Quarter (Canadian coin)

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Value0.25 Canadian dollar
Mass4.4 g
Diameter23.88 mm
Thickness1.58 mm
CompositionNickel-plated steel
94% steel,
3.8% Cu,
2.2% Ni plating
Years of minting1870–present
Catalog number
DesignElizabeth II, Queen of Canada
DesignerSusanna Blunt
Design date2003
DesignerEmmanuel Hahn
Design date1937

The quarter, short for quarter dollar, is a Canadian coin worth 25 cents or one-fourth of a Canadian dollar. It is a small, circular coin of silver colour. According to the Royal Canadian Mint, the official name for the coin is the 25-cent piece, but in practice it is usually called a "quarter", much like its American counterpart. In Canadian French, it is called a caribou or trente sous ("thirty sous", based on the old exchange rate).[1][2] The coin is produced at the Royal Canadian Mint's facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

History of composition[edit]

Years Mass Diameter/shape Composition[3]
1870–1919 5.83 g 23.62 mm 92.5% silver, 7.5% copper
1920–1967 5.83 g 23.62 mm 80% silver, 20% copper
1967–1968 5.83 g 23.88 mm 50% silver, 50% copper
1968–1999 5.05 g 23.88 mm 99.9% nickel
2000–present 4.40 g 23.88 mm 94.0% steel (AISI 1006 alloy[4]), 3.8% copper, 2.2% nickel plating

From 1920 until 1967 the quarter contained 0.15 troy ounces of silver—one quarter as much as the silver dollar (0.60 ozt), one half as much as the 50-cent piece, and 2+12 times more than the dime.

Commemorative reverses[edit]

Ordinarily featuring a caribou,[3] the quarter has the most commonly altered reverse in Canada and is the usual venue for commemorative issues.

In 2004, a quarter was issued in honour of Remembrance Day, featuring a corn poppy on the reverse, a traditional symbol in Canada of that day. This resulted in a bizarre international incident, in which American military contractors unfamiliar with the coin's design believed these coins were outfitted with nanotechnology designed for espionage.[5]

Single commemorative designs[edit]

Image Year Theme Artist Mintage Notes
1967 Canada's Centennial Alex Colville 48,855,500[6] The reverse features a Canada lynx.
1973 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Paul Cederberg 134,958,587[6] The reverse depicts a mounted RCMP officer. Obverse features Queen Elizabeth II.
2002 Canadian Maple Leaf Judith Chartier 30,627,000[7] The reverse depicts small human figures supporting a large maple leaf.
2004 Acadia (Île Ste. Croix) R.R. Carmichael, Stan Witten 15,400,000[7] The reverse depicts a 17th-century sailing ship, "La Bonne-Renommée"[8] and the dates 1604–2004.
2004 Remembrance Day Cosme Saffioti, Stan Witten 28,500,000[7] The reverse features a corn poppy coloured red, the first coloured general circulation coin in the world.[9]
2005 Year of the Veteran Elaine Gobel 29,390,000[7] The reverse features the conjoined busts of young and old veteran, facing left.
2006 Pink Ribbon Cosme Saffioti 29,798,000[7][10] The second colourized coin in general issue. The colouration is more scratch-resistant.
2006 Medal of Bravery RCM Engravers 20,040,000[10] The reverse features the design of a Medal of Bravery: a maple leaf within a wreath
2008 Remembrance Day 90th anniversary Cosme Saffioti, Stan Witten 11,300,000[11] Re-issue of 2004 design (but with a superior red poppy process & appearance), with "1918 Armistice" added to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I.
2010 65th anniversary of World War II[12] Cosme Saffioti 10,978,000[11] Features a soldier with a bowed head and hands on a rifle in front of a maple leaf. Two coloured poppies are on each side of the soldier.
2013 100th anniversary of the Canadian Arctic Expedition Bonnie Ross 12,500,000[13] Features two varieties of frosted accents.
2013 Life in the North Tim Pitsiulak 12,500,000[13] Features two varieties of frosted accents. One with frosted Bowhead whale and the other with frosted Belugas.
2015 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag Bonnie Ross 12,500,000[14] Features fifty children holding the flag of Canada. Half were issued colourized.
2015 100th anniversary of the writing of In Flanders Field Laurie McGaw 12,500,000[14] Features a poppy. Half were issued colourized.
2017 Canada 150 Joelle Wong 20,000,000[14] Features a turtle, bird and beaver, all decorated with aboriginal patterns, reaching toward a plant growing out from a pair of hands to symbolize how all Canadians are connected in protecting Canada's future. The theme of the coin is "Canada's Future".
2017 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup Steve Hepburn 12,500,000[14] Features the Stanley Cup, flanked by two hockey players; on the left is a player who would have vied for the trophy in its early days, and on the right is a hockey player from today's era.

