Top 10 Rare Canadian Pennies

Here is my post on the Top 10 Rare Canadian Pennies.  If you’re interested in collectible and rare pennies, then this is the post for you.

Pennies are among the oldest coins ever minted for Canada.  The large cent was minted from 1858 until 1920 when it was replaced by the small cent.  The small cent was minted from 1920 until the Harper government retired it and removed it from circulation in 2012.

In case any of you are wondering what to do with your unwanted pennies, the banks will still accept them.  Just make sure you don’t get rid of any of the rare pennies on this list!  Without further ado, my Top 10 Rare Canadian Pennies!

1.  1936 Dot Penny

1936 dot 1 cent

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

This penny is the undisputed “King” of Canadian Pennies!  The story of how the 1936 “dot” coins came into being involved King Edward VIII’s sudden abdication in late 1936 which saw George VI ascend to the throne.  That event caused a major problem for the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) because they didn’t have any dies with the new king’s effigy on them to strike the 1937 coinage.  Their solution was to produce a small number of 1936 coins with a tiny raised “dot” just below the date to denote that they were struck in 1937.

Only 3 denominations were ever struck with the “dot”: 25-cents, 10-cents and 1-cent pieces.  The 1936 “dot” 1-cent coin is the rarest of them all with only 3 mint state examples known to exist.  One example sold at a 2010 coin auction for over $400,000!

Early Elizabeth II Laureate Portrait Rarities

Three early Elizabeth II pennies that feature the Laureate Portrait are especially rare.  The first design was created in early 1953 and featured the portrait of the queen without a “fold” or “shoulder strap” on her gown.  This design was too high of relief and in late 1953, in an effort to create a truer representation of the portrait, a second design that had a lower relief and featured the “fold” or “shoulder strap” of the queen’s gown was created.  It can be very difficult to tell the two apart (especially on well circulated examples).

The easiest way to tell them apart is by looking at the letter “I” in the word “DEI” near the rim of the coin.  If the “I” is flared and points between 2 rim denticles then it is the “no shoulder fold” variety.  If the “I” appears to be straight and lines up with a rim denticle then it is the “shoulder fold” variety.

2.  TIE Between the 1955 “No Shoulder Fold” (NSF) and 1954 NSF 1-Cents

1955 NSF penny

Image courtesy of

1955 NSF 1-Cent

The 1955 NSF penny is one of the rarest Canadian pennies ever struck. By mistake, a small number of 1955 pennies were struck with the older design “no shoulder fold or strap” dies. These examples typically sell anywhere from several hundred to several thousands of dollars at auction.

1954 NSF 1-Cent

A small number of 1954 pennies were struck with the NSF obverse dies. They can be found in the proof-like sets and typically sell for a couple of thousand bucks at auction.

3.  1953 “Shoulder Fold” (SF) Penny

1953 shoulder fold

Image courtesy of

While most 1953 pennies were the NSF variety, by late 1953, the lower relief “shoulder fold” or “shoulder strap” variety had become the standard obverse design for the pennies of this series. A small number of the 1953 pennies were struck with newly upgraded dies and are tough to find.  They can sell anywhere from $25 to several hundreds of dollars at auction.

4.  TIE Between 2006 “Magnetic” 1-Cent and 2006 “P” no logo, non magnetic 1-Cent

2006 magnetic penny

Image courtesy of

The majority of the pennies on this list are quite old and pre-date 1955.  Just to show people that coins don’t necessarily have to be old to be rare, I’ve included two modern rarities: the 2006 no “P” no logo, magnetic (steel core) penny and the 2006 “P” no logo, non magnetic variety.  Both are tough finds with perhaps the latter being a bit more rare.

In 2006 the Royal Canadian Mint was experimenting with different designs and metals for the penny.  Six types of 2006 pennies were produced: 2006 non magnetic, 2006 magnetic; 2006 P non magnetic, 2006 P magnetic; 2006 logo non magnetic, and 2006 logo magnetic.  Some of the pennies are worth…well a penny!  Others are quite rare and can fetch several hundreds of dollars at auction.  The two to look out for are the 2006 no “P” and no logo, magnetic and the 2006 “P” no logo, non magnetic variety.  The trend prices for the former are a few hundred bucks, while the latter can fetch nearly $1,000!

Pennies from the early 1920s

A combination of low mintages and low survival rates make pennies from the early to mid 1920s some of the toughest coins to find and, therefore, not only are they highly collectible but they can be decent investments as well.  Pennies dating from the years 1922-1926 are key dates for this collection with 1921 and 1927 being semi-key dates.  These coins, especially in higher grades are highly prized by collectors.

5.  1923 1-Cent

The 1923 small cent is the rarest date among Canadian pennies.  The official mintage for this date is 1,019,022 and while a few more were struck than the lower mintage 1925, it appears as though far fewer survived.  Low grade examples can sell for around $30-$50, while high end mint-state examples can sell for between $3,000-$10,000 at auction.

6.  1925 1-Cent

The 1925 small cent has the lowest mintage of all Canadian pennies.  At just over one million strikes this is a rare penny indeed.  A low grade example can cost about $30, while high grade mint state examples can fetch anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 at auction.

