The special edition 1867 to 1992 Canadian penny, also known as the 1992 Canadian one cent, was produced to commemorate 125 years of the formation of Canada as a country. An exciting celebration produced a shiny new coin which is still considered legal tender now even though distribution ceased in 2013 and the penny is being phased out.
Right now, the 1867 to 1992 Canadian one cent is very common due to a high mintage. Proof coins in mint condition are rarer, but may only reach tens or perhaps over $100 at the top grades. The auction record in recent years was only $190.88, but you can expect somewhere around $1 for an “average” specimen.
Commemorative coins, especially proof examples or rare error coins in mint condition have been known to increase in value over time. So don’t despair! A 1992 commemorative Canadian penny may be a good investment, and will certainly be a nice edition to any coin collection.
Today, we will look at the specifications of the 1867 to 1992 Canadian penny to help you identify this coin. We will provide a value chart, brief guide on coin grading, and a buying and selling guide for coin collecting.
1867 to 1992 Canadian Penny: Background
In Canada, the one cent piece is commonly known as a penny or a cent. The Royal Canadian Mint began to produce these coins in 1858 in an attempt to convert the nation from the British monetary system which had been used until that point.
The Canadian penny was continuously produced until 2013 when distribution ceased. Pennies can still be used as legal tender. However, businesses are being encouraged to round purchases up to the nearest 5 dollars and not to accept pennies as payment. Thus, the phasing out of the one cent piece has begun.
The 1867-1992 Canadian 1 cent coin was issued in 1992 to commemorate 125 years of Canada existing as a country. This coin was a special limited edition printed with the entire 125 year span on the reverse of the coin. The mintage of coins intended for circulation was 673,500,000 coins, while the mintage of proof coins was only 147,100 coins.
1867 to 1992 Canadian Penny: Design And Specifications
The 1867-1992 Canadian one cent was issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 1992. It is composed of bronze – more specifically 0.980 copper, 0.005 tin, and 0.015 zinc. The coin weighs 2.5 g, has a diameter of 19.1 mm and a thickness of 1.45 mm. Although it looks round it is actually dodecagonal (12-sided!) and has a plain edge.
The obverse, or heads, side of the coin features Queen Elizabeth II, the former Queen recognized by Canada. The Queen is facing to the right and is depicted at 64 years of age, wearing the royal diadem and iconic earrings and necklace. Surrounding the portrait are the words “ELIZABETH II” and “D. G. REGNIA”, this is short for “Dei Gratia Regina”, a Latin phrase meaning “By the Grace of God, Queen”.
This side of the coin was designed by the engraver Dora de Pédery-Hunt.
The reverse, or tails, side of the coin exhibits two classic Canadian maple leaves with the words “1 CENT” above and “CANADA” below. To the left of the leaves are the commemorative dates “1867-1992”, and to the right of the leaves are the initials “KG”. These initials belong to the engraver responsible for the reverse coin design, George Kruger Gray.
1867 to 1992 Canadian Penny: Value
Here, we have sorted the current average value of a 1867 to 1992 Canadian one cent in different conditions. Please note that values are subject to change and may fluctuate with time. Values stated are correct at the time of writing according to Numista. Values are in USD.
|1867 to 1992 Canadian one cent
|Very Good (VG)
|Very Fine (VF)
|Extremely Fine (XF)
|Almost Uncirculated (AU)
|Proof (PL or SP)
Bear in mind that these are only the average values and some coins may sell for more. The 1867 to 1992 Canadian pennies produced for circulation have a frequency of 99% according to Numista. This means they turn up incredibly frequently on the market and are hence very common and low in value. Proof versions intended for collecting have a frequency of only 3% meaning that they are much more rare and likely to be more valuable. In the best condition, proof coins may fetch tens of dollars at auction.
However, Numista gives this penny a score of 5 on their rarity index which runs from 0 to 100. This means it is very commonplace, added to by the fact it is still in circulation today.
The most valuable 1992 commemorative Canadian one cents have sold for hundreds of dollars – but don’t get too excited, they sold for less than $200. The auction record in the previous two years for a certified 1992 1 cent with grade MS-67 was $190.88.
Only coins with MS+ grades will sell for more than a few dollars. The only exception may be rare errors on coins with MS+ grades. Rare error coins have been known to inflate the coin’s value, so be sure to keep an eye out for these.
The main errors known for the 1867 to 1992 Canadian penny are:
- Flaw planchet on reverse
- Die chip on crown
- Die chip on left leaf
- Die crack on “N” of Canada
- Dot between “C” and first “A” of Canada
You can find out more and see detailed images here.
Brief Coin Grading Guide
Perhaps you have a commemorative 1992 Canadian one cent and you would like to grade its condition? Or you might like to find out how much to expect to pay for such a coin in some pre-defined condition?
