Dime (Canadian coin)

Dime (Canadian coin)
Value 0.10 CAD
Mass  1.75 g
Diameter  18.03 mm
Thickness  1.22 mm
Edge milled
Composition 92% steel,
5.5% Cu,
2.5% Ni plating
Years of minting 1858–present
Catalog number -
File:Dime Obverse 2010.png
Design Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada
Designer Susanna Blunt
Design date 2003
Dime Reverse 2008.jpg
Design Bluenose schooner
Designer Emmanuel Hahn
Design date 1937

In Canada a dime is a coin worth ten cents. It is the smallest (in physical size) of the currently issued Canadian coins. According to the Royal Canadian Mint, the official national term of the coin is the 10 cent piece, but in practice the term dime is universal. 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 1968-99 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 Her Majesty the Queen on the obverse. The reverse contains a representation of the Bluenose, a famous Canadian schooner. The artist, Emmanuel Hahn, used three ships including the Bluenose as his models, so the ship design is actually a composite.

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


History of composition

Years Mass Diameter/Shape Composition[1]
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

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.

Other notable dates

  • 1936 dot: Extremely rare with only 5 known. There are 3 in private collections, grading Specimen-63, and 2 examples graded SP-68. The other 2, of the 5 known, are in a museum. The most recent of these to sell at auction was one of the SP68 coins, which brought US$184,000 in a Heritage Auction in January 2010.[2]
  • 1969 Large Date: Less than 20 examples of the large date variety exist. High grade versions of this coin sell for $15,000 to $30,000.
  • 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 less 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 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 $15,000 CDN. Unlike the 5 cent 2000p issues, the 10 cent coin was not officially released by the Mint, and entered the numismatic market illegally and are still the property of the Royal Canadian Mint. The 25 cent 2000p caribou reverse is also an outstanding rarity. No more than 250 caribou reverse 2000p 25 cent pieces were minted, although few are known in existence.
  • 2001: A small number of volunteer coins were accidentally issued with a die break error, causing the lettering to bleed into the reeded edge of the coin.

First strikes

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


  • Cross, W.K. (2005). Canadian Coins (59th edition ed.). Toronto: The Charlton Press. pp. 501. ISBN 0-88968-288-7. 

External links

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