Still in circulation today, the Canadian 50 cent piece is one of the first coins to be created for Canadian currency. In the beginning, currency was created by Canada at the Royal Mint of London with the 50 cent piece being a part of that production.
The 50 cent piece includes an image of the reigning monarch at the time on the obverse side while the reverse will feature varying images based on the design at the time. One of the most popular designs of the 50 cent piece is from 1959 when the Canadian Coat of Arms design was created by Thomas Shingles an engraver with the Royal Canadian Mint.
Reverse Side Designs
In the beginning, the 50 cent piece had two crossed maple boughs on the reverse side of the coin. This design would remain in place from 1858 through 1936. In 1937 the design would change the reverse would feature a simplified Coat of Arms. This design would remain in place until the end of 1958. The simplified look was created to try and modernize coins of Canada.
In 1959 until 1966 and 1968 until present day, 50 cent coins include a modified Coat of Arms design. A new Coat of Arms was approved by the Canadian Government in 1957 and soon applied to the 50 cent coin and still remains in place to this day.
In 1967 the Royal Canadian Mint decided to create a centennial 50 cent coin. The coin collection for the centennial was created by Alex Colville which included the 50 cent piece. This collection was created for the 100th anniversary of the Canadian confederation. The reverse side of this coin features the image of a howling wolf.
By 1908, the Royal Canadian Mint was producing the 50 cent piece with the coin consisting of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. This composition would remain through 1919. By 1920, the composition would change to 80% silver and 20% copper, staying place through 1967.
From 1968 until 1979, the 50 cent piece consisted of 99% nickel. This was also the case from 1980 until 1999. From 2000 to present day, the 50 cent piece is comprised of 93.15% steel along with 4.75% copper and 2.1% nickel plating.
The diameter of the coin has stayed relatively the same going from 29.72 mm in the beginning to 27.13 mm today. The thickness was not recorded until 1968 and began at 1.93 mm and now has 1.95 mm in thickness.
Today, 50 cent pieces are collectors items, it is the commemorative coins as well as older issues of the 50 cent piece that will have more value. At Colonial Acres, we can help you learn the value of your 50 cent pieces as well as help you obtain specific 50 cent pieces of Canadian currency. Let us help you strengthen your collection with more information on the 50 cent piece.