1992: 125th anniversary of Confederation[edit]

In 1992, to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Confederation, the Mint released twelve commemorative coins, one for each Canadian province and territory at the time. These were the inspiration[15] for the US 50 State Quarters program of 1999–2008. Nunavut, which separated from the Northwest Territories seven years later in 1999, was honoured with a special $2 coin.

Image Date of Issue Province/territory Artist Mintage[6] Notes
1992-06-04 June 4, 1992 Alberta Mel Heath 12,133,000 The Alberta badlands
1992-11-09 December 9, 1992 British Columbia Carla Egan 14,001,000 An orca surfacing with the Coast Mountains in the distance
1992-04-07 April 7, 1992 Manitoba Muriel Hope 11,349,000 A Hudson's Bay Company fort
1992-01-09 January 9, 1992 New Brunswick Ronald Lambert 12,174,000 The Oldfields Covered Bridge
1992-03-05 March 5, 1992 Newfoundland and Labrador Christoper Newhook 11,405,000 A fisherman in a dory
1992-02-06 February 6, 1992 Northwest Territories Beth McEachen 12,582,000 An inuksuk
1992-09-09 September 9, 1992 Nova Scotia Bruce Wood 13,600,000 The Peggys Point Lighthouse at Peggy's Cove
1992-08-06 August 6, 1992 Ontario Greg Salmela 14,263,000 A windswept tree on the Canadian Shield
1992-07-07 July 7, 1992 Prince Edward Island Nigel Roe 13,001,000 The province's distinctive coastline
1992-10-01 October 1, 1992 Quebec Romualdas Bukauskas 13,607,000 Sailboats at Percé Rock
1992-11-05 November 5, 1992 Saskatchewan Brian Cobb 14,165,000 Ears of wheat, grain elevators, and a train of Canadian Wheat Board hopper cars
1992-05-07 May 7, 1992 Yukon Libby Dulac 10,388,000 The Kaskawulsh Glacier

1999–2000: millennium quarters[edit]

In April 1998, the Mint announced the "Millennium Coin Design Contest", a contest open to all Canadians to submit designs for twenty-four millennium quarters, one for each month of 1999 and 2000. The 1999 designs were meant to look back on Canada's past, while the 2000 designs looked to the future. While the 1999 coins were labeled with their month of issue, the 2000 coins were labeled with the relevant theme.

Image Date of issue Theme Artist Mintage[6] Notes
January 5, 1999 A Country Unfolds Peter Ka-Kin Poon 12,181,200 January 1999
February 1, 1999 Etched in Stone Lonnie Springer 14,469,250 February 1999
The Log Drive Marjolaine Lavoie 15,033,500 March 1999
March 30, 1999 Our Northern Heritage Kenojuak Ashevak 15,446,000 April 1999
May 3, 1999 The Voyageurs Sergiy Minenok 15,566,100 May 1999
June 2, 1999 From Coast to Coast Gordon Ho 20,432,750 June 1999
July 1, 1999 A Nation of People Maria H. Sarkany 17,321,000 July 1999
August 3, 1999 The Pioneer Spirit Alzira Botelho 18,153,700 August 1999
August 27, 1999 Canada Through a Child's Eye Claudia Bertrand 31,539,350 September 1999
October 4, 1999 A Tribute to First Nations Jason Edward Read 32,136,650 October 1999
The Airplane Opens the North Brian R. Bacon 27,162,800 November 1999
This Is Canada J.L. Pierre Provencher 43,339,200 December 1999
January 6, 2000 Pride

