Canada has a diverse range of coins in various sizes and denominations, and some of them hold significant value for collectors. In this article, we will explore the most valuable Canadian 2 dollar coins sold in recent years and discover what makes them so precious.
1. The Fascinating 1996 Beaded Two Dollars, PCGS AU55
This particular 2 dollar coin, minted in 1996, is still highly sought after by collectors. It is commonly known as the “Beaded Twoonie” due to the unique beaded border that sets it apart from other 2 dollar coins of that year. Only four coins with this beaded border are known to exist, making it a rare find. While some believe it was an experimental design, the exact reason for its production remains a mystery. The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) classified it as a trial strike or an alternative design. In September 2021, this coin went up for auction, marking its first-ever appearance for sale. Graded as “AU55” by the PCGS, it sold for 4,700 Canadian dollars, totaling approximately 4,100 US dollars.
2. The Commemorative 1999 Nunavut Two Dollars
Minted to honor the formation of Canada’s third territory, Nunavut, this 2 dollar coin features an image of an Aboriginal man participating in a traditional drum dance. Crafted in gold, with a yellow center and white exterior, these coins are proofs of the highest quality made specifically for collectors rather than general circulation. While some found their way into the secondary market, prices vary depending on the coin’s quality and the seller’s intentions. An auction in June 2021 offered a specimen graded as proof 69 by the Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC), with an estimated value of $2,200 to $3,200. Another proof 69 coin, designated “ultra cameo” by the PCGS, was available on eBay for a more modest price of $825.
3. The Historical Newfoundland Victoria Gold 2 Dollars, 1888, PCGS MS64
Dating back to 1888, this gold coin features Queen Victoria’s image on one side and a crisp inscription with the date and denomination of 2 dollars on the other. Intended for use in Newfoundland, which was still a British colony at the time, this coin has never been circulated, earning it a mint state 64 grading from the PCGS. In 2011, it was sold for $4,025, and today, the winning bidder is open to offers above $6,000.
4. The Rare Newfoundland Victoria Gold 2 Dollars, 1885, PCGS MS64
Another coin crafted for Newfoundland during Queen Victoria’s reign, this 1885 edition stands out due to its clear and well-struck details. While coins from this year were generally poorly struck, this particular coin is a rare find. Graded as mint state 64 by the PCGS, it was part of the Canadian coin collection of esteemed collector George Hans Hook when it was sold in 2019. The final sale price, including the buyer’s premium, reached $3,120.
5. The Scarce Newfoundland Victoria Gold 2 Dollars, Two Dot, 1870, PCGS MS63
This 1870 coin is another example of a 2 dollar piece minted in London for Newfoundland. The “two dot” variety, which lacks a period after the word “Newfoundland,” is the more common type, yet finding a high-quality specimen is challenging. Graded as mint state 63 by the PCGS, it ranks second-highest in terms of quality among all coins of its type. In 2003, it was part of the Sid and Alicia Belzberg collection, fetching a record-breaking price of $8,625 at auction.
6. The Stunning Newfoundland Victoria Gold Specimen 2 Dollars, 1865, PCGS SP64
To understand the distinction between a mint state and a specimen coin, observe this exquisite example. Graded as SP64 by the PCGS, this specimen exhibits a crisp and detailed strike with clear fields, setting it apart from mint state coins. Its matte finish on Queen Victoria’s portrait, known as “frosting,” enhances the coin’s visual appeal. Minted in London in 1865 for Newfoundland, this 2 dollar coin is exceptionally rare, with perhaps only ten in existence. At auction in January 2022, it sold for a remarkable $22,800.
7. The Desirable Newfoundland Victoria Gold 2 Dollars, Reeded Edge, 1872 PCGS SP65
This specimen coin is truly captivating. With captivating greenish-gold toning and reflective fields, it is graded SP65 by the PCGS, exemplifying a “gem quality” coin. Known for its “medal alignment,” this coin’s design on the front remains straight when flipped to either side. Additionally, it features a reeded edge with grooves encircling the coin’s perimeter. As fewer than ten of these specimen coins were ever struck, this particular piece is highly coveted. Its last auction appearance occurred in 2003, where it sold for $27,025, including the buyer’s premium.
8. The Interesting Newfoundland Victoria Gold 2 Dollars, 1882-H, PCGS SP58
Crafted in Birmingham at the Heaton Mint, this gold 2 dollar coin distinguishes itself by its “1882-H” designation. Despite being a specimen coin, it shows signs of wear over the years, with slight rubbing on the design’s high points. Its PCGS grading reflects this wear, with a score of 58 out of 70. This coin features Queen Victoria’s portrait on the obverse and the date and value on the reverse. Specimen coins from this period are rare, particularly in this specific mintage. In 2014, it set a record for coins of this year and type, selling for $4,700.
9. The Striking Newfoundland Victoria Gold 2 Dollars, 1880, PCGS MS62
Dating from 1880, this beautiful coin represents another 2 dollar piece minted for Newfoundland during its time as a British colony. 2 dollar coins from this particular year are rare in mint condition, making this PCGS-graded mint state 62 coin an exceptional find. Only four coins of higher quality are known to exist, with three graded as MS63 and one as MS64. With its warm amber-gold surfaces and clear strike, it garnered significant interest at auction in 2014. The final price, including the buyer’s premium, amounted to $7,637, setting a new record for its year and type.
10. The Impressive Newfoundland Victoria Gold 2 Dollars, 1881, PCGS MS64
Another coin minted in 1881, this specimen achieved a mint state 64 grading from the PCGS, just one point away from gem quality. The combination of mint green and apricot toning enhances its appeal, while the precise strike leaves Victoria’s hair strands and laurel wreath leaves clearly defined. In 2014, a similar MS63 coin sold for $6,462, including the buyer’s premium. However, this MS64 coin fetched a higher price of $11,400 at auction, thanks to its improved grading.
11. The Modern Canada Elizabeth II Platinum 2 Dollars, Maple Leaf, 1994, PCGS MS68
This coin, minted in 1994 during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, is a regular-issue bullion coin made of platinum. Due to its intrinsic value, collectors have carefully preserved this coin, resulting in its mint state 68 grading by the PCGS. However, since there are numerous examples of similar quality in existence, its value is dependent on other factors. Eighteen other coins share the same grading, with an additional 119 graded MS69 and 18 at MS70. During an auction in 2012, this specific specimen sold for a modest $381.
12. The Striking Canada Elizabeth II Gold 2 Dollars, Maple Leaf, 1994, NGC MS66
In 1994, Canada minted 2 dollar bullion coins in both platinum and gold. This NGC-graded mint state 66 gold version, like its platinum counterpart, gained widespread admiration among collectors. Although only 3,450 were produced, the majority of them remain in good condition due to their perceived value. Seventy-six coins share the same grading as this specimen, with over 100 graded higher. In 2018, this particular coin was sold on eBay for $295.
Treasures from Canada
That concludes our exploration of some of the most valuable Canadian 2 dollar coins sold in recent years. We’ve examined both modern classics and coins predating the formation of Canada as we know it today. We hope you enjoyed delving into these fascinating pieces of history!