Home > Canada Decimal Coins > 1 Cent
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1 Cent

In 1908 the Royal Canadian Mint began to strike the first 1 cent coin on Canadian Soil. Prior to 1908 our coins were all produced in England by either the Royal Mint or the Heaton Mint. The design would change over the years and 1 cent coins, or pennies would be created featuring the monarch at the time on the obverse side while the reverse would have a varying design depending on the year of issue. 2012 was the last year the penny was minted. The coin does remain legal tender but has been discontinued as currency.

The Maple Leaf Design

As with all Canadian coins minted from the confederation in 1858 to date, the penny depicts the maple leaf, a proud symbol of Canada. The design of the penny continued to use the maple leaf in various designs as new 1 cent coins were created.

From 1858 to 1920, the large penny’s with a diameter of 25.4mm featured the wreath of maple leaves on the reverse side which was a design created by L.C. Wyon. From 1911 to 1920, the penny featured a similar design on the reverse side by W.H.J. Blackmore which was a representation similar to Wyon’s design of wrapped maple leaves around a vine but included the word Canada above the words “One Cent”.

From 1920 to 1936, the small penny’s with a diameter of 19.05mm featured a design of double maple leaves, created by Fred Lewis. Time frames of 1937 to 1966, 1968 to 1981 and 1997 to present day, the coin featured a maple leaf twig. G.E. Kruger-Gray created this design which was a piece of the effort to bring into modern times the coinage of Canada. The initials of the designer appear on the right side of the design.

In 1967, the 1 cent coin was struck as a centennial coin. A special set of designs for coinage were created by Alex Colville to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. In this collection, the penny has a rock dove in flight on the reverse side.

From 1982 to 1996, the one cent coin was a 12 sided coin and had a maple leaf twig design. The shape of the twig was altered to provide better identification of the coin by those who were visually impaired. In 1997, the coin returned to its original round design.

Composition of the Coin

From 1908 to 1996, the 1 cent coin was comprised primarily of pure copper with traces of tin and zinc. By 1997, the coin included only zinc and copper plating and this would be the composition until 1999. From 2000 to present, the one cent coin was be created of steel in its majority plus nickel and copper plating.

One cent coins are highly collectible now that a complete set is obtainable for collectors to achieve. At Colonial Acres, we can help you find one cent coins to add to your collection or provide an appraisal for the penny coins you already have in your possession.

1858-1899 1900-1909 1910-1920
1920-1929 1930-1939 1940-1949
1950-1959 1960-1969 1970-1979
1980-1989 1990-1999 2000-2009
2010-2012