Red colour was added to the two on maple leaf

Donald F. Warkentin 50,666,800 January 2000
February 4, 2000 Ingenuity John Jaciw 36,078,360 February 2000
Achievement Daryl Ann Dorosz 35,312,750 March 2000
April 5, 2000 Health Anny Wassef 35,470,900 April 2000
Natural Legacy Randy Trantau 36,236,900 May 2000
June 1, 2000 Harmony Haver Demirer 35,184,200 June 2000
June 29, 2000 Celebration

Red colour was added to the flag

Laura Paxton 35,144,100 July 2000
August 1, 2000 Family Wade Stephen Baker 35,107,700 August 2000
September 6, 2000 Wisdom Cezar Şerbănescu 35,123,950 September 2000
October 4, 2000 Creativity Eric (Kong Tat) Hui 35,316,770 October 2000
November 1, 2000 Freedom Kathy Vinish 35,188,900 November 2000
December 4, 2000 Community Michelle Thibodeau 35,155,400 December 2000

2005: Alberta and Saskatchewan centennials[edit]

In 2005, to celebrate the centennials of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, two commemorative quarters were issued. The public was given the opportunity to vote on the coin design through two toll-free phone numbers.

There were four candidate designs for the Alberta quarter: Big Sky Country, Alberta's Natural Beauty, A Dynamic Century, and Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. The winning design was Big Sky Country, by Michelle Grant, and depicted an oil derrick with cattle grazing at its base.[16] The coin had a mintage of 20,640,000.[17]

There were three candidate designs for the Saskatchewan quarter: The Western Meadowlark, Canada Geese over Wascana Lake, and The Round Dance Celebration. The winning design was Western Meadowlark, designed by Paulette Sapergia.[18] The coin's mintage was 19,290,000.[17]

Image Date of issue Province Artist Mintage[7] Notes
July 19, 2005[19] Alberta Michelle Grant 20,640,000
July 13, 2005[20] Saskatchewan Paulette Sapergia 19,290,000

2007–2010: Vancouver Olympics 2010[edit]

Image Date of Issue Sport Artist Mintage[11] Notes
February 23, 2007 Curling Glen Green 22,400,000
April 3, 2007 Ice hockey Glen Green 22,400,000
July 11, 2007 Wheelchair curling Glen Green 22,400,000
September 12, 2007 Biathlon Glen Green 22,400,000
October 24, 2007 Alpine skiing Glen Green 22,400,000
February 20, 2008 Snowboarding Glen Green 22,400,000
April 16, 2008 Freestyle skiing Glen Green 22,400,000
November 18, 2008 Figure skating Glen Green 22,400,000
2008 Bobsleigh Glen Green 22,400,000
January 15, 2009 Cross-country skiing Glen Green 22,400,000
March 12, 2009 Speed skating Glen Green 22,400,000
2009 Sledge hockey Glen Green 22,400,000
September 29, 2009 Men's ice hockey J.B. & RCM engravers 19,000,000
September 29, 2009 Men's ice hockey – colourized (red) J.B. & RCM engravers 3,000,000[21]
November 17, 2009 Women's ice hockey J.B. & RCM engravers 19,000,000
November 17, 2009 Women's ice hockey – colourized (red) J.B. & RCM engravers 3,000,000[21]
January 5, 2010 Cindy Klassen Jason Bouwman[22] 19,000,000[23]
January 5, 2010 Cindy Klassen – colourized (red) Jason Bouwman 3,000,000[21]

2011: Legendary Nature[edit]

Image Date of issue Animal Artist Mintage[24] Notes
January 2011 Wood bison Nolin BBDO Montreal 6,250,000
January 2011 Wood bison – colourized (green) Nolin BBDO Montreal 6,250,000
February 2011 Orca Nolin BBDO Montreal 6,250,000
February 2011 Orca – colourized (blue) Nolin BBDO Montreal 6,250,000
March 2011 Peregrine falcon Nolin BBDO Montreal 6,250,000
March 2011 Peregrine falcon – colourized (yellow) Nolin BBDO Montreal 6,250,000

