Rare & Valuable Canadian Coins That Are Worth Money

Sift through your pocket change for these rare and valuable Canadian coins.

Updated March 6, 2023
Canadian coins

Serious coin collectors search high and low for certain rare Canadian coins, sometimes paying top dollar to acquire an example for their collection. If you live in Canada or travel there sometimes, you never know when one of these beautiful coins might show up in your change. Even if you don't happen to have one of these rare beauties, you might have something kind of like it.

Although there are a number of factors that contribute to the value of Canadian coins, rarity is among the most important. Learn what to look for as you take a look at your loonies, toonies, and all the other Canadian coins in your pocket.

List of the Rarest Canadian Coins Worth Money

Even though many old Canadian coins are worth money, these are some of the ones to watch for. The values are listed in either Canadian (CAD) or US Dollars (USD).

Rare Canadian Coins Worth Money Estimated Value
Pre-1922 Canadian Silver Nickels $1,500-$15,000 CAD
1936 Canadian "Dot" Dime $14,450-$245,000 CAD
1921 50-Cent Piece $78,331.63-$251,410.81 CAD
Near-Mint Victoria 50-Cent Piece $77.21-$50,150 CAD
1911 Canadian Silver Dollar $500,000-$1,000,000 USD
1916 C Gold Sovereign $24,961.18-$163,409.53 CAD
1969 Large Date 10-Cents $8,470.31-$16,415.91 CAD
1921 Silver 5-Cents $1,694.81-$50,283.66 CAD

1936 Canadian "Dot" Penny

up to $400,000 USD

1953 Shoulder Fold (SF) Penny

up to $2,000 CAD

1955 No Shoulder Fold (NSF) Penny

up to $5,500 CAD

1923 Small 1-Cent

$25 to $3,374 CAD

1925 small 1-Cent

$220 to $3,374 CAD

Some of the rarest and most valuable Canadian coins are those that were produced by accident and feature a minor error. Coin minting is one of the few situations where mistakes actually pay off - at least for collectors.

Other rare coins were produced in short runs, so there just aren't that many of them around. Still, other coins were made of precious metals like gold or silver and are rare because most were melted down for their metal value.

Canadian Silver Nickel - Any Year

Flickr user woody1778a

Prior to 1922, Canadian nickels were made of "coin silver" (800 parts silver) or sterling silver (925 parts silver). The last of these coins was minted in 1921. Because of their high silver content, people have melted many of the coins over the years. Now they are extremely rare. These coins are regularly faked, so it's very important that you have a coin appraised before purchasing it.

1936 Canadian "Dot" Dime

Flickr user Astro Guy

Fetching $184,000 at auction, the "dot" dime of 1936 is another great collector's coin. This dime was actually produced in 1937, and the dot was added to the 1936 design. Very few of these coins exist, perhaps only five. They are currently valued from $144,500 to $245,000 CAD.

1921 50-Cent Piece

Canada, George V 50 cents 1921

Known as the "king of Canadian coins," this 50-cent piece is so rare that there may only be about 50-100 in circulation. A large number of these coins were minted in 1921, but very few entered circulation. The vast majority of them were melted down to create the later versions of the 50-cent piece. The remaining coins are so rare that in 2010, one fetched $218,500 at auction. Uncirculated 1921 50-cent coins are currently valued from $104,500 to $335,400 CAD.

Victoria 50-Cent Piece in Near-Mint Condition

Canada Newfoundland Victoria 50 Cents 1882

Although a number of these 50-cent pieces featuring Queen Victoria were minted in the late 19th century, very few survived in mint or near-mint condition. These pristine examples now fetch high prices at auction. A 1899 Victoria 50-cent coin is currently valued from $103 through $50,150 CAD.

1911 Canadian Silver Dollar

1911 Canadian Silver Dollar

The 1911 Canadian silver dollar held the record of the world's most valuable coin. Only two Canadian silver dollars were struck, and one is housed at the Canadian Currency Museum in Ottawa. This leaves only one 1911 Canadian silver dollar available to collectors. In 2019 it sold to a private collector for $552,000 USD. In a previous sale, this coin sold for $1,066,000.

