Canadian One Dollar Varieties


This page shows the major die varieties since Canadian silver and nickel 1 dollar coins were introduced in 1935. It does NOT cover "die blunders", where dies were re-punched with different years (and the previous number is visible below the current number), or where cracks appeared in the dies causing unwanted lines to appear in the coin. It also does not cover date doubling or special coins created for the collector market. All of the coin designs displayed here were minted for general circulation as legal tender.

NOTE: Click on any photo to load a much larger version of the same photo

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1935 Reverse Varieties


1937-1952 "HP" Obverse Varieties

The initials of obverse designer (T.H. Paget) are located to the right side of the truncation of King George Vi's effigy. Many times between 1937 and 1952 the initials began to wear off the dies so they had to be re-punched.


1945 Reverse Varieties


1946 Reverse Varieties


1947 One Dollar Reverse Varieties


1950-1956 Reverse Varieties

The Voyageur design should include four water lines at each end of the canoe.
Between 1950 and 1956 the reverse dies were polished and modified several times. As a result some or all of these water lines were partially or completely removed.



 

1953 Obverse Varieties
Because of die polishing a variety exists in 1953 coins where the shoulder strap of the Queen's dress was almost completely polished away and cannot be easily seen. This variant is referred to as "No Shoulder Fold":


1957 Reverse Varieties

The Voyageur design should include four water lines at each end of the canoe.
1957 the reverse dies were polished and modified several times. As a result some of these water lines were partially or completely removed, leaving only one waterline obviously present.



 

1964 Reverse Varieties

There are two varieties of the 1964 silver dollar. If you look above the dot between the "C" in Quebec and the "N" in Charlottown you will see the designer's initials "T.S."
On some coins the dot between T and S is missing. This is called the "No Dot" variety.



1965 Obverse Varieties

Manufacturing problems with the Queen's new effigy led to a number of changes to the 1965 die sets:

The first die design used was the "Small Beads" variety. That design led to a very poor die life, so it was fine tuned.

This obverse was paired with both reverse varieties to produce the first two overall varieties of the coin:
- Type 1: (SB-P5) Small Beads Obv, Pointed 5 Rev
- Type 2: (SB-B5) Small Beads Obv, Blunt 5 Rev

A single die set was then produced with "Medium Beads" and that design proved that an obverse with the field sloping up at the edge was preferred.

This obverse was paired with only one reverse variety to produce the fifth overall variety of the coin:
- Type 5: (MB-P5) Medium Beads Obv, Pointed 5 Rev

(Note this type may not seem to be numbered in sequence. This is because it was the last variety to be discovered)

A final "Large Beads" design was created that incorporated more fine tuning.

This obverse was paired with both reverse varieties to produce two overall varieties of the coin:
- Type 3: (LB-B5) Large Beads Obv, Blunt 5 Rev
- Type 4: (LB-P5) Large Beads Obv, Pointed 5 Rev




1965 Reverse Varieties

In 1965 two varieties of reverse were manufactured (Pointed 5 and Blunt 5):



1966 Obverse Varieties

In 1966 two varieties of obverse were manufactured (Small Beads and Large Beads):



1967 Obverse Varieties

In 1967 there was an obvious problem keeping the dies locked into position. As a result one or both dies began to rotate in the press and large number of the resulting struck coins exhibit one side rotated with respect to the other. The most popular term for these coins is the "Diving Goose":



1968 Reverse "Island" Varieties

A major shift occured in 1968 when the composition of 1 dollar coins was changed from a silver alloy to 100% nickel. As a result of this decision the one dollar dies had to go through a major transformation to reduce the displacement of the much harder nickel to accept the images on both sides without shortening the life of the dies. The diameter was reduced from 36mm to 32mm and the relief was lowered a bit.

There are three different categories of varieties found on 1968 1 dollar coins: Island size, horizon lines and date doubling. The next three graphics detail each type of variety.

The Voyageur design should include the tip of the island to the right of the canoe. There are three varieties related to the size or presence of this island on 1968 1 dollar coins:


1968 "Horizon Line" Reverse Varieties

In 1968 three varieties of reverse were used - the normal (intended) type, and two varieties created by die polishing and re-engraving:



1968 "Doubling" Reverse Varieties

In 1968 two varieties of reverse were used - the normal (intended) type, and a variety created by re-punching the "CANADA", "DOLLAR" and the last two digits of the date:



1969 Reverse Varieties



1974 Reverse Varieties

This graphic shows the differences between the four major varieties of the 1974 Winnipeg Centennial 1 dollar coin.

There are a large number of minor varieties which have been discovered and attributed, but not necessarily acknowledged by the catalogue publishers and grading companies. Thanks to the diligent work of collector and numismatic researcher Ken Potter a VERY thorough list of all major and minor variants and a good explanation of how these varieties were created can be found at the following web page:

The Attribution Guide to 1974 Canadian Nickel Dollar Varieties by Ken Potter -- NLG


1975 Obverse Varieties


1976 Obverse Varieties


1977 Varieties


1982 Obverse Varieties

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