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Quiz about Canadian Circulation Coins  Part 1
Quiz about Canadian Circulation Coins  Part 1

Canadian Circulation Coins - Part 1 Quiz


General level Canadian Numismatics, covering up to 1949.

A multiple-choice quiz by gylbert. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
gylbert
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
311,165
Updated
Jul 23 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
458
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Question 1 of 10
1. Canada's first coins were issued by the Province of Canada government in what year? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Which denomination was not issued until after Confederation, in 1870? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. In 1871, which mint mark first appeared on Canadian coinage? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. On what date did the Royal Mint, Ottawa Branch (now the Royal Canadian Mint) strike its first coins? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. From 1912 to 1914, Canada also issued $5.00 and $10.00 gold coins for circulation. What was the reverse design of these coins? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Two of Canada's most valuable rarities, known as the "King" and "Prince" of Canadian coins, bear this date in common: Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Canada's first circulating silver dollar was also her first commemorative coin. What was the year, and the event being celebrated? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. World War Two caused two major composition changes to the nickel, as that metal was vital to the production of munitions. Which of the following metals was NOT employed in the manufacture of Canadian 5 cent coins at some time during the war? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Some 1947 dated coins bear a tiny maple leaf after the date. What major event spurred such a minor addition? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. The 1949 silver dollar marks Newfoundland's entry into Canada as the tenth province. What ship is shown on the coin? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Canada's first coins were issued by the Province of Canada government in what year?

Answer: 1858

Political wrangling throughout the 1850's delayed the introduction of government currency by several years. A key issue was whether to follow the British pounds, shillings and pence system, or to conform with the United States and issue decimal dollars and cents.

The latter system was chosen based on ease of calculation, and that the U.S. was considered more likely to be the future country's primary trading partner. Good call!
2. Which denomination was not issued until after Confederation, in 1870?

Answer: 25 cents

The Provincial government opted for the 20 cent denomination in its 1858 issue. One of the reasons why this was done was because of the Halifax rating (established in the mid-18th century), which pegged the Spanish Dollar (8 reales) at an artificially high 5 shillings in order to dissuade melting of silver coins, which had often been scarce in Atlantic Canada and New France. Since 5 shillings was a dollar, one shilling equaled 20 cents.

The idea proved unfounded for at least three reasons. There was no such coin as a "Halifax shilling," British shillings were worth 25 cents (give or take), and the U.S. quarter dollar already circulated to a fair extent within Canada. The similarity of the 20 cent coin to the "quarters" already circulating doomed it to failure, and it was withdrawn.

One more thing: the 50 cent coin was also introduced in 1870.
3. In 1871, which mint mark first appeared on Canadian coinage?

Answer: H

The "H" stands for Ralph Heaton & Sons. Originally a private company, and later The Mint, Birmingham, Heaton's was often contracted by the Royal Mint to strike coins throughout the British Empire when the workload outstripped the Royal Mint's capacity, including some issues for the colony of Newfoundland and one (the 1871 cent) for P.E.I.
4. On what date did the Royal Mint, Ottawa Branch (now the Royal Canadian Mint) strike its first coins?

Answer: January 2, 1908

The original mint building has stood for over a century at 320 Sussex Drive in Ottawa. The presses were officially switched on by the Governor-General and his wife, Earl and Lady Grey. At the time the Mint was built, its annual production capacity was expected to be 20 million pieces. Within a decade, the facility was operating above this level, peaking at over 42 million coins during 1920.
5. From 1912 to 1914, Canada also issued $5.00 and $10.00 gold coins for circulation. What was the reverse design of these coins?

Answer: Canada's Coat of Arms

The original proposal (like much else in Canadian monetary history) was to copy what the Americans had been doing for decades, and issue denominations of $2.50, $5.00, $10.00 and $20.00, right from the opening of the Ottawa mint in 1908. However, only the $5 and $10 were ever coined, and only for those three years before being interrupted by World War One.

