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The Move to the Decimal System

By Library and Archives Canada    |   Monday, 29 March 2004

During the 1850s, trade burgeoned between the United States and the colonies of British North America. The British colonies, led by the Province of Canada, became convinced that they needed to replace the sterling system, which had been used since 1760, with the decimal system used in the United States. With London's approval, the Province of Canada gradually changed over between 1853 and 1857. In 1858 it issued coins in denominations of 1, 5, 20 and 50 cents (similar to the 1858, 5-cent coin shown here). The coins were minted in England, since there were no minting facilities in Canada. In the years that followed, the other British colonies also opted for the decimal system.

Province of Canada, 5 cents, 1858
Province of Canada, 5 cents, 1858

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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