Here are some of Canada’s most valuable coins and what makes them so expensive

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Coins may have gone a bit out of fashion with the rise of cashless transactions, but there are still significant markets for historic and rare Canadian coins.

In fact, the most expensive Canadian coins ever sold on the Heritage Auctions auction site fetched big bucks!

From coins that never entered circulation to those from the 19th century, these are coins that can actually cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So let this remind you to dig into your piggy bank to see if you have anything like the coins on this list, because you could be sitting on half a million dollars.

King George V 1911 Specimen Silver Dollar

The 1911 King George V dollar.

Heritage auctions

Price: $552,000

Why it’s so expensive: Called the “Emperor of Canadian Numismatics” (numismatics is the study of coins), this coin was created to show a potential design for Canadian silver dollars.

However, Canada chose not to put these coins into circulation, making them one of the rarest and most valuable Canadian coins in existence.

There are no other known copies of it in private hands, making it so expensive that it once held the Guinness World Record for the most valuable coin in the world.

So if you ever spot one around you, get to the nearest auction house as soon as possible.

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King George V 1936 One Cent

King George V 1936 One cent.

King George V 1936 One Cent

Heritage Auction

Price: $402,500

Why it’s so expensive: This coin has a particularly interesting history that involves the royal family!

When King George V died in January 1936, the Canadian Mint began work on a coin that would reflect the new monarch, King Edward VIII.

However, things got complicated when Edward abdicated the throne soon after and made way for his brother King George VI.

This piece was made amidst all this chaos but was never released, making it a rare item to win.

These coins are so coveted that they have already sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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King George V Specimen “Dot” 1936 One Cent

Specimen of King George V

King George V Specimen “Dot” 1936 One Cent.

Universe of collectors | Heritage auctions

Price: $312,000

Why it’s so expensive: This is similar to the previous coin, but has the added distinction of being a specimen coin.

This would have been made during this chaotic time in the British palace as a proof of concept for the Royal Canadian Mint, and has a very similar value to other coins – made more valuable due to its high quality.

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King George V 1921 50 Cent

King George V 1921 50 Cent.

King George V 1921 50 Cent

Heritage auctions

Price: $240,000

Why it’s so expensive: We had the emperor of Canadian coins, now here is the king.

This 1921 50 cent coin is so valuable because of its rarity.

In the early 1920s, the desire for 50-cent coins was quite low, and few of them were in circulation.

However, in 1929, 50-cent coins began to become more popular, causing the Canadian Mint to melt down its existing batch of 1920-21 50-cent coins to make new ones.

It is one of an estimated 75 coins that were not thrown into the foundry, a lucky coin for sure.

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Golden Sovereign of King George V 1916

Golden Sovereign of King George V.

Golden Sovereign of King George V.

Universe of collectors | Heritage auctions

Price: $156,000

Why it’s so expensive: This coin is a sovereign, meaning a coin intended for trading in gold.

This is valuable because it is from the rarest year that these coins were made, with a theory that most coins made in 1916 were melted down.

It is believed that there are less than 50, so if you have one, you are one of the lucky few.

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Queen Victoria 1890 50 Cent

Queen Victoria 1890 50 Cent.

Queen Victoria 1890 50 Cent.

Heritage auctions

Price: $149,500

Why it’s so expensive: It’s one of the most valuable pieces depicting Queen Victoria. Although not as rare as some of the others on this list, it comes from a print run of just 20,000.

Which, in terms of parts, isn’t a lot.

And because it’s such an old piece, it’s also hard to find one of such good quality, according to the auction site.

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Queen Victoria 1871 50 Cents

Queen Victoria 1871 50 cents.

Queen Victoria 1871 50 cents.

Heritage auctions

Price: $120,750

Why it’s so expensive: From a mintage of just 45,000, this is another super valuable Queen Victoria coin.

Another factor that goes into its value is the quality of this piece. According to the auction site, it is the highest rated of its kind by three rating points. Which, if you know a little about coins, is a lot.

That means if you can find one at the bottom of your coin collection, you’re in for a big payday.

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And with that, we hope you have a good coin hunt.

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