2012: War of 1812 bicentennial[edit]

Image Date of Issue Hero Artist Mintage Notes
October 13, 2012 Sir Isaac Brock Bonnie Ross 6,250,000 [25]
October 13, 2012 Sir Isaac Brock – colourized (red maple leaf from the War of 1812 logo) Bonnie Ross 6,250,000
November 19, 2012 Tecumseh Bonnie Ross 6,250,000 [26][27]
November 19, 2012 Tecumseh – colourized (red maple leaf from the War of 1812 logo) Bonnie Ross 6,250,000
March 18, 2013 Charles-Michel de Salaberry Bonnie Ross 6,250,000 [28]
March 18, 2013 Charles-Michel de Salaberry – colourized (red maple leaf from the War of 1812 logo) Bonnie Ross 6,250,000
June 22, 2013 Laura Secord Bonnie Ross 6,250,000 [29]
June 22, 2013 Laura Secord – colourized (red maple leaf from the War of 1812 logo) Bonnie Ross 6,250,000

First strikes[edit]

Year Theme Mintage Issue price
2004 The Poppy 9,928 $19.95
2004 Moose 1,907 $14.95
2005 Alberta centennial 8,936 $14.95
2005 Saskatchewan centennial 6,926 $14.95
2005 Year of the Veteran 7,820 $14.95
2006 Medal of Bravery 5,000 $15.95
2006 New Mint mark 5,000 $29.95
2006 Pink ribbon 20,000 $15.95

Olympic first strikes

Year Sport Artist Mintage Issue price Release date
2007 Curling Glen Green 10,000 $15.95 February 24
2007 Ice hockey Glen Green 10,000 $15.95 April 4
2007 Paralympic curling Glen Green 10,000 $15.95 July 11
2007 Biathlon Glen Green 10,000 $15.95 September 12
2007 Alpine skiing Glen Green 10,000 $15.95 October 24

Canada Day[edit]

Since 2000, the RCM has been issuing colourized quarters on Canada Day with designs aimed to attract young collectors. As with other collector coins issued by the RCM, the Canada Day series coins are non-circulating legal tender.

Year Theme Artist Mintage[7] Issue price Notes
2000 Millennium coloured coin "Canada Day" Laura Paxton 26,106 $8.95 First Canada Day coin
2001 Canada Day coloured coin Silke Ware 96,352 $9.95 Reverse features a maple leaf in the center, with children holding hands below.
2002 Canada Day coloured coin Judith Chartier 49,901 $9.95 Version without colour was circulated. Reverse features human figures supporting a large red maple leaf.
2003 Canada Day coloured coin Jade Pearen 63,511 $9.95 Reverse shows a polar bear and red coloured maple leaves.
2004 Canada Day coloured coin Cosme Saffioti 44,752 $9.95 Reverse shows a stylized moose head.
2004 Canada Day multi-ply plated steel Nick Wooster 29,762 $24.95 Part of Canada Day bundle
2005 Canada Day coin Stan Witten 58,370 $9.95 Reverse features a stylized beaver with coloured maple leaf shirt.
2006 Canada Day coin (coloured featuring two children holding a Canadian flag) Stan Witten 30,328 $9.95 Packaged with four Crayola crayons. Reverse features two children waving the Canadian flag.
2007 Canada Day coin (coloured featuring RCMP) José Osio 27,743 $9.95 Packaged with tattoos
2008 Canada Day coin (coloured featuring a cool moose in shades with his cap on backwards) Stan Witten 11,538 $9.95 Packaged with tattoos
2009 Canada Day coin (coloured featuring caricatures of the circulation-coin animals polar bear, beaver, loon and caribou, all in a schooner) RCM Engravers 11,091 $14.95 Packaged with a postcard and a magnetic frame with character magnets

Other notable dates[edit]

