10 Rare Most Valuable Canadian Coins: Value Guide

What comes to mind when you think about Canada? Maple syrup? Trees? Snow? Or does the famed Canadian coin lineage pop up? From the 1911 Dollar Pattern DC-6 coin to the 1916 Canada: George V Gold Sovereign coin to the 1865 Canada: Newfoundland Victoria Gold Pattern Specimen 2 Dollar coin, Canada possesses some of the most valuable coins in the world.

A noteworthy list of the top 10 most rare, historic Canadian coins discovered is provided below.

The 10 Rare Most Valuable Canadian Coins

No.
Name
Year
Grade
Value
1
Pattern Dollar DC-6
1911
PCGS SP 65
$690,000
2
Canada : George V Dot Cent
1936
PCGS MS 66
$402,500
3
Canada : George V 50 Cent
1921
PCGS MS 66
$240,000
4
Canada : George V 10 Cent
1936
PCGS MS 68
$184,000
5
Canada : George V Gold Sovereign
1916
PCGS MS 66
$156,000
6
Canada : Victoria 50 Cent
1890
PCGS MS 64
$149,000
7
Canada : Victoria 50 Cent
1871
PCGS MS 67
$120,750
8
Canada : George V 5 Cent
1921
PCGS MS 67
$115,000
9
Canada : Elizabeth II Gold Proof “Golden Jubilee” Dollar
2003
PCGS PR 67
$108,000
10
Canada : Newfoundland Victoria Gold Pattern Specimen 2 Dollar
1865
PCGS MS 63
$102,000

1. 1911 Pattern Dollar DC-6 $690,000

Value: $690,000
Grade: PCGS SP 65
1911 Pattern Dollar DC-6
1911 Pattern Dollar DC-6

Once called the “Emperor of Canadian Numismatics,” the 1911 Pattern Dollar DC-6 coin was sold in January of 2003 by Heritage Auctions. With only one other specimen struck in silver, this coin is exceedingly rare. Its story begins in 1910 when the Dominion of Canada Currency Act called for the creation of a dollar with .925 silver weighing 360 grains.

Soon afterward, a man called Sir E. Bertram MacKennal designed the coin’s obverse, making it to depict the ruler of the UK and India at the time, George V in royal attire. Written above the illustration are the words “Georgivs V Dei Gra Rex Et Ind Imp,” loosely translated to “George V, by the grace of God king and emperor of India.” Curiously, it is exactly these words that separate this coin from its peers- none other George V coins of the same year have the words “Dei Gra,” or the “Grace of God.”

In contrast, the reverse of the coin designed by W. J. Blakemore includes a clock, the signature Canadian maple wreath, and the words “One Dollar Canada 1911,” a relatively simplistic and common design. What makes this coin truly rare is its identity as a “proposed coin” rather than a “business coin.” With only two silver specimens and one lead specimen, this coin was initially produced in London and the dies sent to Canada, where they would never be used again.

2. 1936 Canada: George V Dot Cent $402,500

Value: $402,500
Grade: PCGS MS 66
1936 Canada George V Dot Cent
1936 Canada George V Dot Cent

Similar to the 1911 Pattern Dollar DC-6 coin, the 1936 Canada: George V Dot Cent also pictures George V, the monarch of the United Kingdom and India. Never released to the public, this coin has only three existing specimens, all previously held by the renowned collector John Pittman from 1961 to 1996. Only resurfacing in 1999, the 1936 Canada: George V Dot Cent has long been regarded as one of THE most sought-after coins possibly even in the entire world.

Possessing a bold red color, the coin shows off a sharp and mirrored edge with near-perfect details. Although past polishing has minor scratches, this specimen remains the finest of the three in existence.

3. 1921 Canada: George V 50 Cent $240,000

Value: $240,000
Grade: PCGS MS 66
1921 Canada George V 50 Cent
1921 Canada George V 50 Cent

Nicknamed the “King of Canadian Coins” by James E. Charlton, the 1921 Canada: George V 50 Cent is quite possibly the most well-known coin of Canadian numismatics. As written in Charlton’s Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, 50 cent coins were rarely used by the public until 1929, when demand rose monumentally. As a result, the Ottawa Mint melted all 1920/1921 coins- except a select few including the 1921 Canada: George V 50 Cent coin- to provide silver to mint 1929 50 cent coins.

