Canada had a bitter wrangle with the British government in order to be allowed to pass their own currency act and be allowed their own coin. 8 years of negotiation and arguments culminated in the production of the first Canadian coin in July of 1887. These coins were created in the Royal Mint in England and then shipped out to Canada in August of the same year after two of each coin was formally presented to Queen Victoria. The Canadian coins that were produced were the 1c, 5c, 10c and 20c coins and in the same year the amount of money that was agreed would be created for the Canadians was increased by 40%. In 1860 the 20c coin was replaced with a 25 cent coin and in 1867 the government of Canada was awarded the right to govern it's own acts of coinage and subsequently one year later it became illegal for the private importing of foreign coins unless agreed to by the Canadian government. The tone was truly set now for Canadian coins to begin their own history.
The first Canadian coins
In 1870 the first true Canadian coins were produced with designs very similar to the previous coins, the only difference being that the Queen was now wearing a crown instead of a laurel wreath. In 1871 the first silver coin was minted in Canada; the Ralph Heaton and Sons mint creating 50 cent pieces to be distributed to the Canadian people. However, it wasn't until the 2nd of January 1908 that the first coin was actually minted on Canadian soil when the Governor General Earl Grey minted the first home made Canadian coin, a gold sovereign.
The Maple Leaf
Many of the more recent Canadian coins have the national emblem of the Maple Leaf printed on them and there are some collectible coins that are seriously considered as being an asset to many collections, however, because the production of Canadian coins is a fairly recent phenomenon there aren't that many to collect and those that are available don't sell for large amounts of money. Obviously this is good news for the collector but is unlikely to stir any emotion in the coin investors.
Collectible Canadian Coins
As with all collectible coins the value of Canadian coins is determined by its rarity and by its condition. A coin in mint condition is one that has absolutely no signs of general wear and tear or everyday use and is as shiny as the day it was pressed. Keeping a coin in this condition is very difficult especially if it is one that was circulated to the general public. However, the first coin club in Canada was set up before Canadian coins were actually minted in Canada, so there are some very fine examples of Canadian coins to be seen in displays across the country and collections around the world.
The most desirable Canadian coins
Gold and silver coins are the most desirable of Canadian coins and the older and better condition the better. Collectible coins have been produced that never made it to circulation but as with coins of this sort from any country in the world they were regularly produced in there thousands and often more so they aren't as collectible as the name would suggest. They have, however, been in their packaging since day 1 so are in exceptional condition and would make a superb start to anyone's collection of Canadian coins. Another good place to start would be the 20 cent pieces that were taken out of production because a majority of these were returned to England to be melted and turned into 25 cent pieces. For this reason they are rarer than a lot of their counterparts.