The Canadian silver dollar comes in many varieties throughout its years of production by the Royal Canadian Mint. Many types of this dollar are not rare and make a good starting point for those who are new to collecting silver dollars. These coins were produced from 1935 to date and are popular with collectors of foreign coins.
Most Canadian silver dollars from 1935 to 1966 are trading just above silver's melt value, which makes it an easy coin for collectors to get for $20 to $25 (U.S). Because of melting trends, there are fewer brilliant uncirculated silver dollars available for collectors. The 2009 silver dollar issue is valued at about $50 U.S.
The Royal Canadian Mint produced most of its silver dollars from 1935 to 1966. These coins were some of the last 80% silver (or higher) coins made by the mint until 2009, when the mint produced a silver dollar to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first flight of the Silver Dart. This particular airplane marked the beginning of aviation in Canada with its first flight on February 23, 1909.
Previous designs feature King George V or Elizabeth II on the obverse side and two figured in a canoe on the reverse side. Other Canadian dollar coins have been minted between 1966 and 2009, but contained 0.3750 ounce of silver or less.
There are four types of Canadian one dollar coins minted to date, but only two of these types contain any significant amount of silver. The first type is the Voyageur coin. This design was minted from 1935 to date. Between 1935 and 1966, it contained .6000 ounce of silver. In 1967, the Royal Canadian Mint switched the composition of the coin to nickel. A small amount of silver returned to these coins in 1971. In 1987 the copper Loon was introduced to replace silver coins.
The Canadian silver dollar is identified by its design featuring George V or Elizabeth II on the obverse side. Many Canadian silver dollars have the Voyageur reverse design, but there are a few exceptions. In 1939 the Royal Canadian Mint produced a silver dollar reverse design to commemorate the royal visit. The reverse features a building instead of the Voyageurs. Different reverse designs can also be found depending on the areas where it was minted.
In 2009, all types of the Canadian silver dollar are a bargain for collectors of Canadian coins. Many collectors are buying up these coins, hoping for a jump in value within a few years. If the Canadian silver dollar does not become a rare coin, it will still retain a minimum melt value for lower grade coins and a higher value for uncirculated and proof coins.
Terri Deno is a freelance writer living near Indianapolis. She holds a B.A. in English from Ball State University. She has a passion for research; this passion is the driving force for writing about antiques, literature, genealogy, shopping and travel.