1916 C Gold Sovereign

Canada, George V gold Sovereign 1916-C

A sovereign is a British one-pound gold coin that was struck at the Royal Canadian Mint from 1908 to 1919. The 1916 C gold sovereign is rare, with about 50 known. The value of uncirculated 1916 gold sovereigns range from $33,300 to $218,000 CAD.

1969 Large Date 10-Cents

Canada, Large Date - Large Ship 10 Cents 1969

When the 10-cent 1969 coins were made, there was an error and inadvertently, some large date coins were made instead of the small date. The 1969 large date 10-cent coin is extremely rare - it's estimated that only 20 to 30 are in circulation. They are currently valued at $11,300 to $21,900 CAD.

1921 Silver 5-Cents

Canada, George V 5 Cents 1921

In 1921, the Royal Canadian Mint intended to introduce a new 5 cent coin made of nickel for the 1922 coinage. In preparation for its launch, the mint melted down its entire inventory of silver 5 cent coins, nearly all of which were 1921s. Only 400 silver 5-cents coins are believed to have survived. These coins are currently sell at auction for $2,261 to $67,082 CAD.

Fast Fact

The last Canadian pennies were struck at the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg on May 4, 2012. Canadians with pennies to spare were asked to take their pennies to banks and other financial institutions so they could be taken out of circulation and the metals recycled. If you still have Canadian pennies, you can't spend them, but the banks will still take them.

1936 Canadian "Dot" Penny

1936 Canadian 1 Cent

At a 2010 auction, a Canadian penny made headlines for fetching more than $400,000 USD. The reason for this high price tag was rarity. Only three such pennies are known to exist. What makes the penny special is that beneath the date, there is a tiny dot. This dot indicates that the penny was actually made in 1937, rather than 1936.

1953 Shoulder Fold (SF) Penny

1953 Shoulder Fold Penny

The Canadian penny was redesigned in 1953 with the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, and the first design for the backside of the coin featured a fold in the queen's gown. When this design was used for the minting, it caused problems with equipment and quality. The backside was redone later in 1953 to eliminate the shoulder fold, which made the original design very rare. These pennies have sold for up to $2,000 CAD at auction.

1955 No Shoulder Fold (NSF) Penny

1955 No Shoulder Fold Penny

The 1955 no shoulder fold is one of the rarest Canadian pennies ever struck. A few 1955 pennies were mistakenly struck with the older design dies. These have sold for up to $5,500 CAD at auction.

1923 Small 1-Cent

1923 Small 1-Cent

Large cent coins were minted from 1858 until 1920, when they were replaced by the small cent coin. The 1923 small cent is the rarest date among Canadian coins. A 1923 small 1-cent can fetch from $25.00 to $3,374 CAD.

1925 Small 1-Cent

Fewer 1925 small cent coins were minted than any other Canadian penny. Uncirculated 1925 1-cent coins sell for $220 to $3,374 CAD.

Other Rare and Valuable Canadian Pennies

The small 1-cent pennies listed below can sell for from $10 through thousands of dollars, depending on their condition.

  • 1921 small 1-cent
  • 1922 small 1-cent
  • 1924 small 1-cent
  • 1926 small 1-cent

2012 Canadian Pure Silver Farewell Penny

The last penny to be produced for Canadian circulation is housed at Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada in Ottawa. However, The Royal Canadian mint issued several commemorative 2012 Farewell 1-cent coins. A 2012 Canadian Pure silver 1-cent farewell Penny, for sale on eBay, was priced at $1,199.95 CAD.

Where to Buy Rare Canadian Coins

If you're looking for Canadian coins online, the following sites sell rare examples:

  • 2 Clicks Coins - This site has a collector coin classified section, where you can find many rare coins, including silver dimes and quarters. It also offers detailed information and photos of other rare coins.
  • Provident Metals - This shop sells rare coins from all over the world, as well as Canadian silver coins.
  • CoinMart - This is another source for coins from around the world and in Canada. The selection is constantly changing.

Thrill of the Hunt

Whether you're just starting your Canadian coin collection or are going after one of the coveted coins mentioned above, you'll enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Researching and tracking down these rare coins is almost as satisfying as adding them to your collection. If you're interested in money values from other countries, learn more about the U.S. 1943 steel penny value and what 2 dollar bills are worth.

Rare & Valuable Canadian Coins That Are Worth Money