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Canadian Dollar Coins including Silver Dollars

Updated on April 8, 2015
Maple Leaf
Maple Leaf | Source

Canadian Silver Dollar Coins

The first Canadian Silver Dollar was released in 1935, and featured a canoe being paddled by two people. It was titled Voyager. Since then, the Royal Canadian Mint has released a multitude of dollar coins, most with a silver content. These coins give great insight into the geography and history of Canada.

Information in this lens is public knowledge, Sources used include 2011 North American Coins & Prices, and the Royal Canadian Mint website.

Photo Credit: Modified image from one found in public domain on WP Clipart. Link provided below.

Loon (Loonie)

First issued in 1987, an eleven-sided in aureate-bronze plated nickel coin featuring the loon was minted. In these coins the loon is swimming.

In 1997, the tenth anniversary loon was minted in 0.9250 Sterling silver, and each contained 0.7487 ounce of silver. The eleven-sided coin design was used for these special coins. The loon is flying on the reverse of the silver coins. An aureate version of the 1997 loon dollar also exists.

In 2004 the Olympic Flame and Rings and a Maple Leaf were added above the loon. This coin exists in two versions, the plated nickel and the Sterling Silver, versions with 0.2769 ounce of silver. Several other loon dollars were issued with various added images. In 2006, a Sterling Silver loon was issued with the loon in flight, and colored Olympic Rings above it. In 2010 both a nickel and a Sterling Silver loon were issued with the Canadian team logo. The logo is colorized on the Sterling Silver coin.

2012 is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the popular loonie. Three different images are being used for these coins, a special image of a flock on loonies on the bronze plated specimen coin, and the usual image on the silver plated and gold plated coins.

The Sterling Silver loons have a silver content of 0.7487 ounce to as little as 0.2082 ounce.


The swimming loon is a beautiful coin.

Voyager Silver Dollar, Canadian

The Voyager Silver Dollar

The 1935 and 1936 Voyager silver dollars have the crowned head of King George V on the obverse. In 1937, the bear head of King George VI was first used. This remained the design on the obverse until it was replaces by the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

The composition of the Canadian Silver Dollar was 0.6000 Troy ounce of silver with a purity of 0.8000 silver. The last silver Voyager Silver Dollars were dated 1966, and when the design was resumed in 1968 the dollars were made of nickel. After 1987 the design was no longer used.

In 1972 and in 1985, a second version of the Voyager Silver Dollar was made with 0.3750 ounce silver, and a purity of 0.5000.

Centennials of Provinces and More

The Canadian Silver Dollar has been used to honor places, from the country as a whole to Provinces and even localities such as cities. As the provinces had centennials, the Royal Canadian Mint produced a dollar coin, often with a silver content.

Newfoundland was issued in 1949.

In 1958, British Columbia was the focus.

In 1964 the centennial of Charlottetown, Quebec was issued.

In 1967 a flying goose was used on the Canadian Silver Dollar that is titled Confederation Centennial.

All dollars above were struck with a composition of 0.6000 ounce silver with a purity of 0.8000 silver.

In 1970 the centennial of Manatoba was honored.

In 1971 the centennial of British Columbia was honored on a nickel dollar. In addition, a different design was used for this event using 0.3750 ounce of silver with a purity 0f 0.5000.

In 1973 the centennial of Prince Edward Island was honored in nickel.

In 1974 a nickel dollar honored the Winnipeg centennial. A second version using 0.3750 ounce of silver with a purity of 0.5000 was also issued.

In 1975 the centennial of Calgary was honored on a 0.3750 ounce silver dollar that had a purity of 0.5000.

In 1980 the Arctic Territories were honored on a Canadian Silver Dollar containing 0.3750 ounce of silver with a purity of 0.5000.

In 1984 the Toronto Sesquicentennial was honored on a 0.3750 ounce silver dollar with a purity of 0.5000.

In 1986 the centennial of Vancouver was celebrated with a train on the reverse of a 0.3750 silver dollar with a purity of 0.5000.


