one cent piece. The $1 coin (the loonie) was released in 1987. The $1 banknote would remain in issue and in circulation alongside the one dollar coin for the next two years, until it was withdrawn in 1989. The coin was to be the voyageur-design silver (then nickel) dollar coins that had previously been in limited circulation. The dies were lost or stolen in November 1986, requiring a redesign. The new coin is colloquially called the loonie, for the common loon on its reverse, and the name is frequently applied to the currency unit as well. It is made of nickel plated with aureate bronze. The $2 coin, carrying a polar bear, was introduced in 1996. It is usually called the toonie and is bimetallic. The $2 banknote was withdrawn at the same time that the coin was released. Unlike several U.S. attempts to introduce a dollar coin, the new coins were quickly accepted by the public, owing largely to the fact that the Bank of Canada and the government forced the switch by removing the $1 and $2 bills from circulation.
Between 1997 and 2001, the $1 loon coin was not issued for general circulation. Due to the high demand for the $2 polar bear coin (mintages between 1997 and 2001 were as high as 29 million in 2000 alone), the $1 coin was only produced for the standard collector sets that were made available on an annual basis, such as the Uncirculated, O Canada, Specimen and Proof sets.
On March 29, 2012, the Canadian government announced that the 1¢ coin would be retired. The Royal Canadian Mint stopped producing 1¢ coins in May 2012, and in February 2013 the Bank of Canada stopped distributing them, but the coins remain legal tender. Cash transactions are rounded to the nearest 5¢, while non-cash transactions (using cheques, credit cards, or debit cards) will continue to be rounded to the nearest 1¢.
Production Canadian coins are issued by the Royal Canadian Mint and struck at their facilities in Winnipeg. All special wording on commemorative coins appears in both of Canada's languages, English and French. All of the standard wording on the reverse sides of non-commemorative coins is identical in both languages. On the obverse sides, the name and title of the Canadian Monarch appear in an abbreviated-Latin circumscription. Currently, this reads ELIZABETH II D. G. REGINA. The initials stand for Dei Gratia; the entire phrase means Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, Queen.
The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics commemorative quarters do not have the inscription D.G. REGINA, and they read CANADA ELIZABETH II, along with the date of issue and Ilanaaq, the emblem of the games.
Coins of the Colonies Beginning in 1858, various colonies of British North America started issuing their own coins denominated in cents, featuring the likeness of Queen Victoria on the obverse. These replaced the sterling coins previously in circulation. The Province of Canada was the first to issue decimal coins. They were based on the value of the American dollar, due to an influx of American silver. Denominations issued were 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, and 20¢. The 1¢ coin was issued again in 1859, but it was very unpopular due to its extremely light weight. The coins had to be discounted by around 20% to get them into circulation. Other colonies that issued decimal coinage were New Brunswick and Nova Scotia both starting in 1861, Newfoundland in 1865, and Prince Edward Island in 1871. Many examples can be seen online via the Canadian Currency Museum.
Coins of Canada In 1867, the British parliament passed The British North America Act, 1867 (now known as the Constitution Act, 1867), uniting the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single country. Coins of the three former colonies continued to circulate until 1870, with all being legal tender throughout the country. As other colonies subsequently entered confederation, they dropped their colonial coinage and adopted the national Canadian currency.
Queen Victoria coinage In 1870, the first national coinage of the Dominion of Canada was issued in denominations of 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, and 50¢. A 1¢ coin was not issued until 1876. The designs were standardized with the head of Queen Victoria on the obverse, value and date with a crowned maple wreath reverse, except for the 1¢ coin, which had on its reverse a maple vine circlet.
King Edward VII coinage In 1902, the first coins of King Edward VII's coinage was issued. The 1902 5¢ coin is of interest to collectors, as its design includes the outmoded St. Edward's Crown instead of the Imperial State Crown. These coins were hoarded upon being issued, as the public believed that an error had been made. In 1903, the design on the 5¢ was modified accordingly.
In 1907, Heaton's Mint struck its last issue of Canadian coins—the 1907H 1¢, which is quite scarce. In 1908, the Royal Canadian Mint at Ottawa was opened. At that time the Ottawa mint was known as the Royal Mint, Ottawa branch. The name Royal Canadian Mint was first used in 1931.
The reverse design on the 10¢ coins include several varieties in relation to the leaves.