2012 Canadian Farewell to the Penny 1 Cent Coins Released

by Darrin Lee Unser on October 5, 2012 · 12 comments

Losing a coin that has played an integral part in Canadian society since before its confederation is certainly an occasion that calls for a retrospective look at its history. The Royal Canadian Mint has done that, issuing several new commemoratives 2012 Farewell to the Penny 1 Cent Coins in honor of the soon to be absent strike.

2012 Canadian Farewell to the Penny 1 Cent Coins

2012 Canadian Farewell to the Penny 1 Cent Coins – Larger Coin Images Below

The new commemorative coins include a 1/25 ounce gold coin, a five ounce silver coin, a 1/2 ounce silver coin and a silver five-coin set. All of the new releases pay tribute to the one cent coin which is commonly called the penny.

It was announced earlier this year that production of the 1 cent coin would end. For several years, the cost of producing the lowest denomination coin has exceeded its face value. Its elimination is believed to eventually save over $11 million per year. Future cash transactions will be rounded to the nearest five cents.

All of this will end a century and a half of history for the coins. The first Canadian cent was produced in 1858 at the Royal Mint of England, several years before the confederation of Canada. It was not until 1908, however, until the first domestically produced one cent coin was struck by Lady Grey, wife of then-Governor General of Canada Earl Grey, at the Royal Mint’s Ottawa facility on January 2, 1908. This facility would eventually become the Royal Canadian Mint.

From that point on, several different pennies were produced at the facility, each time with an obverse design showing a portrait of the reigning monarch of Canada. The reverse has also changed throughout history with the longest running design first appearing in 1937. It depicts two maples leaves protruding from the same twig, and has appeared on the penny for seventy-five years with the exception of 1967.

Information on the new coins is offered below:

2012 Farewell to the Penny 1/25 oz Gold 1 Cent Coins

These 1/25 oz Gold 1 Cent Coins are produced from 99.99% pure gold with a total weight of 1.27 grams. This coin is faithful to the familiar one cent coin by depicting the well-known maple leaf design by G.E. Kruger-Gray on the reverse that was first used on the one cent coin in 1937.

2012 Canadian Farewell to the Penny 1/25 oz Gold 1 Cent Coin

2012 Canadian Farewell to the Penny 1/25 oz Gold 1 Cent Coin

Shown on the obverse is Susanna Blunt’s modern effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Mintage on the proof 1/25 oz coin is listed at 12,000 with pricing directly from the Royal Canadian Mint shown as CAD $129.95.

2012 Farewell to the Penny 5 oz Silver 1 Cent Coins

These massive 5 oz Silver 1 Cent Coins are struck from five ounces of 99.99% pure silver and features a diameter of 65 mm. The recognizable G.E. Kruger-Gray maple leaf design is shown on the reverse with Susanna Blunt’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.

2012 Canadian Farewell to the Penny 5 oz Silver 1 Cent Coin

2012 Canadian Farewell to the Penny 5 oz Silver 1 Cent Coin

This proof coin has a total weight of 157.6 grams and ships encapsulated in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell case lined with flock. Mintage of the strike is listed at 1,500 with pricing shown of CAD $495.95.

2012 Farewell to the Penny 1/2 oz Silver 1 Cent Coins

Also minted from 1/2 ounce of .9999 fine silver, these 1/2 oz Silver 1 Cent Coins continue the trend of honoring the familiar circulating cent coin with the usage of the same basic obverse and reverse designs. This includes the G.E. Kruger-Gray maple leaf image on the reverse seen on cent coins since 1937 (except 1967) and Susanna Blunt’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.

2012 Canadian Farewell to the Penny 1/2 oz Silver 1 Cent Coin

2012 Canadian Farewell to the Penny 1/2 oz Silver 1 Cent Coin

The proof quality coin further enhances the maple leaf image on the reverse with selective pink gold plating applied to the leaves. This strike has a mintage of 30,000 and is offered for CAD $54.95.

2012 Farewell to the Penny Five-Coin Silver Set

Domestically struck one cent coins are honored in the Five-Coin Silver Set. It contains commemorative examples of the five different 1 cent coins that have been issued in Canada since 1908.

In order of their initial appearance, this five-coin silver set includes:

  • the small leaves design created by George W. DeSaulles (1908-1910),
  • the small leaves design by W. H. J. Blakemore (1911-1920),
  • the two maple leaves design originally by Fred Lewis (1920-1936),
  • the centennial design by Alex Colville (1967) and
  • the maple twig design by G.E. Kruger-Gray (1937-1966, 1968-2012).

Coin images of each follow. These may be enlarged with a click.

2012 Canadian Small Leaves Design (1908-1910) 1 Cent Silver Coin

2012 Canadian Small Leaves Design (1908-1910) 1 Cent Silver Coin

2012 Canadian Small Leaves Design (1911-1920) 1 Cent Silver Coin

2012 Canadian Small Leaves Design (1911-1920) 1 Cent Silver Coin

2012 Two Maple Leaves Design (1920-1936) 1 Cent Silver Coin

2012 Two Maple Leaves Design (1920-1936) 1 Cent Silver Coin

2012 Centennial Design Design (1967) 1 Cent Silver Coin

2012 Centennial Design Design (1967) 1 Cent Silver Coin

2012 Maple Twig Design (1937-1966, 1968-2012) 1 Cent Silver Coin

2012 Maple Twig Design (1937-1966, 1968-2012) 1 Cent Silver Coin

Obverses of the coins contain portraits of the sitting monarch when the original coin was issued completed by Georges W. DeSaulles, Sir E.B. MacKennal, Sir E.B. MacKennal again, Arnold Machin and Susanna Blunt, respectively. All coins are embossed with the words "1 CENT" and the year "2012."

