10 Most Valuable Canadian Coins (Price & Pictures)

Jenson Cambell

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Many collectors overlook Canadian coins, yet they can be equally thrilling to collect as U.S. coins. These coins are rich in history and artistically appealing, and some of them are more valuable than their U.S. equivalents. How valuable, you ask?

Well, we scoured the internet for the most valuable Canadian coins ever sold at auction. But before we get to this list, let’s first familiarize ourselves with the nuances of Canadian coins.

The History of Canadian Coins

Most Valuable Canadian Coin

Historically, Canadian coins have had five denominations: one cent, five cents, 25 cents, one Canadian dollar, and two Canadian dollars. After the cost of its production exceeded its face value, the Canadian government did away with the one-cent piece in 2014.

Another interesting fact about Canadian coins is that they are issued in the name and image of the British monarchs. While this trend began in Colonial Canada, it has survived to this day.

Back in 1858, a few British North American colonies began issuing coins of their own. For inspiration, they borrowed from British coinage, which at the time bore the likeness of Queen Victoria.

These colonial coins were legitimized with the passing of the British North American Act of 1870, which also laid the foundation of Canada’s constitution. Starting with Queen Victoria, every British monarch got the full coin treatment. The latest monarch to be featured on Canadian coinage was Queen Elizabeth II.

And while there are plans to strike coins in honor of King Charles III, it grows more unlikely every day. According to a poll that was conducted in the build-up of King Charles III’s Coronation, only 38% of the public is in favor of having their coins feature his majesty’s face.

10 Most Valuable Canadian Coins

Enough politics. Let’s refocus our attention on our objective: the most valuable Canadian coins. So, without further ado, below are Canada’s most valuable coins:

1. 1911 King George V Silver Dollar: Sold for $690,000

1911 King George V Silver Dollar

With only three coins struck, this is the most rare coin not only in Canada but on the planet. At some point, it was even recognized by the Guinness Book of Rarities as the most valuable coin in the world.

The coin itself is often described as the 1911 Pattern Dollar. “Pattern” in this context means that the variety wasn’t released for circulation. They struck three of them (two in silver and one in lead) in London before they were mailed to Canada for consideration for coinage.

The other 1911 Pattern Silver Dollar is currently resting in the Bank of Canada Museum, making this the only collectible 1911 Pattern Silver Dollar. Those who have had contact with both silver dollars claim that this one is the finer of the two. And with a grade of SP65, I’m not surprised. This example is pedigreed to the Belzberg Collection.

The $690,000 was from a 2003 auction. This same coin sold again in 2019 for a modest $552,000, this time in the SP64 condition.

2. 1936 King George V Dot Cent: Sold for $402,500

1936 King George V Dot Cent

Following the death of King George V in 1936, the transition of the British throne was marked by uncertainty. As the heir apparent, King Edward VIII took over the throne from his fallen father. But when he abdicated the throne in favor of his brother, who would later become King George VI, the Royal Canadian Mint was left in limbo.

You see, they had already prepared coinage for 1937 with King Edward’s likeness, but that curve ball forced them to create new designs with the effigy of King George VI. So, in 1937, they continued using 1936 dies but added the Dot to show that the coin was struck in 1937.

1936 King George V Dot Pennies are super rare, as there are only three known examples. This specific specimen was graded SP66RD and was pedigreed to the Belzberg Collection. It sold again in 2010 for an eye-popping $402,500.

Nine years later, it popped up, yet again, in a lot on Heritage Auctions and sold for $312,000. It had been graded, yet again, by PCGS, who gave it a lower grade of SP65RB and pedigreed it to the Cook Collection.

3. 1936 King George V Dot Cent: Sold for $246,750

1936 King George V Dot Cent Sold for $246,750

Another surviving member of the 1936 King George V Dot Cent surfaced on Heritage Actions in 2004. And while it sold for a life-changing $207,000, that’s not the price tag that features it so high in this list.

The coin sold again in April 2013 for $246,750. The penny retained its MS63RD grade between the two auctions and was still showing the squiggles etched on the field to the left of King George V’s head.

