Whenever Canada wants to commemorate, celebrate or simply show its artistic side, it releases a new quarter. An Anniversary of the Confederation, the Millennium, the Olympics, Canada Day… there is a new quarter minted with a special reverse design for a ton of occasions.

The quarter is a cool coin. A lot of people here dislike the penny, some even want to get rid of it because it is expensive to keep in circulation and it makes your pocket heavy. The nickel, which also sometimes receives a special reverse, is pretty small, and so is the dime—they both usually stay in my coin purse until I finally take a few minutes to count them and get rid of them when paying. As for the fifty-cent piece… never seen one, even though it is regularly minted! All these cents are useful to provide the exact change, since in Canada, you almost end up with weird non-rounded amounts because of the HST (the sales tax levied on top of the cost of a lot of products and services). But none is as nice as the quarter.

Besides, quarters are always useful to have: you can make a phone call for two quarters, feed the meters, buy gum… Rummage through your back and search in your pockets, if you find four quarters you suddenly feel a dollar richer.

When I first came to Canada, I used to put aside the commemorative quarters I liked best. My favourite one was the 2004 Remembrance Day quarter, with its red corn poppy. It was the first coloured general circulation coin in the world!

The other day, I found all my commemorative quarters piled up in an empty film box. These are my favourites.

Remembrance Day
Millennium quarters ( Celebration)
Millennium quarters (Pride)
Millennium quarters (Health)
Millennium quarters (Ingenuity)
100th anniversary of the RCMP
A Tribute to First Nations
Canada Through a Child’s Eye

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  1. Max Coutinho October 6, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Hey Zhu :D!

    You hold on to them coins, girl! They are an asset!

    Now, there was something about these pics that caught my attention: your hands and nails…they are beautiful! Do you take care of them personally or do you go to a manicure? Either way, they are awesome :D.

    By the way, I loved the comment you left on my blog lol…fabulous!


  2. Mr.G October 6, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Do you know what I find even more awesome about coins in this country? That if you look well, you may find a 1947 pennie in your change… and is still valid! We had gone through so many inflation periods and our money had lost its value so many times, that a 5 cents coin can be history in 5 years in my home country!

    Nice nails, by the way!

  3. Cynthia October 6, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I love the RCMP coin, it used to be my favourite until they came up with the province themed coins. As for the 50¢, they are issued for collectors only nowadays. I have one back home that has Jacques Cartier on it 🙂

  4. Gabriel October 6, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Beautiful! I’m an avid coin collector, and have most of the commemorative quarters. I have the complete 1992, 1999 and 2000 series, and I’m almost there with my 2010 Olympics series as well (just missing some of the colour ones). My son Juan is the one who keeps track of which ones we still need…

    Coin -and banknotes- collecting has been a hobby of mine since I was about 11 years old; I went back into it a couple of years ago, after abandoned it for ages. I just love it.

  5. Sidney October 6, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    You have a nice collection here !

  6. Diana October 6, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Hi Zhu,

    My name is Diana (please, check your CS account).
    Althought I do not collect coins I like to give them to people who do collect them or want a souvernir from Canada.
    I am always surprised by the designs in these coins and among the ones I like the most is the Remembrance day one.

    Hope to talk to you soon!



  7. Poem October 7, 2010 at 7:16 am

    I have a collection of every province back home. It’s real nice with what they do to the quarters.

  8. Em October 7, 2010 at 8:00 am

    They’re cool!
    I understood quickly enough when I was in Canada that without a few quarters in your purse you’re nothing; yet, I kept getting caught because of my habit to get rid of change.

  9. Fran October 7, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Hey Zhu,

    Great collection of coins you have there. And I did
    notice the beautiful hands and nails too 🙂
    Maybe you should give some of us a lesson.

  10. Soleil October 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    I think I have one of those kids quarters. Every so often Canadian currency works its way into circulation over here.

  11. barbara October 8, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Salut Zhu,

    I like quarters too 🙂 I remember when my sister tried to save each US state quarters. I have manny too, but missed tha entire 50 states.

    There are so lovelies in your group!

    I have been a very busy person, between seeing friends and work and all the rest.I got some translation work this week.
    Bises 🙂

  12. Zhu October 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    @Max Coutinho – 😆 No manicure, nothing, just bare hands! I guess putting gloves on when doing the dishes pays off 😆

    @Mr.G – This is very true… nice observation. I guess Argentina went through a lot with its currency. When in Buenos Aires, we also notice getting change was almost impossible, there are just no coins in circulation.

    @Cynthia – I don’t even know what the 50 cents coin looks like! You own me a picture 🙂

    @Gabriel – Oh yes, I should have thought of you immediately, I remember seeing some coins and banknotes on your blog!

    @Sidney – Doesn’t worth anything but it’s fun.

    @Diana – The remembrance day coin is one of my favorite… it’s unmissable!

    @Poem – Yes, I like it too. Euro look plain compared to Canada’s currency.

    @Em – I’m really bad at getting rid of my change actually, and it’s a good thing because like you said, we always need change here!

    @Fran – A lesson in good hand? 😉 Seriously, no manicure or anything like that, I guess I have nice hands naturally. Of course, I’d rather my butt be smaller, be taller, thinner etc. the usual 😆

    @Soleil -Yes, we have a lot of US coins here too, we just use them as our own.

    @barbara – Oh, translation? That’s cool!

  13. micki October 9, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Great collection! I would have collected them if I am in Canada too. Wow, the new designed quarter comes out that often which makes them easier to be collected! These will have great value after certain years!

  14. Vagabonde October 9, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    I did not know your quarters changed like that. Here in the US for years they were the same then they started to mint some state type quarters. When I came to the US I really disliked the money – I mean the dollar. The $1, $5 $10 $20 $50 and $100 are all the same green color and the same size. When you are not used to them it is easy to make mistakes. Once my mum visiting me gave a $50 for a $5. The problem too is that they kept the same images for so long that it was easy to counterfeit and when I would travel to North Africa if the paper money was not new and crisp they would not take them – at the banks. Now they are starting to change the dollars a bit, but they are still green and the same size – so you think you have a lot of money because your money purse is full then you realize they are all $1 bills and you only have a total of $10 or so.

  15. Linguist-in-Waiting October 9, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Wow. I never realized that there are many varieties. I guess the same goes here in the US, there are several versions of the quarter, I think there’s one for every state!

  16. London Caller October 11, 2010 at 5:06 am

    Here in UK, we use 50p & £2 coins to commemorate special days/ events.
    I don’t collect coins but I do it for my sister.
    Few years ago, Royal Mint issued a new series of coins for common circulation.
    Like a jigsaw puzzle, all the coins consist of “incomplete” coats of arms.

  17. Priyank October 21, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I was quite surprised to see the large variety of 25 cent coins. In comparison, 1, 5, 10 cents and $1, $2 are always the same. I think for the first few months, I collected unique coins, but now they are all gone…. :d

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