Canadian Silver Twenty and Twenty-Five Cent Coins

Posted by on August 9, 2012
SC CAN 1872 Twenty Five Cent reverse 300x300 Canadian Silver Twenty and Twenty Five Cent Coins

1872 Twenty Five Cent - reverse

The Canadian Twenty-Five Cents Silver Coin started being minted in 1870 and continued until 1968 when Canada abandoned the silver standard because of rising silver prices. During the 1960s and 1970s most countries dropped the silver standard for their currency.  The prices of silver was rising rapidly enough that making adjusts in silver content was no longer practical.  Canada’s coinage has always been regulated by Great Britain and still is.  However, along with the United Kingdom’s other colony’s, implementation of standards regarding weights and measures and even the convergence of the UK’s denominations to the decimal system varies throughout Great Britain’s Kingdom.


Great Britain’s first issued a twenty cent silver coin for the providence of Canada in 1858.  These 23.27 millimeter diameter silver coins weighing 4.67 grams with a silver content of 92.5% and 7.5% copper.  Almost all of the 750,000 coins struck were returned to England and melted down (due to their lack of popularity) after the twenty-five cent silver coin was introduce in 1870.  These first Canadian twenty-five cent silver coins are 23.62 millimeters in diameter and weigh 5.81 grams with the 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper content.

SC CAN 1872 Twenty Five Cent obverse Canadian Silver Twenty and Twenty Five Cent Coins

1872 Twenty Five Cent - obverse

The obverse of these coins was struck with the images of the current ruler of the United Kingdom.   Starting with Queen Victoria facing left the direction after that they face alternates; in 1902 King Edward VII faces right.  In 1911 is King George V faces left however King George VI also faces left.  Then in 1953 Queen Elizabeth II faces right.  In 1965 the young Queen Elizabeth II was replaced with the mature Queen Elizabeth II portrait.

The reverse has a wreath of maple leaf branches.  A crone at the top and “25 CENTS” with the date stacked underneath.  In 1902 “CANADA” was moved from the obverse to the reverse above the date.  In 1920 the silver content was changed to 80% and 20% copper.

SC CAN 1937 Twenty Five Cents obverse 300x300 Canadian Silver Twenty and Twenty Five Cent Coins

1937 Twenty Five Cents - obverse

SC CAN 1937 Twenty Five Cents reverse Canadian Silver Twenty and Twenty Five Cent Coins

1937 Twenty Five Cents - reverse

In 1937 the reverse design was changed to display the head of a caribou with the “25 CENTS” stack between its horns and “CANADA” arching along the rim on the left and the date along the right rim of the coin.  The reverse of the 1967 coin was changed to celebrate the 100 years of Canada’s confederacy with a bobcat in the center and “25 CENTS” arches above and below “CANADA 1867-1967” runs along the lower rim.  The silver content was reduced to 50% silver and 50% copper, there are no markings designating the two 1967 silver contents.  1968 saw the return of the caribou and was the last year silver was used in Canada’s coins.

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