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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.