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Changes in Coin Design

By Library and Archives Canada    |   Monday, 29 March 2004

More than simply the design and composition of Canadian coins have changed over the years. The images of the king or queen have had to change to reflect new circumstances. The portrait of the king or queen has always appeared on our coinage. In 1953, Elizabeth II, the new head of state, made her first appearance on Canadian coins and in 1954, on bank notes.

Canada $1, 1954, obverse
Canada $1, 1954, obverse

In 1967, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a special series of coins to commemorate the centennial of Canadian Confederation. The images, designed by painter Alex Colville, depicted Canadian flora and wildlife, such as the Canada goose found on this $1 coin.

Canada, $1 coin, 1967, reverse
Canada, $1 coin, 1967, reverse

The 1967 series was intended for general use rather than for collectors. However, some coin issues, such as that for the 1976 Olympic Games, are specifically aimed at the collectors' market.

Canada, $5 Olympic coin, 1976, series 1, reverse
Canada, $5 Olympic coin, 1976, series 1, reverse

Gold coins are also issued as collector's items. This 1979 $100 gold coin commemorates the International Year of the Child.

Canada, $100 gold coin, 1979
Canada, $100 gold coin, 1979

This article represents a portion of the the article titled Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada

Source : Library and Archives Canada

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