The goal of coin collecting is to find pieces that are rare. The less common a coin is, the more valuable it is. Mistakes in the minting of Canadian coins, including quarters, make them rarer. Quarters with errors can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars, even if they are relatively new.
How can you tell if a coin has an error? In some cases, it is obvious because the shape or appearance of the coin is markedly different from the standard coins. If one side of the coin was blank or an image appeared twice, you would notice that immediately upon looking at it or picking it up. In other cases, the error is more subtle, and you have to examine the coin closely to discover it. For example, check the edges of your coin carefully for clips that occur when the blank planchets used to make coins are punched out of rolls of sheet metal.
The Royal Canadian Mint sometimes produces multiple coins with the same error. When the mistake is discovered, most of the coins are usually destroyed. However, sometimes they make their way into circulation. Here are some well-known Canadian error quarters to keep watch for.
1992 Rotated Die Errors on Provincial Quarters
For Canada’s 125th anniversary in 1992, the Royal Canadian Mint released a new coin celebrating one of the provinces per month. The provincial coins themselves are not particularly rare or valuable. However, some of the coins were struck with one of the dies rotated by 90 degrees or 180 degrees. As a result, if the portrait on one side is pointing up as you look at it, the image on the other side appears upside down or sideways when you turn it over. There is one known instance of this error occurring in the Saskatchewan series, making it the rarest of these error coins, though it is not clear what exactly the value is for such a unique example. Rotated die errors are also known to occur amongst the quarters for the Northwest Territories and New Brunswick, and those coins can sell for up to $300.
1973 Large Bust Mountie Quarter
The year 1973 marked the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. To celebrate, the Royal Canadian Mint released quarters with a Mountie on horseback on the reverse. Of the millions of these coins minted, a small percentage mistakenly used the obverse of the 1972 quarter. As a result, Her Majesty’s effigy appears larger on these coins. Mint state examples may be worth up to $500, while circulated grades range in the $100s.
1906 Small Crown Edward VII Quarter
In 1906, the design on the reverse of the Canadian quarter featured crossed maple branches and a crown at the top. That year, the Royal Canadian Mint minted about 100 quarters on which the crown was too small. Because the error was discovered quickly and the mintage was so low, amongst Canadian quarters, this is considered the rarest of rare. If the condition is low, a small crown quarter is worth around $1,000. In good condition, it could sell for $50,000.
1967 Nickel Bobcat Pattern Quarter
To celebrate Canada’s 100th anniversary in 1967, the Royal Canadian Mint released special quarters made of silver and featuring a bobcat on the reverse. The silver coins are very beautiful but, with a mintage of approximately 50 million, they are not considered rare. However, a very small number of 1967 quarters, believed to be no more than 10, were mistakenly struck in nickel. These coins may sell at auction for up to $5,000, but it is difficult to tell if you have one of the nickel specimens without evaluation by a professional.
Find Rare Pieces for Coin Collecting at Colonial Acres
It is not only errors that make Canadian coins rare and valuable. The Royal Canadian Mint may also deliberately produce limited series, sometimes in response to a historic event. Every rare coin tells a story, and you can find collectable Canadian coins for sale at Colonial Acres.