Canada did not become 'official' until its confederation in 1867. Before then a wide variety of privately minted coins supported commerce. Most were copper pennies and half pennies. This one is known as the 'Bust and Harp' token. It is a fascinating collectible.
worn: $10 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $20
well preserved: $45
Be sure to read our Important Terminology page for converting these catalog values to actual buy and sell values.
You have a one-half mark silver coin from the old German Empire, Betty. The imperial eagle is shown on the front, with a crown above and a wreath around. The reverse is also decorated with a beautiful ornate wreath.
The details on these coins are exquisite, which makes them popular with collectors, because the wear on the coin is easily distinguished, and the grade is plain to even the slightly trained eye.
Unless called out specifically, coins are worth approximately the values called out below in the 'common dates' table. Read the read of the page to check if your date is listed as a better one!
From your description, it sounds like you have a medal or token, not a coin. A coin will normally list the country it was minted it, its denomination, and the date of issue. You have not described your item as having any text or numbers - this is usually a tell-tale sign of a medal or token.
We have taken our best guess about your item. There are plenty of coin-like objects with angels on them, so this may not be your piece, but this one is quite common and fits your description. It is made of gold-colored base metal.
New Zealand makes a lot of coins with a lot of interesting wild life, and the wildlife attracts a lot of collectors. This 2 dollar coin has a Kōtuku, white heron on the back, with the reigning British monarch on the front: Elizabeth II. The white heron or great egret is a cosmopolitan bird and is found worldwide in tropical and temperate regions. Kōtuku have always been rare in New Zealand and they have gained almost mythical status.
These are modern coins with catalog value that can reach as high as $6 US dollars in fully uncirculated condition:
José Francisco de San Martín (1778 to 1850) was an Argentine general and the prime leader of the southern part of South America's successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire. He is depicted on these coins from Argentina.
All these coins, 5, 10, 20, and 50 centavos, are made of non-precious metal. As such, they have no intrinsic value (like they would if made of silver), so the only source of value is collector demand. The hundreds of millions of coins minted make supply high and demand low, and the result is low price:
The Canadian mint made spiffy large silver coins with Olympic themes between 1973 and 1976. These coins do not circulate, but are made especially for collectors. They contain silver, and that makes them valuable. Their value is equal to the amount of silver they contain multiplied by the current value of silver.
Don't be fooled. These coins are worth their weight in silver, nothing more. Check this CoinQuest link for a description of what makes modern coins valuable.
Well, Heather ...
Either you have a very valuable coin, or you have one that is worth nothing. How's that for narrowing it down?!
During the Civil War, the Confederate (southern) States of America issued only two types of coinage: a one cent piece and a half dollar. (See our write-up on the one cent piece at this CoinQuest link.) They minted very few of each, so if you have a genuine, original CSA half dollar, you have a coin worth tens of thousands of US dollars today. Genuine CSA half dollars are so rare that the coin catalogs do not even list an estimated value! The coin in our main is a genuine piece.
Check the date, Kelli. If your coin has King George VI, it can't be dated 1957. British colonies like Ceylon (Sri Lanka today) always carry the likeness of the reigning British monarch on the front. Copper coins from Ceylon with 1/4, 1/2, and 1 cent denominations date back to Queen Victoria. Then, whenever the monarch changed, so did the coinage. The common tie of all these coins is the reverse side, which has a circled palm tree design.
This page applies to copper coins with the palm tree. Some coins and some dates use other designs and metals (silver and gold), and this page does not apply to them.