Coins are often issued to be used as money, but in some cases, they are given out to commemorate a specific event. Throughout history, coins have been known to celebrate a specific time period or event and in some cases, emergency money has been issued. There are quite a few commemorative coins in the world and they all have a specific meaning. We take a look at some of the most important ones and what they are worth.
Most commemorative coins have been issued after 1960 but some have been issued before. It all depends on the era and the event that is recognized. Many of these coins serve as collectors’ items, and these coins usually have a distinct design. Most of these coins are also continuously issued, to commemorate a specific event or time period.
In Canada, some of the first coins ever used was by the first colonialists. French coins were very prominent, but English coins were also used in many territories. In France, the first coins issued were the 1670 silver coins. Their value was raised in an attempt to keep them circulating. They stopped being used in 1680. In 1717 attempts were made to produce a copper coinage, but the quality of the copper was too poor.
Coins in Britain
In Britain, gold coins consisted of British guineas and later sovereigns – sometimes small quantities of gold. Silver coins mainly struck in Mexico and some older French coins circulated in Canada. After 1815, American silver appeared; copper coins consisted of old, worn-out halfpennies.
Labrador and Newfoundland
The earliest coins found here, dates back to the 1840s and include the ones from the Rutherford Brothers. Local government tried to ban the import of tokens in the 1850s and additional issues circulated. During the first and second world war, the Mint in Ottawa issued coins for Newfoundland and Labrador’s entry into Confederation in 1949.
What is now known as Quebec, lower Canada had the largest number of commemorative coins in circulation. In 1814, the Wellington tokens appeared – they were pennies with the duke of Wellington, and were very popular.
An anonymous halfpenny of English design appeared in 1825 and it resulted in a lot of counterfeits being produced in brass. Counterfeits of worn-out Irish George III also circulated.
In 1935, the silver jubilee of the reign of George V was commemorated with the silver dollar. Special dollars were also circulated for the royal visit to Canada in 1949, and in 1967 for the centenary of Confederation.
For more information on coin collection or commemorative coins, visit Colonial Acres. We specialize in the buying and selling of collector’s coins, and can give you all the help and advice you need when starting out with coin collecting.