50 cent piece (Canadian coin)


50 cent piece (Canadian coin)

Infobox Coin
Country = Canada
Denomination = 50 Cent Piece
Value = 0.50
Unit = CAD
Mass = 6.9
Diameter = 27.13
Thickness = 1.95
Edge = milled
Composition = 93.15% steel,
4.75% Cu,
2.1% Ni plating
Years of Minting = 1870–present
Catalog Number = -
Obverse =
Obverse Design = Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada
Obverse Designer = Susanna Blunt
Obverse Design Date = 2003
Reverse = Cdn 50 Cent Piece.jpg
Reverse Design = Canadian Coat of Arms
Reverse Designer = Thomas Shingles
Reverse Design Date = 1959, updated 1997
The fifty-cent piece is the common name of the Canadian coin worth 50 cents. It is sometimes referred to as a "half dollar." The coin's reverse depicts the Coat of Arms of Canada. At the opening ceremonies for the Ottawa branch of the Royal Mint, held on January 2, 1908, Governor General Earl Gray struck the Dominion of Canada’s first domestically produced coin. It was a silver fifty-cent piece bearing the effigy of His Majesty King Edward VII.

Though it is regularly minted, it is not made in large quantities (approximate annual average production of 450,000). It is very rare to encounter this denomination in everyday transactions, since there seems to be the mistaken belief among many Canadians that the coin itself is rare and thus of value in excess of fifty cents. Most times, when a fifty-cent piece is presented in a transaction, it winds up being hoarded by the person receiving it. Quite commonly, even bank tellers, upon being presented with fifty-cent pieces, question the legality of the coin, because of the non-circulating status of the denomination. The coin occupies a similar status to that of the two dollar bill in the U.S. Newer vending machines do not generally accept it, even when they accept coins of both higher and lower value, but many older machines that were retooled to accept loonies will misidentify a fifty-cent piece as a loonie, thus allowing the value of the coin to be doubled. A largely unsuccessful attempt was made by the Royal Canadian Mint to promote the use of the coin when a special edition was released in 2002 marking the 50th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II ascending the throne.

The Mint's website lists the [http://www.mint.ca/royalcanadianmintpublic/repository/htmlproduct.aspx?sku=9943047&language=en-CA|2007 Coat Of Arms 50 Cent Piece] as "rarely seen yet replete with tradition," [Royal Canadian Mint http://www.mint.ca/royalcanadianmintpublic/repository/HTMLCategory.aspx?cat=Products_CirculationCurrency&Language=en-CA] possibly an acknowledgment that the coin is minted primarily for collectors rather than circulation.

History of Composition [http://www.mint.ca]

[ Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, 60th Anniversary Edition, W.K. Cross, Editor, pp. 139-153, ISBN 0-88968-297-6, The Charlton Press, Toronto ]

1921 Fifty Cents

During the early to mid-1920s, demand for fifty-cent pieces was very light. Only 28,000 pieces were issued between 1921 and 1929. When greater demand for the denomination arose in 1929, the Master of the Ottawa Mint decided to melt the stock of 1920 and 1921 coins. It amounted to a total of 480,392 coins. The decision was due to the belief that the public would suspect counterfeits if a large number of coins dated 1920 and 1921 were placed into circulation. It is believed that 75 or so of the 1921 coins have survived, mainly from sets that were sold at the time. [ Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, 60th Anniversary Edition, W.K. Cross, Editor, p. 143, ISBN 0-88968-297-6, The Charlton Press, Toronto ] This coin is valued at over $125,000 in pristine condition. [ Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, 60th Anniversary Edition, W.K. Cross, Editor, p. 144, ISBN 0-88968-297-6, The Charlton Press, Toronto ]

Special edition

* 1967: Canadian centennial, all coins had unique reverses, the 50 cent coin had a wolf.
* 2002: 50th Anniversary, Queen Elizabeth II ascension to the throne

First Strikes

References


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