Several significant events, especially events with a Royal Family connection, have become the subject of Canadian Silver Dollars. Also, sporting events are often commemorated in coinage.

Sporting events are often marked with special coins.


Many other commemorative dollars have been issued.

Proof and Specimen Sets

Dollar coins appear in proof and specimen sets of the Royal Canadian Mint. The 2012 proof set contains two dollar coins, and the 2012 Specimen Set contains a dollar coin.

Canadian Gold Dollar Coins (Louis)

The Louis Dollar is a small gold coin. It contains 1.5000 g of gold, which is 0.0482 ounce. The purity is 0.9990. The Louis Dollar was struck in 2006, 2007, and 2008. All Louis Dollars from those years are proof coins.

These coins are all very rare, due to incredibly low mintages. They are not often available. The good thing is not everyone knows what these coins are, so it is quite possible to get a real bargain when one does appear for auction.


Older coins were usually minted in 0.8000 silver, and contained 0.6000 ounce of silver. Newer coins were usually produced with 0.5000 silver, and contained 0.3750 ounce of silver. A few much later coins are in Sterling silver, which has a silver percentage of 0.9250. The amount of silver in each coin depends on which coin is being considered.

Coins with no silver were also minted. Many dollar coins are nickel coins, and some have been plated.

Are These Collectible?

Yes, and their relatively low price compared to United States issues, along with their relative newness, with some pieces being very recent, make these well worth collecting. Obtaining international coins is no longer a problem with sites like eBay, and their beauty and affordability make them rather significant.

As with other coins, it is highly recommended that pieces be uncirculated, or even proof. Notice the value you get with this upgrade.

Small & Large Bead Variety 1965 & 1966 Canadian Silver Dollars

How Do Canadian Silver Dollars Compare to U. S. Coins?

The silver content of even the issue with the highest silver content falls short of the United States Morgans and Peace pieces. And the purity also falls short. People who buy coins for the metal content want as much precious metal as possible, and at as high of a purity as possible. If a piece that is eighty percent silver is melted, a much more involved refining process is needed than a ninety percent piece. Lower percentage pieces just do not appeal to bullion collectors that same as higher percentage pieces do.

That having been said, it can be argued that the royal canadian Mint has some great pieces, spending time and effort on the artistic designs used.

Amazing Canada Silver Dollar Pick Ups - Hidden Investment Bullion

An Unbelievable Deal

The royal Canadian Mint offers several coins, dollar coins among them, to collectors at face value. Sealed in groups by the mint, what easier way to start a collection can you imaging? While this seems too good to be true, it is a real way of starting a collection.

So what is the catch? The twenty dollar coins are available to U. S. and Canadian residents in a strict limit. Unfortunately, other issues, including dollar coins, are available only to Canadian residents. And they have strict limits. But, if you live in canada, take advantage of the offers.

Please leave your comments on these wonderful coins here.

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    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 

      5 years ago

      I like Canadian coins

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I think the Silver Maple Leaf is one of the most beautiful coins in the world. Been collecting them here in the US along with our Silver Eagles.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      I loved the old silver dollars but the Loonie fits in pretty good with our Canadian coins too.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      These are beautiful coins. I've never seen any of them. I did find a Canadian dime last year! ;o)

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      6 years ago

      I lived in Canada in the 90's. I would have held onto my Loonies, rather than using them in soda machines if I had known they could possibly be worth something.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens! Well done

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Another excellent presentation by you, I had no idea that there were so many Canadian Dollar coins.

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      6 years ago

      I recently started collecting silver coins and this was some great info

    • Camden1 profile image


      6 years ago

      I love that it's called the "loonie"! Thanks for sharing this great write-up!

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice tribute to the loonie! I don't know if you remember the "lucky loonie" of the 2002 winter Olympics in Salt Lake City? One of the ice-makers planted a loonie at centre ice, because the big logo was making it hard for the ref to see where to drop the puck. When both the Canadian men's and women's hockey teams won gold, a superstition was born. :) One of my favourite sports legends.


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