7.  1922 1-Cent

The official mintage for the 1922 small cent is 1,243,635 and they are tough to find.  A low grade example can sell for about $20 with higher end mint-state coins selling for several thousand dollars at auction.

8.  1924 1-Cent

The official mintage of the 1924 small cent is 1,593,195.  While the mintage certainly exceeds that of the much rarer 1923s and 1925s, it is still a very low mintage and when one considers the price trends for this date, I feel that this could be an undervalued coin.  Low grade can sell for $10, while higher end coins can fetch several thousands of dollars at auction.

9. 1926 1-Cent

The official mintage of the 1926 small cent is 2,143,372.  Low grade examples can sell for a few bucks, while higher grade coins can sell for thousands of dollars at auction.

10. 1921 1-Cent

The official mintage for the 1921 small cent is 7,601,627 which makes it the least rare of all the denominations for the 1921 coinage.  It’s not uncommon to find low end examples of these coins selling in coin shops for a few bucks, while higher end mint-state examples can sell for thousands at auction.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, see my other articles on collecting and investing in rare coins:

Investing in Rare Coins

Top 10 Rare U.S. Coins

Top 10 Rare Canadian Coins

Top 10 Rare Canadian Nickels

Modern Rare Canadian Coins

Rare Victorian Quarters

The Thousand Dollar Bill

April 2016 Investment Income

Welcome to my April 2016 investment income report.  This report will help me track all of my investment income from the rental property, dividend stocks, index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

dividend income

Finally, after a year of slaving away we paid off the HELOC.  This was our biggest financial priority and I must say that it’s been a challenge to get it paid off.  Now that it’s paid off we’re in a much stronger financial position and I can use it to invest (should an opportunity arise) and write off the interest.

The second major financial goal for 2016 was to hit the $800k in net worth and I’m happy to say that we’ve reached that goal as well.  It’s hard to believe that back in January I thought this goal would be tough to reach given that the stock market was in the toilet and we still had a hefty $50k chunk to pay off of the HELOC.

Monthly Investing Activity

On the investing front, I continue to make extra cash purchases in my DRiP account to buy more Telus (T), TransCanada (TRP) and Bank of Montreal (BMO) shares.  I also continued with my longstanding plan to save and invest automatically by continuing to invest in low-cost index funds in our retirement accounts and by making automatic share purchases in my DRiP accounts.

The great thing about being a dividend investor is that all of my dividend income is automatically re-invested.  Every month this income buys more shares in my favourite companies that will, in turn, produce even more monthly income for me.  This is how compounding works and is why it’s such a powerful force…what Einstein called the “Eighth Wonder of the World”!

This month, our reinvested dividend income purchased over $1,100 in stocks and ETFs in our various investment accounts.  We received more shares in BNS, TD, BCE, KPT, CM, T, and some others.  Those additional shares will, in turn, give us approximately another $50 in annual dividend income.

In all probability, July’s dividend income will break through the $1,200 mark.  I didn’t do anything special to achieve that much dividend income.  I just keep on investing whatever money that I can and I keep reinvesting the quarterly dividend income.  It’s not rocket science, just the magic of compounding.

Dividend Raises

I had 1 company raise its dividend this month.  Procter & Gamble raised by 1%.  It ain’t much, hopefully management will deliver a larger raise next year!

Monthly Passive Dividend Income

April has been the best month so far with regard to dividend income.  We received $1,148.00 in passive dividend income!  This month’s dividend income has grown by nearly 14% from that of April of 2015 ($1,008.90).  Now a large part of that increase came from investing my own personal savings, while the remainder was due to the regular reinvestment of my dividend income and from companies raising their dividend payout.

So far this year, we have received $3,039.26 in passive dividend income.  Here is the breakdown of the numbers for April:

Dividend Stocks

Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) – $32.38

Telus (T) – $5.67

KP Tissue Inc. (KPT) – $96.84

RioCan REIT (REI) – $4.21

TransCanada Corporation (TRP) – $15.82

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) – $496.99

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM) – $26.20

Toronto Dominion Bank – $355.30

TransAlta (TA) – $0.75

ETFs and Mutual Funds

iShares S&P TSX Canadian Preferred Share Index ETF (CPD) – $52.60

iShares S&P TSX Capped REIT Index ETF (XRE) – $43.11

Vanguard Canadian Short-Term Corporate Bond Index ETF (VSC) -$10.22

Vanguard Canadian Short-Term Bond Index ETF (VSB) – $7.91

Total = $1,148.00

Rental Income

Both units are rented out and the property is cash flowing.  There was another small maintenance expense last month, but we still managed to make a profit of $558.71.  This is after all expenses.  This is the reason that I decided to invest in rental property in the first place.  I’ve been busy this month trying to find another one now that the HELOC is paid off.

Total Monthly Rental Income = $558.71

This brings the grand total for our April 2016 Investment income to $1,706.71!

I’ve raised our annual passive income goal from $10,000 to $12,000.  So far this year, we have received $4,919.85.  So we are already 41% of the way there.  I wasn’t sure exactly how much the rental property would add to the monthly investment cash flow, but it’s looking good so far.

Photo by sscreations/