The decade of the 2000s signifies the start of the end of an era when it comes to one cent coins. The one cent piece would only be minted for 12 more years before the Royal Canadian Mint would cease production and eventually distribution of the coin. The one cent piece is still legal tender but is not a coin that is currently being produced or distributed in the country. Below are a few examples of coins from 2000 to 2009, highlighting the changes made during minting.
Most of the 2000 year coins have nothing placed below the bust of the Queen. A few coins have been known to have a P and these coins are actually test coins that were not supposed to be released. There are also coins with a W placed below the bust that stands for Winnipeg with the PL coins having a high luster finish. Specimen coins have the same luster finish but have matte backgrounds.
The very next year, in 2001, the one cent coin would be minted in three alloys. A P would be placed on the MS, specimens and proof-like coins below the portrait of the Queen if the flans were created of copper plated on steel. Coins found without the letter P would have been minted with the flans of copper plated zinc. Proof coins were created on solid metal flans and have nothing placed below the bust of the Queen.
2002 One Cent
The 2002 one cent coins were created as part of a commemorative issue for the 50th anniversary of the Queen. The dates were moved from the reverse side to below the portrait of the Queen on the obverse side. A double date can be seen on the coin, 1952 to 2002 which is located below the bust.
2003 One Cent
Several changes were made in 2003 in regards to the one cent coin. The year was an interesting one for the coins of Canada as it was the last year that Queen Elizabeth was shown with an image of an old effigy crowned portrait. A new uncrowned portrait was used. This image is titled Coronation Portrait and was introduced as part of the 50th anniversary of her coronation. After 2003, the portrait became the standard for most coins of Canada.
Two specialty cents were created in 2003 by the Royal Canadian Mint. Proof examples were struck on copper blanks that show the image of a young head queen as she appeared on 1953 coins. This was done to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the coronation. This coin is also double dated with 1953 and 2003. Proof examples were also created that year by using copper plated zinc blanks with gold plating for the maple leaves. These coins would be issued only for mint reports starting in 2003 and ending in 2006.
2004 One Cent Coin
The 2004 one cent coin and later dates would use the new effigy portrait on the obverse side. Circulation strike coins would be struck on copper plated steel flans and have the P placed yet again but this time by the head of the Queen. Other coins would be struck on copper plated zinc flans and not contain the letter P.