The history of the 1 cent coin of Canada is quite interesting. In the early days, the coins were struck by the Royal Mint of London as Canada was not an individual country. By 1907, Canada was creating their own coins and in the early 1900s, the coins would change over from featuring Queen Victoria to depicting the new monarch of the time, Edward VII. The change would make certain coins more collectable and start the transition of a new era in coinage.
Before 1907, all coins minted for Canada were struck in England. The coins were created by either the Royal Mint or Heaton Mint. Any coins created at the Royal Mint would have no mint mark while those created at Heaton would have an H signifying it came from Birmingham. The 1900 and 1901 cent coin would feature Queen Victoria. The 1900 coins found today tend to be much nicer as this was the last year that Queen Victoria one cent coins were produced. Many people at the time were putting such coins away as they were being phased out and they were waiting on the new designs featuring Edward VII.
Edward VII One Cent Coins
From 1902 to 1910, Edward VII would be featured on the one cent coin. In 1908, the coins would be struck by the Royal Canadian Mint located in Ottawa, as non-minted marked coins. On the obverse side of the coin, you see a depiction of Edward VII with the design created by G.W. DeSalles. The reverse was designed by Leonard C. Wyon, a design that had actually been used since 1858. The coin was struck with 95% copper, 4% tin and 1% zinc. The diameter of the coin was 25.4 mm with a standard weight of 5.67 grams.
It is important to note that during the time span of 1900 to 1909, the Royal Canadian Mint would open. By 1908, when the Ottawa facility opened, almost all of the Canadian cons were minted in the country. The designs and specifications for alloy would stay the same yet the metallurgy seemingly changed. Coins from this time frame tend to be a paler brown color than earlier coins as they tone. If the coin is cleaned, it can take on a yellow-brown color.
Today, one cent coins from this time frame are highly collectible for penny collectors as well as for those who have a collection of Canadian coins. The one cent coin would eventually phase out as it was recommended in 2010 that the penny be removed from circulation by the Senate finance committee. By 2012, the federal government announced they would no longer use the penny in circulation. The final penny was minted in Winnipeg on May 4th 2012 with existing pennies still remaining legal tender. Pennies would be removed from circulation by the 4th of February 2013.
The one cent coins of Canada are certainly interesting, especially in the era of 1900 to 1909. The transition of power marks a significant change in currency along with the opening of the Royal Canadian Mint during this time frame.