The Canadian penny may not seem like an interesting coin but it most certainly is. Coin collectors from around the world collect the one cent coin of Canada, which dates back to 1858. For many years, the coin was minted by the Royal Mint of London as well as the Heaton Mint located in Birmingham, England.
By the 1930s, several changes had taken place involving the one cent coin. The minting process had moved from the Royal Mint of London to the Royal Canadian Mint. Each coin featured a reigning monarch at the time of printing with one cent coins having seen Queen Victoria, Edward VII, George V and then a new face in the late 1930s, George VI. The coin also went from being a larger piece to a smaller weight and size.
The reverse side of the coin would see a few changes. In the early 1930s, the reverse side of the one cent piece would depict two maple leaves. This design was created by Fred Lewis and took place at the same time as the diameter reduction of the coin size. In 1937, the reverse side would include a maple leaf twig on a round coin. The change was designed by G.E. Gruger-Gray whose initials are shown on the right of the design. The change was part of an effort to modernize the coins of Canada.
1936 Dot Cent
In 1936, the one cent coin minting process produced what is known as the 1936 dot cent. There were four types of the coin produced with the dot to show they were minted in 1937. The coins were completed while the mint was in the process of waiting for new dies. A delay took place due to the abdication of King Edward VIII and the need for new coins to depict the successor, George VI. In 2010, such a coin was given a graded specimen of 66 by the Professional Coin Grading Service and sold at auction for more than $400,000.
The 1937 Artistic Change
In 1937, the coin designs of Canada shifted to a more artistic approach. Each denomination had a distinctive reverse design for the new minting process. The obverse side was designed by T.H. Paget with the coin having the initials H.P. on the truncation of the bust of the coin. Kruger-Gray created the reverse maple leaf design as mentioned above.
From 1937 until a portion of 1942, the coin was struck with an alloy that consisted of 95.5% copper, 3% tin and 1.5% zinc. The alloy would change in 1942 to consist of 98% copper, .5% tin and 1.5% zinc. 3.24 grams would be the standard weight with a diameter of 19.05 mm.
After the year 1936, there would be no more rare date one cent coins of Canada. All dates from 1937 until 1952 are common in circulation and rarely have a high value.
Any coin from the 1930s in a coin collection should be appraised. Grading values will determine how much the coin is worth and if you have a rare specimen on your hands.