A 1917 quarter featuring King George V
  • The 1906 Small Crown is valued in the thousands of dollars even for very poor conditions.
  • 1936 marked two valuable variations, the Bar and the Dot, both trend for over $1,000 in uncirculated condition.
  • The 1951 Low Relief was predominantly only made available in proof-like sets and have a mintage of around 500.
  • The 1973 Large Bust is among the most desired Canadian Quarter. They sell for around $300 in Proof Like or Specimen condition and can sell in the thousands for high-end circulation strikes.
  • The 1991 quarter had a low mintage, of 459,000
  • The 1992 New Brunswick quarter has several rotated die versions, with the 180-degree rotation selling for between $100 and $200 in uncirculated condition.
  • 1999 featured mule versions of the September and November quarters. These coins do not have the 25 CENTS mark on them, making them legal tender without face value. Either usually sells for over $10 depending on the condition of the coin. The Royal Canadian Mint estimates a combined mintage of 10,000 to 50,000 of the September and November mules.
  • The 2000 Millennium Map mule. Highly sought after by collectors, this is a modern rarity with about 100 known examples, as referenced in population reports of coin certification services (ICCS, CCCS, PCGS, NGC).
  • 2000P Caribou: two examples are known to exist. They fetch $40,000 or more (ICCS has graded both in MS-64: ICCS 2010 Population report). Both are in private collections.
  • 2000P Creativity: two are known to exist. They fetch $15,000 to $20,000 (ICCS has graded one in MS-62 and the other in MS-66: ICCS 2010 Population report).
  • 2000P Community: five are known to exist. They fetch $12,000 to $15,000 (ICCS has graded one in MS-60, two in MS-62, and two in MS-63: ICCS 2010 Population report).

The Tooth Fairy and Friends[edit]

Starting in 2011, the mint began selling special sets for newborn babies, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, "Oh Canada" and the Tooth Fairy. The tooth fairy quarters also come packaged separately.[30]


[citation needed]

  • The first commemorative coins were planned for 1927 to celebrate Canada's 60th anniversary. A contest was held and the winner for the twenty-five-cent coin was J.A.H. MacDonald; however, the Mint decided to not turn the design into coinage.[31]
  • When coinage was changed in 1937, the caribou (currently on the quarter) was originally planned for the five-cent coin, the beaver (nickel) was planned for the ten-cent coin, and the Bluenose (dime) was planned for the twenty-five-cent coin.[31]
  • The lowest mintage of any circulated quarter post-World War II was in 1991; low mintage was attributed to a work stoppage and using up stock in preparation for the release of the commemorative quarters the following year. The total mintage was a mere 459,000 including collector sets and proofs.[32]
  • Canadian quarters were not issued into circulation in 1997 and 1998. In 1997, only 525,257 quarters were produced. In 1998, only 395,617 quarters were produced; even fewer than in 1991. All of them were issued in collector sets or proofs and none were issued into circulation.
  • The caribou on the 25-cent piece dates back to 1936 when a change in the sovereign's image on circulation currency prompted the Canadian government to modify the designs on the reverse side of coins as well. The caribou design was created by Canadian artist Emanuel Hahn, initially used in 1937. It has been temporarily replaced in some years; in 1967 for the Canadian centennial (with a Canada lynx), in 1973 to celebrate the centennial of the North-West Mounted Police, in 1992 for Canada's 125th anniversary, and in 1999 and 2000 by the winning designs of the Millennium coin program.


