While the one cent coin is no longer in circulation in Canada, the coin is still a highly collectible item. Having first been introduced in 1858, the one cent coin would be minted until 2012 when the Royal Canadian Mint decided to cease production. The coin would stop being distributed in February of 2013. The coin is still legal tender and many find it to be a collector’s item depending on the year and rarity, among other factors.
History of the One Cent Coin
The first one cent coin of Canada was minted in 1858 with a weight of 4.54 grams and 25.4 millimeters in diameter. The coins were created to bring order to the monetary system of Canada, which had previously relied on British coins, bank and commercial tokens along with United States currency and Spanish milled dollars. The specifications of the coin were decided upon to be able to use the coins as measuring tools.
The coins were quite light in weight when compared to previously used coins which made the one cent coin not accepted by the public of Canada. New cents were produced with an increased weight requirement by 1876 with large cents minted from 1858 until 1920 when changes were made, introducing smaller coins.
Basics of the 1940s coins
Each coin minted in Canada includes an image of the reigning monarch on the obverse side. In the 1940s, this was George VI. The reverse side of the coin included the image of a maple leaf twig. This design was created by G.E. Kruger-Gray in 1937 in an effort to modernize the coins of Canada.
1947 Maple Leaf Issue
The one cent coin was rather basic in the 1940s with no significant changes until 1947. The year 1947 was when India received its independence. Because of this, the IND IMP marking, standing for India’s Emperor, was to be removed from coins of the British Commonwealth dated after 1947. The new designs were prepared for England but for Canada, the new designs were not ready until 1948.
Because of this, the coins struck for 1948 were dated 1947 but had a small maple leaf located after the date. This would indicate that the coin was minted in 1948. Because of this change, there are sought after coins from this era. Pointed and blunt 7’s determined by the shape of the point for the 7 that is located next to the maple twig can be found on these coins. It is rarer to find a blunt 7 than a pointed 7 but the value is basically the same.
With the design changes, the new inscription read “GEORGEIVS, VI DIE GRATIA REX”. This inscription would remain on the one cent coin until 1952. The 1948 and 1949 one cent coin can have a variety in which the obverse has a final A of GRATIA between two denticles or point directly at a denticle which makes the coin rare.
This era of one cent coins is one that can offer value. Be sure to have any coins from 1940 to 1949 reviewed to ensure the proper value.