Dime (Canadian coin)

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Value0.10 CAD
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-
Canadian Dime - obverse.png
DesignQueen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada
DesignerSusanna Blunt
Design date2003
Canadian Dime - reverse.png
DesignBluenose schooner
DesignerEmanuel Hahn; design based on a Wallace MacAskill photograph of Bluenose, not artwork of Hahn[1]
Design date1937

In Canada, a dime is a coin worth ten cents. It has been the physically smallest Canadian coin since 1922, 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, but unlike its 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 had a high steel content.

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. The artist, Emanuel Hahn, used three ships including the Bluenose as his models, so the ship design is actually a composite. 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/Shape Composition[2]
2000–present 1.75 g 18.03 mm 92.0% steel (unspecified alloy), 5.5% copper, 2.5% nickel plating
1979–1999 2.075 g 18.03 mm 99.9% nickel
1969–1978 2.07 g 18.03 mm 99.9% nickel
1968 2.07 g

2.33 g

18.03 mm

18.034 mm

99.9% nickel (172.5M)

50% silver, 50% copper (70.4M)

1967 2.33 g 18.034 mm 50% silver, 50% copper (30.6M)

80% silver, 20% copper (32.3M)

1920–1966 2.33 g 18.034 mm 80% silver, 20% copper
1910–1919 2.33 g 18.034 mm 92.5% silver, 7.5% copper
1858–1910 2.32 g 18.034 mm 92.5% silver, 7.5% copper

Commemorative editions[edit]

Year Theme Artist Mintage Special notes
1967 Canadian Centennial Alex Colville 62,998,215 Features a mackerel.
2001 International Year of the Volunteer Stan Witten 272,465,000 Issued in honour of the United Nations' International Year of the Volunteer.
2017 Canada 150 Amy Choi Commemorating the 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".

Other notable dates[edit]

An 1858 dime featuring Queen Victoria
A 1917 dime featuring King George V
A 1947 dime featuring King George VI
  • 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.[3]
  • 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. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2013-03-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Pride and skill–the 10-cent coin". mint.ca. Royal Canadian Mint. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  3. ^ [1]
  • Cross, W.K. (2005). Canadian Coins (59th ed.). Toronto: The Charlton Press. p. 501. ISBN 0-88968-288-7.

External links[edit]