Numismatists commonly use the Sheldon Scale when grading coins. This scale ranges from P1 (Poor 1) to MS70 (Mint State 70). It can get incredibly complicated and coin grading usually requires a professional for accurate appraisal. However, there are a few simple tips that can help you get an idea of the rough grade of your coin based on a condition rating of poor to uncirculated. Some coins may also be Proof coins, meaning they were not intended for circulation but for the purposes of collection.
In general, coins are separated into 3 buckets (or groups): circulated, about uncirculated (AU) and uncirculated (MS).
Circulated coins are split into categories from P1 to EF49:
- Poor (P) – these coins can barely be identified with major damage and wear. The date and mintmark are just about visible.
- Fair (FR) – these coins have been majorly worn and will appear very smooth. They are more easily identifiable compared to Poor coins.
- Good (G) – coins in Good condition are still heavily worn with some details smoothened so they “run into” one another. Still, the main features can be identified.
- Very Good (VG) – the main features of the coin can be seen but may be quite faint on coins in Very Good condition. These coins are still pretty worn through usage.
- Fine (F) – the rims are fully separated from the design elements, and all features can be seen with an albeit even wear over the coins’ surfaces.
- Very Fine (VF) – coins in Very Fine condition can be described as moderately worn with all major details visible and some minor details visible.
- Extremely Fine (EF) – the best condition coins in the circulated category, Extremely Fine coins are lightly worn. All details can be seen but the finer pattern details are worn down a little.
About Uncirculated Coins
About Uncirculated (AU) coins run from AU50 to AU59. They may or may not have been circulated, but they are no longer in mint condition because of handling marks:
- About Uncirculated (AU50) – these coins will have some very small traces of damage on the most raised parts of the coin surfaces. Otherwise the coin is eye appealing.
- Very Choice About Uncirculated (AU58) – the best AU coins will have only the tiniest wear on the raised points of the surfaces. Otherwise the coin has an almost original luster and great eye appeal.
Uncirculated, or Mint State (MS), coins run on a scale entirely of their own with 11 grading points (MS60 to MS70). All of these coins are strictly uncirculated, no matter their condition. Some of these points include:
- Mint State Basal (MS60) – these coins may have some contact marks but no signs of wear that comes with handling.
- Mint State Choice (MS65) – these midpoint coins will have a eye appealing mint luster, almost no visible contact marks and an above-average strike.
- Mint State Perfect (MS70) – in theory these coins typify the perfect coin. No flaws or damages can be found even when the coin is magnified 8x. Everything about the detail – the strike, luster and centering – are perfect. The eye appeal is exceptional. These coins are very rarely found!
Tips On How To Grade Coins
Grading coins yourself, and hence getting the “right” price for a coin is a tricky process. Professional appraisal is recommended, and if a coin can be certified by authorities such as PCGS it is likely to fetch a higher price.
There are some basic steps you can take in order to grade a coin yourself:
- Light Source – Find a top-notch light source which will illuminate all the tiny details and difference in coloration on the face of the coin. Bright white bulbs are recommended.
- Magnifier – Ideally, a magnifier with 5x to 8x magnification is recommended. You will not be able to see all the microscopic flaws with a magnification below 5x.
- Which bucket? – try to determine whether your coin is circulated, almost uncirculated, or uncirculated by identifying all the flaws including wear, scratches, and other damages.
- Comparison – check your coin against other examples of coins with different grades. Perform a thorough search online to find detailed images of examples. Thus, you can check the condition of your coin against certified graded coins to get an idea of where it fits on the scale.
Grading your coin will allow you to place a price on it when trying to sell it. Otherwise, becoming an expert in coin grades will allow you to make coin purchases yourself to add excellent coins to your collection.
1867 to 1992 Canadian Penny: Buying And Selling Guide
Buying rare and valuable coins online is relatively easy if you know what you are looking for. Make sure you conduct thorough research so you know how to look out for fakes and the exact ID features of the coin you are looking for.
Always ensure you buy coins from a reputable seller, ideally someone who includes detailed information and photographs in the coin listing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to find out more about the coin – most coin enthusiasts are happy to share information and spread their knowledge. Look out for valid certification in the listing.
Likewise, when you are selling coins make sure you include as much detail as possible, and reply promptly to interested buyers. A provenance story is a real bonus, so if you inherited the coin or if you know who the coin had been handed to and why the various owners were in possession of the coin you can add value to your listing.
Three sites you can try are:
- eBay – here you can search for the exact type of coin you are looking for, and get an idea of the kinds of prices they are sold for. You can filter by certification, grade, date, price, and more! Selling through eBay is also recommended. Bear in mind you will build your reputation through successful selling, so if you have already sold good through eBay and received 5 stars you are already considered a reputable seller.
- Etsy – you can try Etsy for individual sellers selling vintage and collectible items. Often you can find good deals through Etsy, and 1867 to 1992 Canadian one cent coins are common.
- Numista – through this site, you can find out a lot of information about coins from around the world. You can also swap coins with other members (Coin Swappers) and track down listings for the coin you are interested in purchasing.
You can also try antique or vintage stores specialising in coins and paper money, or ask around on specialised numismatic forums for advice and coin swaps.