  1. ^ Corbeij, André (July 17, 2018). ""Quatre trente sous pour une piastre!"" (in French).
  2. ^ "TRENTE-SOUS : Définition de TRENTE-SOUS". www.cnrtl.fr (in French).
  3. ^ a b "A familiar face – the 25-cent coin". Royal Canadian Mint. Archived from the original on April 4, 2020. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  4. ^ "Control of electromagnetic signals of coins through multi-ply plating technology". Google Patents. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  5. ^ Poppy quarter led to spy coin warnings Archived April 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, CBC.ca
  6. ^ a b c d Michael, Thomas (ed.). 2017 Standard Catalog of World Coins 1901-2000 (44th ed.). Krause Publications. pp. 315–320. ISBN 978-1440246548.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Michael, Thomas (ed.). 2017 Standard Catalog of World Coins 2001-Date (11th ed.). Krause Publications. pp. 237–240. ISBN 978-1440246555.
  8. ^ Charlton Standard of Canadian Coins, p.135
  9. ^ Royal Canadian Mint Currency Timeline, pp. 10–11. Archived October 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine To produce the coloured coin, the Mint developed a special high-speed colouring process that allowed it to produce 30 million coins, and which ensures the colour sticks to the metal and resists daily wear.
  10. ^ a b Royal Canadian Mint (2006). 2006 Annual Report – External Forces, Internal Strength (PDF) (Report). p. 46. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  11. ^ a b c Royal Canadian Mint (2010). 2010 Annual Report – We Are Here (PDF) (Report). p. 85. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  12. ^ "National Defense Canada – Army News". Archived from the original on September 5, 2012.
  13. ^ a b "Mint.ca – News Releases". Archived from the original on December 25, 2013. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  14. ^ a b c d Royal Canadian Mint (2017). 2017 Annual Report – Delivering Results (PDF) (Report). p. 86. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 8, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  15. ^ "Canada and U.S. 50 States". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  16. ^ "Alberta's Centennial Coin". Archived from the original on April 4, 2007. Retrieved May 7, 2007.
  17. ^ a b Royal Canadian Mint Royal Canadian Mint (2005). "2005 Annual Report – Thriving" (PDF). p. 38. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 16, 2008. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  18. ^ "Government of Saskatchewan". Government of Saskatchewan. Archived from the original on October 20, 2008.
  19. ^ Canada, Employment and Social Development (July 19, 2005). "Royal Canadian Mint to unveil 2005 Alberta Centennial 25-cent coin – Canada.ca". www.canada.ca. Archived from the original on April 1, 2017. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  20. ^ "ROYAL CANADIAN MINT INTRODUCES 25-CENT COINS CELEBRATING SASKATCHEWAN'S CENTENNIAL | News and Media | Government of Saskatchewan". Government of Saskatchewan. Archived from the original on April 1, 2017. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  21. ^ a b c Royal Canadian Mint (2009). 2009 Annual Report – World-Class Performance (PDF) (Report). p. 32. Retrieved November 26, 2022. Three million of each Moment coin was produced in brilliant colour and inserted randomly into circulation coin rolls.
  22. ^ Royal Canadian Mint. "Canadian 25-Cent Circulation Coin Celebrates Klassen's Five Medals | CoinNews". Retrieved September 24, 2022.
  23. ^ "Coins and Canada – Canadian Coins, Price Guide, Errors et Varieties and Bank Notes". Archived from the original on April 12, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2010.
  24. ^ "Celebrating 100 years of Parks Canada | Royal Canadian Mint". Archived from the original on October 17, 2013.
  25. ^ "War of 1812 Hero Major-General Sir Isaac Brock Commemorated on Royal Canadian Mint 25-Cent Circulation Coin". Royal Canadian Mint. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  26. ^ "War of 1812 Hero Tecumseh Commemorated on Royal Canadian Mint 25-Cent Circulation Coin". Royal Canadian Mint.[dead link]
  27. ^ "War of 1812 hero Tecumseh commemorated on Royal Canadian Mint 25-cent circulation coin". Cision. November 16, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  28. ^ "War of 1812 Hero Lieutenant Colonel Charles-Michel de Salaberry Commemorated on Royal Canadian Mint 25-Cent Circulation Coin". Archived from the original on April 24, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  29. ^ "War Of 1812 Hero Laura Secord Commemorated on Royal Canadian Mint 25-Cent Circulation Coin". Archived from the original on April 19, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  30. ^ "2012 CANADA Tooth Fairy Gift Sett Special quarter reverse Mint sealed | eBay". Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  31. ^ a b Striking Impressions, James A. Haxby, 1983, ISBN 0-660-91234-1
  32. ^ Charlton Standard of Canadian Coins, p.128

External links[edit]