Dime (Canadian coin)

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Value0.10 Canadian dollar
Mass1.75 g
Diameter18.03 mm
Thickness1.22 mm
CompositionNickel-plated steel
92% steel,
5.5% Cu,
2.5% Ni plating
Years of minting1858–present
Catalog number
DesignElizabeth II, Queen of Canada
DesignerSusanna Blunt
Design date2003
DesignBluenose schooner
DesignerEmanuel Hahn; design based on photographs of the Bluenose[1]
Design date1937

In Canada, a dime is a coin worth ten cents. It has been the physically smallest Canadian coin since 1922; it is smaller even than the penny, despite its higher face value. According to the Royal Canadian Mint, the official national term of the coin is the 10-cent piece, but in practice, the term dime predominates in English-speaking Canada. It is nearly identical in size to the American dime. Unlike its American counterpart, the Canadian dime is magnetic due to a distinct metal composition. From 1968 to 1999, it was composed entirely of nickel, and since 2000, it has consisted of a steel core with plating composed of layers of nickel and copper.

Currently the dime has, as with all Canadian coins, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. The reverse contains a representation of the Bluenose, a famous Canadian schooner. According to the Royal Canadian Mint, "Artist Emanuel Hahn developed his design for the 10-cent coin from photos of the famous Bluenose schooner."[1] The coin is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint at its facility in Winnipeg.

The word dime comes from the French word dîme, meaning "tithe" or "tenth part", from the Latin decima [pars].

History of composition[edit]

Years Mass Diameter Composition[1]
1858–1919 2.33 g 18.034 mm 92.5% silver, 7.5% copper
1920–1967 2.33 g 18.034 mm 80% silver, 20% copper
1968–1977 2.07 g 18.034 mm 99.9% nickel
1978–1999 2.07 g 18.03 mm 99.9% nickel
2000–present 1.75 g 18.03 mm 92.0% steel (AISI 1006 alloy[2]),
5.5% copper, 2.5% nickel plating

Commemorative editions[edit]

Commemorative editions of the Canadian dime
Image Year Theme Artist Mintage Notes
1967 Canadian Centennial Alex Colville 62,998,215[3] Features a mackerel. Dated 1867–1967.
2001 International Year of the Volunteer Stan Witten 224,714,000[4] Issued in honour of the United Nations' International Year of the Volunteer.
2017 Canada 150 Amy Choi 20,000,000[5] 150th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada. Features a maple leaf (titled "Wings of Peace") that forms the wings and tail of a dove. The theme of the coin is "Our Character". Dated 1867–2017.
2021 100th anniversary of Bluenose Yves Bérubé 6,000,000 (colour)
9,000,000 (regular)[6]
Features the Bluenose in an angled view, in full sail and heeled to port on the open sea. The sea on the coloured coin is dyed blue. Dated 1921–2021.[7]

Other notable dates[edit]

An 1858 dime featuring Queen Victoria
A 1917 dime featuring King George V
A 1947 dime featuring King George VI
A 1955 dime featuring Queen Elizabeth II
  • 1936 dot: Extremely rare with only 5 known. There are 3 in private collections, one graded Specimen-63 and 2 examples graded SP-68. The other 2 are in the Ottawa currency museum. The most recent of these to sell at auction was one of the SP68 coins, which brought US$184,000 (this does not include taxes) in a Heritage Auction in January 2010.[8]
  • 1969 large date: Fewer than 20 examples of the large date variety exist. High-grade versions of this coin sell for $15,000 to $30,000. There is only one graded in mint state as of 2012.
  • 1999p: The first Canada 10-cent coin issued with the new plating "P" process. Plated coins are marked with a small "P" beneath the Queen's effigy on the obverse of the coin. Mintage is limited to 20,000 coins.
  • 2000p: The 2000p Canada dime is scarce with fewer than 250 examples minted. The 2000p dime was lent to the vending industry by the Royal Canadian Mint to test the compatibility of the new plating process of circulation coins with existing vending machines and parking meters. Under contractual obligation, these coins were to be returned to the Mint once the compatibility tests were complete. Of the approximately 250 coins minted, many were not returned to the mint leading to significant debate surrounding the legality of owning these coins. High-grade examples of the 2000p 10-cent issue range from $1,500 to $3,000 CDN. Unlike the 5-cent 2000p issues, the 10-cent coin was not officially released by the Mint, and entered the numismatic market illegally.

First strikes[edit]

Year Theme Mintage Issue price
2005 Bluenose 1,861 $14.95
2006 With new mint mark 5,000 $29.95


  1. ^ a b c "Pride and skill–the 10-cent coin". mint.ca. Royal Canadian Mint. Archived from the original on January 15, 2021. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  2. ^ "Control of electromagnetic signals of coins through multi-ply plating technology". Google Patents. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  3. ^ Michael, Thomas (ed.). 2017 Standard Catalog of World Coins 1901-2000 (44th ed.). Krause Publications. p. 313. ISBN 978-1440246548.
  4. ^ Michael, Thomas (ed.). 2017 Standard Catalog of World Coins 2001-Date (11th ed.). Krause Publications. p. 236. ISBN 978-1440246555.
  5. ^ Royal Canadian Mint (2017). 2017 Annual Report – Delivering Results (PDF) (Report). p. 86. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  6. ^ Woods, Michael (October 22, 2021). "First-ever blue dimes commemorate 100th anniversary of Bluenose". CTV News. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  7. ^ "100th Anniversary of Bluenose Commemorative Collector Keepsake". Royal Canadian Mint. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  8. ^ "George V 10 Cents 1936 Dot". Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  • Cross, W.K. (2005). Canadian Coins (59th ed.). Toronto: The Charlton Press. p. 501. ISBN 0-88968-288-7.

External links[edit]