4. 1921 King George V 50 Cents: Sold $240,000

1921 King George V 50 Cents Sold $240,000

The 1921 King George V Half Dollar is highly sought after among Canadian coins because of its rarity. Like many coins in this list, it was issued in limited numbers. Between 1921 and 1929, the Royal Canadian Mint only released 28,000 half dollars due to a low demand for the denomination.

The mint master then melted down the unreleased 50-cent pieces for fresh coinage. Today, we believe there are less than 75 examples of this coin in existence. Rarely do they appear at auction, especially in the MS66 state.

5. 1921 King George V 50 Cents: Sold for $218,500

1921 King George V 50 Cents Sold for $218,500

Here’s another surviving specimen of the coveted 1921 King George V Half Dollars. Like our previous entrant, it is graded a high MS66 by PCGS. The reverse is beautifully toned with red, brown, and gold pigments. It also shows noticeable flaking. The obverse, on the other hand, is uniformly toned, with its coppery redness taking center stage.

Here’s Mark Borckardt from Heritage Auctions with more information on this beauty.

6. 1936 King George V 10 Cents: Sold for $184,000

1936 King George V 10 Cents Sold for $184,000

The 1936 King George V 10 Cent coin is a legendary rarity in Canadian numismatics, nearly as rare as the Dot Cent from the same year. Many of the surviving pieces are in museum collections, leaving only three examples for collectors to scramble over.

This specimen, however, is the finest of the three, with a nearly perfect grade of SP68. Besides the small tarnish in the “D” of “IND,” this 10-cent piece is flawless and deserving of the $184,000 selling price.

7. 1916-C King George V Gold Sovereign: Sold for $156,000

1916-C King George V Gold Sovereign Sold for $156,000

Sovereigns are British one-pound coins that were struck at the Ottawa branch of the Canadian Royal Mint. Their coinage has led to a relentless debate over whether the coins are British or Canadian. But one thing is for sure: these coins are very valuable.

This 1916-C George V Gold Sovereign was offered at auction on August 15th, 2019. By the close of the day’s business, the coin has sold for an obscene $156,000. In MS66, there’s no doubt that this coin is the finest of its kind.

8. 1890-H Queen Victoria 50 Cents: Sold for $149,500

1890-H Queen Victoria 50 Cents

And we arrive at yet another highly-coveted coin of Canadian numismatics. With a limited mintage of only 20,000 half-dollar pieces, the 1890-H Victoria 50 Cents is a rarity in the already hard-to-find Victoria 50 Cent series. There are only two known examples in mint state, one being this MS64 specimen.

9. 1921 King George V 50 Cents: Sold $141,000

1921 King George V 50 Cents Sold $141,000

Words cannot accurately capture how rare the 1921 King George V 50 Cent is. The moniker “King of Canadian Coins” is not an exaggeration. So far, we have featured two other examples of this elusive family, and we still have room for one more.

In SP64 condition, it is not the finest specimen on our list, but it is surely the most colorful. Both faces of the coin are toned with a wash of dark colors that range from green to dark brown.

10. 1871-H Queen Victoria 50 Cents: Sold for $120,750

1871-H Queen Victoria 50 Cents Sold for $120,750

Here, to prove how valuable Victoria 50 Cent coins can get, is a finer MS67 specimen, this time from the 1871 date. In addition to its rarity, this coin has breath-taking eye appeal as it has a tasteful patina with violet and blue accents. It also exhibits prooflike characteristics with noticeable cameo contrast.

Bonus: 1921 King George V 50 Cents: Sold for $120,000

1921 King George V 50 Cents Sold for $120,000

Why stop at 10 when we can squeeze in one more? Earning its place in the 11th position is another 1921 King George V 50 Cent piece. To address the elephant in the room, this coin is neither the finest specimen of its date nor denomination, but the 1921 King George V 50 Cent coin is elusive in all grades. This one was valuable enough to sell at $120,000.

Final Thoughts

Are you convinced to take up collecting Canadian coins? I surely hope so. What makes Canadian coins more valuable than their American equivalents is their limited mintage. With few coins to go around, collectors will be willing to pay six figures for coins that were released as late as 1936.

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