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Canadian Silver Coins

Canadian Flag - Canadian Silver CoinsCanadian silver coins are another way to acquire and own silver.  Remember, junk silver coins are purchased for the value of the silver they contain, not for the face value of the coin nor for any numismatic, or collector value the coin might have.  (Of course, if the coin has numismatic value it is not, by definition, a junk silver coin.)  As a general rule one should own silver coins minted by the country they live in for the simple reason that domestic coins are more likely to be recognized and accepted than foreign coins when the time comes to sell or barter them.

This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for foreign coins in your collection. Silver coins minted by various foreign countries still contain a given amount of silver and still have a value based on that silver content.  Remember, the reason we want to own junk silver coins is for the value of the silver they contain.  Just like the junk silver coins minted in the United States, these coins are readily available, easy to find and contain a known amount of silver, which makes them easy to find.

A popular form of junk silver coins, especially in North America, are the Canadian silver coins, which were minted in Canada up until 1968.  There are fundamental differences between the American and Canadian coins that one needs to be aware of before buying the coins.  The biggest difference is that Canadian silver coins are composed of 80% silver and 20% copper, which is significantly less than the 90% silver US silver coins contain.

While silver coins were minted in Canada since 1858 the most popular and plentiful Canadian Silver coins (the ones you’ll probably find) were those minted between 1920 and 1967.  As mentioned previously, Canadian silver coins minted during this time were 80% silver, not 90% silver like US Junk Silver coins.  This difference in composition means that the simple calculation that $1.40 in face value equals one Troy ounce of silver one can make with US coins doesn’t apply here.  With Canadian coins you need $1.67 in face value to equal one troy ounce of silver.
Canadian Silver Coins
Further confusion is provided with the 1967 Canadian silver coins.  The silver composition of Canadian coins was changed in 1967 from 80% silver to 50% silver, with identical coins containing both amounts of silver minted during that time.  This means that the coins minted in 1967 were either 50% or 80% silver with no discernable means of telling the difference.  For the junk silver buyer this problem is easily solved by simply avoiding the coins minted in 1967 and 1968.  I mean, who wants to pay for an 80% silver coin and end up one that only contains 50% silver?

Interested in owning some Canadian silver coins?  Here’s a table containing information on the most common coins available and the ones of most interest to the junk silver coin buyer:

Description Year Face Value Composition
Canadian Silver Dime 1858 – 1919 $0.10 92.5% Silver 7.5% Copper
1920 – 1967 80% Silver 20% Copper
1967 – 1968 50% Silver 50% Copper
Canadian Silver
1870 – 1919 $0.25 92.5% Silver 7.5% Copper
1920 -1967 80% Silver 20% Copper
1967 – 1968 50% Silver 50% Copper
Canadian Half Dollar 1870 – 1919 $0.50 92.5% Silver 7.5% Copper
1920 – 1967 80% Silver 20% Copper
Canadian Five Cent
Piece (Rare)
1858 – 1919 $0.05 92.5% Silver 7.5% Copper
1920 – 1921 80% Silver 20% Copper

As with American silver coinage the high price of silver spelled doom for commodity money based on the metal.  After diluting the silver content of their coinage in 1967-1968 from 80% to 50%  silver was dropped completely in 1969 when Canadian coins started to be composed largely of nickel, thus ending the general circulation of silver coinage in Canada.

So there you have it, another source for quality silver coins you can add to your collection to protect your wealth by owning precious metals.

Want to own some Canadian silver coins? They are available below: