Canadian Silver Ten Cent Coins

Posted by on August 8, 2012
SC CAN 1953 Ten Cent Canadian Silver Ten Cent Coins

1953 Ten Cents

The Canadian Ten Cent Silver Coin was first struck in 1858 and continued through 1968 when silver was illuminated from circulating Canadian coins.  Due to Canada’s proximity to the United States the settlers of the Canadian provinces continually petitioned the United Kingdom to produce their own coins that would be based on the decimal system and comparable to the US’s dollar.  Eventually Great Britain conceded and Canada issued copper cent coins, and silver coins being five cent, ten cent and twenty cent and in 1908 Canada was allowed to mint their own coins.


$125,000 worth of the ten cent silver coins (1,250,000) had been struck in 1858 at the London Royal Mint.  These were received in Canada during August of 1858.  These first coins were designed by Leonard Charles Wyon portraying Queen Victoria’s head in profile facing left on the obverse.  The obverse is also encircled with the Queens title in Latin; “VICTORIA DEI GRATIA REGINA” (“Victoria, by the grace of God, the Queen) with “CANADA” along the rim under her head.  The reverse has “10 CENTS” stacked with the date underneath in the center under the Royal Crown and a maple leaf wreath encircling.  Queen Victoria’s portrait was used through 1901.

SC CAN 1902 Ten Cent Canadian Silver Ten Cent Coins

1902 Ten Cents

In 1902 when King Edward VII succeeded the thrown after the passing of Queen Victoria the portrait of King Edward VII bust facing right appeared on the obverse with the legend “EDWARDVS VII DEI GRATIA REX IMPERATOR” (Edward VII, by the grace of God the King and Emperor) surrounding his likeness and “CANADA” was moved from the base under his head and placed on the reverse under “CENTS” on the reverse.  King Edward VII portrait was used until 1910.  In 1908 Canada was awarded its own mint in Ottawa.  In 1911 and through 1936 King George V was used facing left.  The 1911 coins had an error where “DEI GRA” was left off.  These are typically referred to as the “Godless” King Edwards.

SC CAN 1938 Ten Cents Canadian Silver Ten Cent Coins

1938 Ten Cents

In 1937 to 1952 King George VI took over the throne and his head’s portrait faces right.  The reverse of these were redesigned to display the Bluenose schooner at sea, which was a composite design by Emmanuel Hahn, with “CANADA” arcing along the rim at the top of the coin.  The date is on the right and underneath is “10 CENTS”.  The inscription is “GEORGIVS VI D:G:REX ET IND:IMP.”  This was modified in 1948 to “GEORGIVS VI DEI GRATIA; REX” to reflect India being granted its independence in 1947.

SC CAN 1967 Ten Cent reverse 300x225 Canadian Silver Ten Cent Coins

1967 Ten Cent - obverse

SC CAN 1967 Ten Cent obverse Canadian Silver Ten Cent Coins

1967 Ten Cent - reverse

Queen Elizabeth II’s bust image facing left began in 1953.  Her image is still being used however over the years it has been redesigned to reflect her age at the time.  The 1953 has her with and without straps on her dress.  Her portrait is her at the age of 29 and referred to as the ‘young’ Queen Elizabeth II.  In 1965 her portrait was revised to reflect her at the age of 39 and called the ‘mature’ Queen Elizabeth II.  1967 was the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Canadian Confederate and the reverse design was altered to display a mackerel.  Also during 1967 the increasing price of silver caused Canada to drop their silver coins' content to 50% silver.  The 1967 coins do not have any distinction between the 80% silver content and the 50% content. 1968 the 50% silver ten cent was minted and this was the last year Canada's ten cent circulating coins had any silver in them.

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