Some of the very old Canadian 50 cent pieces, like the ones with Queen Victoria (pictured), are worth quite a bit of money. Coins dated before 1936 generally carry a substantial numismatic (coin collector) premium over and above face value of the coin.
As with all British coins, the reigning monarch appears on the 'heads' side.
As always, precious metal content sets the minimum value for a coin. Even if a coin is completely damaged, a silver coin cannot be worth less than its silver value. Use web sites such as kitco.com to look up the current value of silver. It changes every day. Here is a listing of the silver content of Canadian 50 cent coins:
1870 to 1910: 0.35 troy ounces of silver
1911: 0.27 ounces
1912 to 1919: 0.35 ounces
1920 to 1936: 0.30 ounces
To compute the silver value, multiply the weight by the current price of silver. If, for instance, silver is selling at $25 US dollars per troy ounce and your Canadian 50 cent coin is dated 1936, the silver value is $25 x 0.30 = $7.50. Be sure to look up the current value of silver.
Here are some typical catalog values:
50 CENTS 1870 TO 1901 VICTORIA
worn: $75 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $150
well preserved: $800
fully uncirculated: $4000
50 cents dated 1894 are somewhat rare, multiply these values by four
50 cents dated 1890H are very rare, multiply these values by 15
If you have a Victoria 25 cents in nice condition, seek out a knowledgeable collector or coin dealer. They can be more valuable than our summary above.
50 CENTS 1902 TO 1919 EDWARD
worn: $20 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $100
well preserved: $250
fully uncirculated: $1200
50 cents dated 1904 and 1905 are rare, multiply these values by six
50 CENTS 1911 to 1936 GEORGE
worn: $10 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $45
well preserved: $150
fully uncirculated: $520
50 cents dated 1911 and 1914 are rare, multiply these values by six
50 cents date 1921 are extremely rare, cataloging at $20000 in average circulated condition
These are catalog values for undamaged coins. To understand these values, use our Terminology page. Requester Cavescott's coin is apparently damaged, so its value goes down to almost zero. It sounds like this specimen had a hold drilled through it and the hole was later filled with some type of material.