Rare Canadian Victorian Quarters

By: GenXinvestor

Welcome to my article on rare Canadian Victorian quarters.  Victorian coins have always fascinated me.  They were the first official Canadian coins.  Queen Victoria was one of the longest serving monarchs and she appeared on Canadian coins from 1858 until her death in 1901.  A combination of low mintages and low survival rate has meant that most Victorian silver coins are quite tough to find and are considerably more valuable than Edwardian coins (1902-1910).

Here is a list of the 8 most rare Canadian Victorian 25 cents.  These coins are the ones missing from most collections and, in my opinion, these are the ones that will likely continue to appreciate in value.

 

1. 1875H 25 cents

Rare Canadian Victorian Quarters: 1875H 25 cents

1875H 25 cents
Image courtesy of icollector.com

Mintage: 1,000,000
Composition: 0.925 silver, 0.075 copper
Weight: 5.81 grams

Coming in at number 1 on this list of rare Canadian Victorian quarters is the so-called “Queen of Canadian Quarters:” the 1875 H 25 cent coin.  There seems to be some confusion about the numbers minted.  On the one hand, Haxby and Wiley in their Coins of Canada guide state a combined mintage of 1874H/1875H of 2,600,000.  How many were 1875’s is anyone’s guess.  On the other hand, Charlton lists the mintage at 1,000,000.  When I see the mintage listed at 1 million coins, I’m puzzled as to why so few examples have survived.  While I have never seen an explanation about these discrepancies, I feel that there were probably far fewer than 1 million 1875H quarters minted, hence its scarcity.

2. 1889 25 cents

1889 25 cents Image courtesy of icollector.com

1889 25 cents
Image courtesy of icollector.com

Mintage: 66,340
Composition: 0.925 silver, 0.075 copper
Weight: 5.81

The 1889 quarter is not only another rare Canadian Victorian quarter.  It has the lowest mintage of any Victorian quarter.  Examples of this rare Canadian quarter beyond the lower end of the grading scales (ie. Good and Very Good) are  tough to find.

3.1880 Wide 0 25 cents

1880H Wide 0 25 cents Image courtesy of icollector.com

1880H Wide 0 25 cents
Image courtesy of icollector.com

Mintage: 400,000
Composition: 0.925 silver, 0.075 copper
Weight: 5.81

There were only 400,000 1880 25 cent coins minted of all types, with the vast majority of them being of the Narrow 0 variety.  The 1880H Wide 0 is the rarest of them and command a premium price for their scarcity.  These coins can be found at auctions in grades in Very Fine or lower.  They are seldom offered in grades above VF.

4. 1887 25 cents

1887 25 cents Image courtesy of icollector.com

1887 25 cents
Image courtesy of icollector.com

Mintage: 100,000
Composition: 0.925 silver, 0.075 copper
Weight: 5.81

I’ve always felt that the 1887 quarter was underrated.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen one at auction beyond a Very Fine grade and with a low mintage of only 100,000 this seems to be a no-brainer for anyone interested in collecting undervalued and under appreciated Victorian quarters.  I don’t see how prices for 1887 quarters are comparable to those of the 1886’s and well below those of the 1885 quarter (which has nearly double the mintage).  Like the 1889 quarter, 1887 quarters are usually found in very low grades of Good and Very Good.  If you can find one in VF or better I’d be buying it.

5. 1885 25 cents

1885 25 cents Image courtesy of icollector.com

1885 25 cents
Image courtesy of icollector.com

Mintage: 192,000
Composition: 0.925 silver, 0.075 copper
Weight: 5.81

1885 25 cent coins are also a tough key date to acquire.  They are frequently seen at auctions in grades of Very Fine or lower, but seldom seen above those grades.  The key thing with the 1885’s is that many of them were “weak strikes,” meaning that on the reverse side (the side with the date), the date appears faint.  So on the lower graded coins the date appears almost completely “rubbed” off.  If you can find one with a strong strike and a clear date, it is definitely a keeper.

6. 1893 25 cents

1893 25 cents Image courtesy of icollector.com

1893 25 cents
Image courtesy of icollector.com

Mintage: 100,000
Composition: 0.925 silver, 0.075 copper
Weight: 5.81

The 1893 25 cents is another Victorian key date coin.  What I’ve noticed about these coins is that many more mint-state examples have survived than some of the other dates with comparable low mintages.  The result is that 1893 quarters command less of a price premium than say some of the lower mintage 1880s 25 cent coins.  That said, it is still tough date to collect.

7. 1891 25 cents

1891 25 cents Image courtesy of icollector.com

1891 25 cents
Image courtesy of icollector.com

Mintage: 120,000
Composition: 0.925 silver, 0.075 copper
Weight: 5.81

The 1891 25 cent coin is a semi-key date.  As is the case with the 1893s, there are many examples of the 1891 25 cent coin that appear at auctions and finding them in mint state is not that difficult.  Because many more examples of these coins have survived than ones of comparable low mintage from the 1880s, they command less of a price premium.

8. 1886 25 cents

1886 25 cents Image courtesy of icollector.com

1886 25 cents
Image courtesy of icollector.com

Mintage: 540,000
Composition: 0.925 silver, 0.075 copper
Weight: 5.81

The final coin on this list of rare Canadian Victorian quarters is the 1886 25 cent coin.  What makes this date interesting is that there are 7 different varieties of the 1886 25 cent coins.  With a mintage of only 540,000 of all types, that could make some of the varieties extremely rare.  Surprisingly, given the comparable rarity with some of the other coins on this list, prices for 1886 25 cent coins are actually quite reasonable – which could suggest that they are undervalued.

For more information about Rare Canadian coins check out these titles from Amazon:

James A. Haxby’s A Guide Book of Canadian Coins

W. K. Cross A Charlton Standard Catalogue Canadian Coins 2016: Numismatic Issues

Thanks for reading this post on rare Canadian Victorian quarters.  If you’ve enjoyed this article, check out my other coin articles:

Rare Canadian Quarters

Top 10 Rare Canadian Coins

Top 10 Rare U S Coins

Modern Rare Canadian Coins

Top 10 Rare Canadian Nickels

Top 10 Rare Canadian Pennies

Investing in Rare Coins

The Thousand Dollar Bill

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