Out of the 75 1921 coins saved from melting, this coin is incredibly rare and coveted as the center of many coin collections. Boasting a beautiful dove gray hue, the coin has gold accents and gently patinated sides.

4. 1936 Canada: George V 10 Cent $184,000

Value: $184,000
Grade: PCGS MS 68
1936 Canada George V 10 Cent
1936 Canada George V 10 Cent

With only three specimens in existence, sightings of the 1936 Canada: George V 10 Cent are as few and far between as those of aliens. This Specimen 68 is finer than both of its peers, the Dominion Collection Specimen and the Pittman-Belzberg Collection Specimen, making it the most valuable 1936 Canada: George V 10 Cent discovered.

While the Dominion Collection Specimen and the Pittman-Belzberg possess gold and charcoal hues and bluish violet shades, the Specimen 68 is a mix of the two, with silver-gray, gold, and darker colors embellishing the coin. Both matte and shiny, this specimen shows off almost perfect condition and details.

5. 1916 Canada: George V Gold Sovereign $156,000

Value: $156,000
Grade: PCGS MS 66
1916 Canada George V Gold Sovereign
1916 Canada George V Gold Sovereign

Hailing from the famous Royal Canadian Ottawa Mint, the 1916 Canada: George V Gold Sovereign coin began its life surrounded by many companions- 6,111 pieces, to be exact. No one knows what devastating event decimated the 1916 Canada: George V Gold Sovereign coin’s numbers, but, nowadays, fewer than 50 specimens of this coin out of the original 6,111 exist. Perhaps the mintage was melted after the coins were recalled, or perhaps they were all lost during the destruction of World War 1.

Our specimen here is tied with the Eric Beckham specimen for the finest certified. Retaining original mint luster, the coin has gleaming surfaces and stunning designs. A dignified side portrait of King George V is pictured on the obverse of the coin, and a glorious image of a valiant soldier atop a rearing horse graces the reverse.

6. 1890 Canada: Victoria 50 Cent $149,000

Value: $149,000
Grade: PCGS MS 64
1890 Canada Victoria 50 Cent
1890 Canada Victoria 50 Cent

Starkly different from the previous coins discussed here, the 1890 Canada: Victoria 50 Cents is a breath of fresh air, hailing from the 17th century rather than the 18th, picturing Queen Victoria rather than King George V, and exhibiting a shimmery silver rather than the more common gold hue as shown above. The absolute crème de la crème, this PCGS MS 64 specimen is the most valuable of all the 1890 Canada: Victoria 50 Cents coins.

Unearthed from the Heaton Hoard in 1974, this coin owes its survival to the aforementioned hoard, which protected it from destruction or disappearance. Not only unique but also gorgeous, this coin is my favorite out of the entire Canadian coinage, showing off soothing silver-white tones complimenting fine details.

7. 1871 Canada: Victoria 50 Cent $120,750

Value: $120,750
Grade: PCGS MS 67
1871 Canada Victoria 50 Cent
1871 Canada Victoria 50 Cent

Minted two decades before the 1890 Canada: Victoria 50 Cent, the 1871 Canada: Victoria 50 Cent holds a very similar name to its predecessor. However, do not let that fool you, for this coin is one valuable, special coin. In fact, the 1871 Canada: Victoria 50 Cent coin was the very first batch produced by the Heaton Mint.

This PCGS MS 67 Specimen is incredibly valuable, seeing as it is the finest graded coin out of all 1871 Canada: Victoria 50 Cent coins AND the finest PCGS coin from not only 1871 Canada: Victoria 50 Cent coins but all Victoria 50 Cent coins in history. Stunning violet, blue, and lilac shades decorate the coin’s obverse, and the reverse displays equally eye-pleasing shades of amber and gold. Smooth and perfect in preservation, this coin has the highest quality possible.

