History of the Coins and Tokens of Canada - 1894



After the American Revolution the Magdalen Islands were granted to Sir Isaac Coffin, who only once visited his American possessions; this was in 1815. Before starting he ordered a large number of these coins and a coining press from Sir Edward Thomason, of Birmingham. These he brought to the Islands and distributed the coins by way of loans among the chief men in the Islands. It was his purpose to set up a mint and coin half-pennies as well, but no other coin than the above was ever issued. R. 2 ˝.


One Penny pieces of this design were issued by the Bank of Montreal - Banque du Peuple - the City Bank and the Quebec Bank. On one side is a habitant in winter costume, which, as the coin was issued in the rebellion year, has led to the calling of these pieces "Papineau's" by the French Canadians. Papineau, who was the leader in the troubles of 1837, was looked upon as a great patriot. This name has been continued by collectors who still allude to the series as "Papineau's." The value of this coin was raised to two cents by order in Council, passed 30th August, 1870, which orders that as pence and halfpence were not needed for purchasing stamps or for other transactions, they had no reason to circulate, that a uniform currency of dollars and cents be established. This increased the value of the penny piece by one-fifth. R. 1.



Half-penny piece issued by the Bank of Montreal, La Banque du Peuple, City Bank and Quebec Bank. See remarks about No. 521. R. 1.



1838-39. The Bank of Montreal, founded in 1817, was the first incorporated banking institution to do business in Canada. This bank has always been at the head of banking affairs in Canada, and is now the strongest bank on the continent. This, with the two following coins, are known as " Side Views," because an end as well as a front view of the bank is given. This is truly the most popular coin among Canadian collectors, and, notwithstanding that a fair number have come to light so great is the demand that the price has always remained high. 1838 - R. 4 ˝. 1839 - R. 4.




The remarks connected with the last, No. 523, apply also to this coin. 1838 - R. 4. 1839 - 3 varieties, R. 4.




This coin, with the name of the Bank of Montreal on the obverse, has Banque du Peuple on the ribbon on the reverse. It was most likely never issued for circulation, consequently few specimens of this rare piece are known. R. 4 ˝.



When in 1841, the Union of the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada was accomplished, Montreal was chosen as the seat of government. The Bank of Montreal consequently became the government bankers, and thus had the sole right for several years to issue coins. This coin is now almost completely out of circulation, and good specimens have already sold as high as one dollar. R. 2.




See remarks appended to last coin, No. 526. The only known specimen of 1845 is in the collection of Thos. Wilson, of Clarence, Ont. 1842-44 - R. 1., 1845 - R. 5.



The Quebec Bank was founded in 1818, one year after the Bank of Montreal, and has occupied the first place among the banks of the ancient capital. After the riots caused by the passage of the Rebellion Losses Bill and the burning of the Parliament Buildings in 1849, the seat of government was removed, and alternated between Quebec and Toronto until it finally fixed at Ottawa. During this time the Quebec Bank and the Bank of Upper Canada received the government deposits. For this reason the Quebec Bank issued this coin under government authority. R. 1.



See remarks appended to last, No. 528. R. 1.



It was found that ordinary railway tickets were not convenient for use among the Indians and workmen on the Lachine Canal, who formed the bulk of the third class travel by this road. These tickets were therefore imported from Birmingham. They were strung on a wire as they were collected by the conductor. The balance remaining in the hands of the Montreal and Champlain Railway Company, were melted at St. Lambert in 1862. R. 2 ˝.



Bust of Wellington. This coin was imported on speculation, as it is struck on very thin planchets allowing a large margin for profit. R. 1.



1830-41. Issued by James Duncan & Co. hardware merchants, of Montreal. R. 1 ˝.



Issued in Montreal about 1830. The side bearing the ship is the same as that of No. 913. R. 1 ˝.


Contents & Directory

All images are illustrated approximately 1.5 X.


Includes - Table of rarities, Wampum & Card Money.

French Regime

Breton 501 to 519.


Breton 520 to 533.


L'Isle and Repentigny tokens.
Breton 534 to 557.


Breton 558 to 669.


The Bouquet Series.
Breton 670 to 716.


Breton 717 to 856.

Colonies in general

Province of Canada, Nova Scotia,

New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island.

Breton 857 to 924.


British Columbia, Dominion of Canada, 
Newfoundland, Anonymous and Miscellaneous
Breton 925 to 924.


Of the Principal Canadian Collectors.

Paper money


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