Time to dump out that penny jar.
If you had a dollar for every rare Canadian coin that has unknowingly passed through your possession, then you'd probably still have a lot less cash than if you outright identified one. These money-making coins may not be a dime a dozen, but if you crack open your piggy bank, or dig through that old collection your grandfather left you, you just might find one.
Victoria Cent (1882)
Victoria Cent (1882).
Estimated value: From $123 to $1,760.
What's special about it: Queen Vic's pronounced double chin and the 'H' under the date make this a cent worth a pretty penny. If any letters around the regal visage are misprinted, the price goes way up. Versions with a smoothed-out jawline are worth a lot less and so are the well-worn cents. But this one is pristine, which raises its value. The starting bid is $310 on Heritage Auctions (HA).
Queen Elizabeth II $20 (1967)
Queen Elizabeth II $20 (1967).
Estimated value: Around $4,000.
What's special about it: All that glitters isn't gold… aside from this coin. It was issued to commemorate the centennial of the Canadian confederation as part of a specimen set and contains at least half an ounce of gold. The HA starting bid for this one is $900, but it lists for upwards of $4k on eBay.
George VI Silver Dollar (1948)
George VI Specimen Dollar (1948).
Estimated Value: Up to $88,000.
What's special about it: Only 18,780 of these rare silver dollars were ever printed by the Royal Canadian Mint and a lot of collectors are hoping to get their hands on it. Just make sure you have the 1948 coin since that's the one worth some coin.
George V Gold Sovereign (1917)
George V Gold Sovereign (1917).
Estimated value: $1,000+
What's special about it: This gold piece features the disembodied head of King G and an about-to-be-disembodied dragon on the back. Just under 59,000 were minted in Canada, making them pretty rare. The starting bid for this coin on Heritage Auctions is $800.
George V 5 Cents (1918)
George V 5 Cents (1918).
Estimated value: $250+
What's special about it: This King George-busted coin can vary in price depending on the quality of the piece. There's one listed for nearly $500 on eBay, although so far it hasn't sold for more than $264 on Heritage Auctions. This one is mottled and has an HA starting bid of $76.
George V Dollar (1935)
George V Dollar (1935).
Estimated value: $4,500+
What's special about it: This later coin featuring George's façade appreciated in value from the 5-center above, but he probably didn't appreciate that it made him look like a dead-eyed zombie. The piece was released to mark the 25th Anniversary, or Silver Jubilee, of Georgie's reign. If you've got the right version of this coin, you could make it rain.
Elizabeth II "Maple Leaf" $50 (1998)
Elizabeth II "Maple Leaf" $50 (1998).
Estimated value: $700+
What's special about it: This newer coin featuring the profile of a young Queen Elizabeth II could be your cash cow, if you find it in your collection. The "Silver Maple Leaf, 10th Anniversary" coin is made of 10 oz. of pure silver. It sells for more if you have a certificate of authenticity and a Royal Canadian Mint case. The starting bid for one on Heritage Auctions is $220.
Elizabeth II Gold Proof "Silver Jubilee" $100 (1977)
Elizabeth II Gold Proof "Silver Jubilee" $100 (1977).
Estimated value: $2,000+
What's special about it: Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee coin portrait was far more complimentary than George's, even if it isn't worth quite as much. The $100 coin is made up of 92% gold and 8% silver. The HA starting bid for the floral-backed piece is $775.
High Relief "Bald Eagle" $250 (2020)
High Relief "Bald Eagle" (2020).
Estimated value: $18,000
What's special about it: One side is regal and the other is eagle. This coin is 99.99% pure gold and features some of the newest "high relief" techniques that bring out the details of both designs. Under 200 were minted in Canada, driving the price way up. One eBay seller is listing it for nearly $18k and the starting bid for a set of gold and silver versions of the coin is listed for around $3k on HA.