8. 1921 Canada: George V 5 Cent $115,000

Value: $115,000
Grade: PCGS MS 67
1921 Canada George V 5 Cent
1921 Canada George V 5 Cent

Now that we have a 1911 Pattern Dollar DC-6 “Emperor of Canadian Numismatics” and a 1921 Canada: George V 50 Cent “King of Canadian Coins,” of course we need a 1921 Canada: George V 5 Cent “Prince of Canadian Coins” to complete the family. Surprisingly, the issue for the 1921 Canada: George V 5 Cent coin minted over 2.5 million such coins. Then why is this coin listed among the rarest Canadian coins in existence?

Well, this coin was, unluckily, made out of silver in an era promoting copper and nickel 5 cent coins. The Canadian government passed orders ultimately resulting in the melting of 3 million silver 5 cent coins in favor of copper and nickel coins. Only a select few 1921 Canada: George V 5 cent coins were able to escape their comrades’ fate, dispersing into the hands of collectors. Out of the 87 graded 1921 Canada: George V 5 cent coins, this specimen is the finest with blue shades and silverish patina.

9. 2003 Canada: Elizabeth II Gold Proof “Golden Jubilee” Dollar $108,000

Value: $108,000
Grade: PCGS PR 67
2003 Canada Elizabeth II Gold Proof “Golden Jubilee” Dollar
2003 Canada Elizabeth II Gold Proof “Golden Jubilee” Dollar

New, isn’t it? Modern, perhaps? Young? Younger than some of us, that’s for a fact. What is this shiny new coin doing in a list of old collectibles? Well, the 2003 Canada: Elizabeth II Gold Proof “Golden Jubilee” Dollar was minted not for circulation but to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s 50th coronation anniversary.

Absolutely one of a kind, the coin’s obverse displays a stately, regal side portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, hair coiffed in both a simplistic and royal manner. On the reverse of the coin is pictured two Native Americans rowing a canoe through the river. Of course, the coin is in impeccable shape, and, at only sixteen years of age, its historical significance coupled with this rarity has already made its cost rocket to six figures.

10. 1865 Canada: Newfoundland Victoria Gold Pattern Specimen 2 Dollar $102,000

Value: $102,000
Grade: PCGS MS 63
1865 Canada Newfoundland Victoria Gold Pattern Specimen 2 Dollar
1865 Canada Newfoundland Victoria Gold Pattern Specimen 2 Dollar

Minted at the London Mint, hundreds of thousands of miles from its Canadian home, the 1865 Canada: Newfoundland Victoria Gold Pattern Specimen 2 Dollar coin PCGS MS 63 was also not minted with the purpose of circulation amongst the public. Although this coin’s design is remarkably similar to that of its circulated cousin, the coin has a few distinguishable differences, such as bolder, larger, and blocked lettering, mirroring, and cameo frost.

With only two of its kind discovered, this coin is incredibly hard to obtain. Once sold in the Spink’s sale in 1910, the coin then made its way to the renowned King Farouk collection, the cabinet of Emory Norweb, and the 1996 Bowers and Merena sale.

Loonies and Toonies

Why are Canadian dollar coins called loonies? Look at the coin, and the answer is obvious. On the reverse of many Canadian dollar coins is pictured a bird called the common loon.

Then why are Canadian 2 dollar coins called toonies? No, there is not a bird called the common toon. Rather, the word toonie is a portmanteau of the words “two” and “loonie.” Simple, right?

Are Canadian Coins Still Made of Silver

You may have noticed that many of the above coins are made of silver. Does that still stand today? No.

Beginning with World War I, the cost of silver skyrocketed, and so came the downfall of silver Canadian coins. By 1968, the only silver Canadian coins minted were bullion or commemorative coins.

Which Years Do Valuable Canadian Coins Hail From

If you study the chart above carefully, you will notice that most of the coins in the list of top 10 most valuable Canadian coins were minted in the earlier half of the 20th century. Three coins hail from the latter half of the 19th century, and only one was minted in the 21st century. Clearly, valuable Canadian coins tend to come from the late 19th to early 20th century.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know all about the top 10 most valuable Canadian coins, perhaps you have some questions or thoughts. Leave a comment below, and we’d be happy to respond. If you enjoyed this read, you may find similar enjoyment reading our articles regarding valuable US quarters, valuable Chinese coins, or other valuable coins.

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