Pattern pieces exist dated 1928, which show there was the intention to resume issuing gold coins at some point. The circumstances were never again suitable, though, and when the U.S. abandoned the Gold Standard in 1933, it spelled the official end to Canadian gold in circulation.
6. Two of Canada's most valuable rarities, known as the "King" and "Prince" of Canadian coins, bear this date in common:

Answer: 1921

The "Prince" is the 5 Cent, and the "King" is the Half Dollar.
(1, 10 and 25 cent coins from 1921 are all plentiful.)

Between 1916 and 1920, a surge in demand caused the Mint to produce a large stockpile of all denominations. This demand dropped sharply going into 1921, leaving the Mint with a warehouse full of silver and presses gathering dust for much of the 20's. Furthermore, an Act of Parliament passed during 1921 authorized the replacement of the existing "half-dime" 5 cent coin with one of pure nickel, closely conforming to the U.S. version.

In 1922, once the now-familiar nickels were circulating, the Mint proceeded to melt the obsolete silver coins, which included about 10% of the 1920 mintage, and virtually all of 1921. Over the next few years, the stocks of 10 and 25 cent coins would be exhausted, and production for those was resumed by 1928.

Demand for half dollars, however, remained low into 1929, when it was decided to melt and re-strike the coins, rather than issue such old dates. Once again, almost every 1921-dated coin was destroyed, along with 40-45% of the 1920 mintage.

Charlton (2009 ed.) estimates the surviving population of the 1921 5 and 50 cent coins to be "about 400" and "75 or so," respectively. Some of these coins were included in specimen sets, and most are postulated to have been sold to Mint visitors.
7. Canada's first circulating silver dollar was also her first commemorative coin. What was the year, and the event being celebrated?

Answer: 1935, Silver Jubilee of George V

These coins bear a different portrait of George V than any other Canadian issues produced during his reign (1911-1936), along with the legend "Georgivs V Rex Imperator Anno Regni XXV" (George V, King, Emperor, 25th year of reign).

The reverse introduces Emmanuel Hahn's iconic design, a voyageur and a native paddling a canoe past a small island with Jack pines, while the Northern Lights shimmer in the background. This design graced the dollar until the loonie was introduced in ... well, that's reserved for a later Part.
8. World War Two caused two major composition changes to the nickel, as that metal was vital to the production of munitions. Which of the following metals was NOT employed in the manufacture of Canadian 5 cent coins at some time during the war?

Answer: Aluminum

Those metals in full:
Until mid-1942, pure nickel
Mid-1942 and 1943, "tombac" brass (88% copper, 12% zinc)
1944 and 1945, steel core (predominantly iron) plated with nickel, then chromium
1946, return to pure nickel.

When the composition was changed in 1942, it was recognized that the coins would soon tarnish and look like the cents, so they were struck with 12 sides. This change proved so popular, it was retained through 1962.

The chrome-plated steel coins possess a distinct blue tint, but the layer is so thin, patches of grey nickel or even rust will show on worn coins. This composition would return from mid-1951 through 1954, during the Korean War.
9. Some 1947 dated coins bear a tiny maple leaf after the date. What major event spurred such a minor addition?

Answer: Independence of India

The King's titles on Canadian coins had always included "Et Ind: Imp:" (Et Indiae Imperator), or simply "Imperator," identifying His Majesty as the Emperor of India. When that country became independent on August 15, 1947, that portion of the title was no longer valid.

By tradition, use of the likeness of a former monarch or outmoded titles may continue on coinage only until the end of that year. New master tools would not arrive until a few months into 1948, but the Ottawa Mint had to continue producing coins for the country. Rather than break this tradition, the Mint continued to use 1947 dies modified with the Maple Leaf. Britain herself, meanwhile, did not introduce the correct titles until 1949.
10. The 1949 silver dollar marks Newfoundland's entry into Canada as the tenth province. What ship is shown on the coin?

Answer: The "Matthew"

The "Matthew" was the ship of Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), who in 1497 "discovered" the island of Newfoundland. He was rewarded by Henry VII of England with a pension of 20 pounds per year, but he didn't get much chance to spend it. He departed on another voyage the following year, and all five of his ships were lost at sea.

The coin design also includes the province's motto, Floreat Terra Nova (May the New Found Land flourish).
Source: Author gylbert

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor ozzz2002 before going online.
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