People working in coin shops all across the country have undoubtedly fielded more than a few inquiries about some sort of suspicious-looking mark on a Canadian coin, often taking the form of a dot, from eagle-eyed members of the public hoping to have found something worth a small fortune, but rarely do any of these turn out to be something valuable. Spurred on by news stories about rare coin varieties and books about getting rich by searching your pocket change, these searches are bound to continue, and that interest is great for numismatics. Here are a few famous Canadian “dots” worth checking your collection for, if you haven’t already done so.
With the cover of the 2014 Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins still fresh in our heads, the rare and expensive 1936 dot penny, as it has come to be known, is an obvious choice. This cent could be referred to as a “love coin” since its existence is owed to the abdication of of Edward VIII. Since there was no coin shortage while the mint hustled to produce new dies, nearly all of the one-cent coins with the dot must have been destroyed. The three known to exist are specimen strikes, but it may not be a bad idea to keep checking those ’36 pennies.
That sets us up nicely for our next dot: the 1936 ten-cent piece. The story is the same as above, but in this instance there’s a whopping five known. Again they are all specimen strikes, with no genuine circulation strikes ever having been found.
For the 25-cent piece of that same year, you can find a dot relatively easily since they were released for circulation by the Mint. Dot quarters do command a premium over their counterparts sans dots and it’s even better if it possesses the dot/bar variety.
In 1947 things start to get a little fuzzy. Dots on 5-cent and 25-cent pieces are a recognized variety, as well as one on the dollar coin, but there’s still a debate on the reason for those dots. The use of the maple leaf to designate that coins were struck in 1948 with the 1947 date is documented, but the reason for the dot coins is still being debated. Nevertheless, those dots are fun to search for and they do command a premium.
Collectors of 10-cent pieces have a nice dot to look for too. The dot between the 9 and 5 on a 1956 dime is now recognized to add a little extra to the value in Canadian Coin News’ Trends section.
No matter the reason for a “dot” on a coin, coin collectors love to look for them and dots can be found, in theory, on any coin should a die chip or other similar phenomenon occur to a coin-producing die. Only certain dots give some sort of monetary payout though. Keep examining your change, you never know what that next sought-after variety will be!