In Canada, the penny is a type of currency that has a value of one cent. The coin was officially dubbed the one-cent piece but easily took on the term penny and cent. The penny was first introduced in 1858 and was created in several different formats until 2012 when the Royal Canadian Mint decided to cease production. Distribution of the coin stopped in February of 2013. Even though the coin was discontinued, it still remains legal tender.
1990 One Cent
In 1990, an update was made to the portrait of Queen Elizabeth on the one cent coin. The image was changed to a mature style with the Queen wearing her crown. This image was designed by Dora de Pedery-Hunt. The coin did cause concern amongst the public when people took notice that the Queen was wearing the crown of the King instead of her own. This was thought to be an error but it was not. The crown that was designed in or around 1830 for George IV was a lightweight version and has been worn by every monarch. The reverse side continued to use the maple leaf design and had a composition of 98% copper, 0.5% tin and 1.5% zinc.
1992 One Cent
In 1992, a new coin was minted for the 125th anniversary of the confederation. Each 1 cent coin of this year has the date shown as a double won 1867-1992. This coin is a unique collector’s item that many coin collectors like to add to their Canadian or 1 Cent piece collection.
1996 One Cent
Beginning in 1996, the one cent coin would have a proof-like strike and the finish would be different than it had been in previous years. The coin would no longer have a high luster finish over the entire coin. A matte finish would be included with the high luster only used on the maple leaves of the reverse and the portrait on the obverse. The coin looked more like a cameo proof with some mintings appearing more dramatic than others.
1997 One Cent
The one cent coin changed quite a bit in 1997, with the basic design remaining the same but the alloy changing. The Queen and maple leaf design would stay in place but the alloy would be changed to pure zinc core with a plating of copper. The coin would be minted in a round shape now instead of a 12 sided coin. The weight would also be reduced to 2.25 grams. Starting this year, the 1 cent coins would be struck on copper plated zinc core flans, all MS, Prooflike and specimens. Any proof coins would be struck with a solid bronze flans.
The one cent coin for 1998 has a W mint mark just below the head of the Queen on the coin to signify the coin was minted in the Winnipeg location. Later on, the minted cents would be moved back to the Ottawa area and no mint mark would be used. Such coins can be found with or without the special mark. The finish would also change back to a high luster with specimen coins keeping the matte finish.
The mint sets for the year 1999 were done in Ottawa and do not have a mint mark in place. These coins have a high luster finish and specimen coins will have a reverse cameo style finish.
The Canadian Mint instituted a new change in 1999 to try and cut back on cost of producing coins. The Mint had plans to strike the one cent piece along with the 5, 10, 25 and 50 cent coins on blanks that had a steel core with nickel plating then copper plating on top. A P was placed just below the portrait of the Queen to indicate that the striking had been done on plated steel blanks.