Coins of the five-coin silver set are produced to proof quality from 2.94 grams of 99.99% pure silver. Each is encapsulated and presented together in a custom wood case created specifically for the coins. Mintage of the set is listed at 5,000 with pricing of CAD $149.95.

Order Coins from Royal Canadian Mint

Orders for the commemorative coins may be placed via the Royal Canadian Mint’s website at www.mint.ca.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Ed October 5, 2012 at 2:43 pm

A special maple leaf set is also being offered.

jim October 5, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I got an uncirculated set and a proof set. They contain all the regular coins including the penny. I’ll get another pair next year when there’s no penny. That’s good enough for me to mark the end of the coin.

Now if the US Congress would only move into the 21st century and stop minting the Lincoln cent, even if the mint did just come up with a new reverse design.

A&L Futures October 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

As a Master’s Club member with the RCM I was surprised to learn that the highly anticipated 2012 Farewell to the Penny Five-Coin Silver Set SOLD OUT in the first few hours of its offering. The entire production run (5000 units) were gobbled up by Master’s Club members. The household ordering limit (3ea) did little to ensure equal distribution.

If/when our U.S. Mint chooses to offer a tribute set honoring our cent, I hope they take a lesson from their/our mistake(s). These Mints continue to underestimate the coin collecting community at-large.

For anyone wishing to purchase Canadian coins outside of the RCM can do so by visiting the Canada Post website (link below). From time to time they offer coins which have otherwise SOLD OUT at the RCM at prices typically within the same price range of their initial release. I continue to hope they’ll have a small allocation of these tribute cents. Good luck to all…


A&L Futures October 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm

BTW – the 5oz coin also SOLD OUT within the first week of release.

jim October 6, 2012 at 11:54 am

It’s not the only time Master’s Club members have bought out an issue before it was released to the public. That’s one of the privileges of being a MC member – advance notice and first dibs. Canada typically has small mintages for their specialty coins.They may have missed with the 5,000 limit this time but this is the exception, not the rule. Or, maybe a special bonus for MC members only, without being obvious about it. Personally, I think the RCM is much more sophisticated than the US Mint technologically, in packaging, and in marketing. I think they know their buying public pretty well, certainly better than the US Mint does.

As long as head-in-the-sand Dep Dir Peterson is in charge the US Mint will continue to ignore the coin collecting community.

BTW, you can also go to http://www.talismancoins.com located in the US. But, while showing the 5 coin set they also don’t have any.

CW October 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm

If ‘supporting the coin community’ is gouging the daylights out of them, this collector wants no part. And I certainly don’t want the US Mint to follow the RCM’s ‘lead’.

jim October 8, 2012 at 8:36 pm

I don’t think of a $10 surcharge for silver commemorative coins or of a $35 surcharge for gold commemorative coins as gouging but it sure comes close to the spirit of it. But that’s the law, blame Congress for that, not the USM.

I’m not saying the US Mint should follow the RCM “lead”, just that the US Mint remains in the 18th century technologically and will never be able to match the innovative design level that the RCM has. Also the USM designers seem to be woefully lacking in inspiration or ability to come up with truly beautiful coins within the technology constraints they’re given unlike their predecessors (Weinman and Saint-Gaudens) of 100 years ago.

mark October 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Really? Canada is not going to keep making the penny? Completely?
I don’t really have a comment on the concept of the “Farewell to the Penny ” commemoratives or the cost thereof, but eliminating their penny from all future proof and mint sets after 2012 (does the RCM make mint sets?) is a poorly thought out marketing strategy on their part. Imagine all those penny collecters out there forced to buy future Canadian mint & proof sets, just to keep their penny collections current – and they would too, if that was the only way to get Canadian pennies dated 2013 and later. I don’t think many would complain about the premium that they would have to pay either, because I suspect the value of those coins would probably escalate as time went by. Plus it would quiet much of the naysaying about eliminating the penny from common circulation, at least from the collectors end of it, because they could still get these coins in specially marketed sets. If the US ever decides to stop making the Lincoln Cent for general circulation, it too should think about continuing to provide these coins in mint and proof sets. I think it would be a win win win win money making idea for all, the US Treasury, the USM, collectors, and the general population at-large.

A&L Futures October 12, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Not sure if anyone out there is interested in knowing this, but the Canadian Post has 5oz’s (Farewell to the Penny) for sale at the original price of $495.00.


Current Ebay listings are in the $630-$670 range.

jim October 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Mark –
The RCM isn’t quitting making pennies so they can sell more 2013 and beyond collector sets. They realize the penny doesn’t serve much purpose in commerce anymore and decided to stop making it because they can do without it, something the US Congress is unable to comprehend.

What makes you think they will include a penny in future sets? They’re making such a big deal out of it’s end they are extremely unlikely to ever mint a penny again. Don’t forget, they don’t have Dep Dir Peterson pretending to run the show up there so there’s no reason for them to lie about what they’re doing or may do in the future with a penny. Trust the RCM – the penny is gone and if you didn’t get any of the farewell coins or sets then you’re out of luck.

RG April 8, 2013 at 11:53 am

RG being from the U.S.of A I can say your all right about the coins down here that is why I switched to buying Canadaian coins a couple of years ago because of the beauty of the coins and the packaging any just thought I would let you know how I feel about the US coins over yours keep up the great work .

Rick March 3, 2016 at 3:52 pm

I really love this silver penny set and it’s old school design. I wish I would of picked one up. Oh well, I guess I could always trade my Ik and Truman RP for a set. I’ll just keep looking.

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