One cent coins of Canadian currency are highly collectible depending on a number of factors. Condition, year and imperfections all play a role in the value of the coin. In the 1950s, the one cent coin of Canada would see a significant change as Queen Elizabeth II would become the reigning monarch. The Queen would be the last face to appear on the one cent coin beginning at this time and ending in 2012.
From 1950 to 1952, the one cent coin would continue to feature the image of George VI on the obverse side of the coin. In 1953, the image of Elizabeth II was introduced based on a portrait designed by Mary Gillick. Ms. GIllick’s initials appear on the truncation of the bust on the coin. The maple leaf design of Kruger-Gray is still found on the reverse side of the coin with his initial on the right field. The composition of the coin continues with 98% copper, 0.5% tin and 1.5% zinc.
In the beginning, the dies for the one cent coin in 1953 had a shoulder fold cut that weakly resulted in the shoulder fold being weak or not making the shoulder of the Queen appear bare. Coins of this type are known as ‘no shoulder strap’ or ‘no shoulder fold’. The coins also have strong serifs for the top and bottom I’s of the obverse side.
Later on that same year, the dies were cut with the fold of the shoulder deepened which resulted in coins being known as ‘shoulder strap’ or ‘shoulder fold’. These coins have a small serif used for the I’s of the top and bottom of the obverse side. This type can be harder to find than the ‘no shoulder fold’.
From 1954, the one cent coin was meant to have a Shoulder Fold on the obverse side. However, there were a few No Shoulder Fold coins created. Many proof-like sets would have cents that were accidentally struck with the 1953 NSS die. This resulted in a rare No Shoulder Fold type for 1954. In 1955, there were also a few coins struck with the 1953 NSS obverse die which resulted in a variety of this year that were also rare.
Once the die was used in 1955, it was beginning to wear so that NSF cents were not as sharp as the shoulder fold examples of the same date. Con artists have been known to polish off the shoulder fold from the coins of these dates but are unable to change the serifed ‘I’s which is a true indicator of the coin.
The uniqueness of the 1953 to 1955 one cent coins make them collectors’ items for a number of reasons. Individuals who enjoy collecting coins that have mistakes will certainly want these coins in their collection. Any coins found during the time frame of 1953 to 1955 should be appraised by a professional to ensure the coins value. The coin may be a standard issue or one with the die mistakes. Many times it takes a trained eye to see the difference.