Selections from
The Variety Coin Register®

Copyright Ken Potter 2001

Reader Sends In 1948 and 1949
Canadian Cent Varieties

by Ken Potter
April 29, 2001
Originally Published in Canadian Coin News

    Steve Olter of Sterling Heights, Michigan provided excellent examples of design variations found on the obverse of the 1948 and 1949 Canadian one cent piece.  Amongst other variations, the most prominent difference between the two varieties is in the lettering to rim denticle orientation. This is easily noted by the tops of many letters pointing to different positions off to the side or directly at a denticle differently on each variety.  Since both varieties were introduced in 1948 to replace the "ET IND:IMP:" obverse, (which was discontinued after India was granted its independence from British rule in August of 1947), it is impossible to ascertain which one was used first. Thus we have arbitrarily assigned them as Variety-1 and Variety-2 knowing that the sequence of their release may have been quite the opposite of what our numbers may seem to imply.


Variety-1 Close Up of VI

Variety-1 Close Up of HP

   Distinctive features of the Variety-1 obverse are flared-out serifs on the "H" of the of the designer's initials "HP," short rim denticles, the second "A" of "GRATIA" points directly to a denticle and the "I" of "V"I points almost directly to a denticle.   According to Olter, the Variety-1 represents about half the mintage on the 1948 but only about 2% of the1949 emission.


Variety-2 Close Up of VI

Variety-2 Close Up of HP

   The Variety-2 differs from the Variety-1 in that it contains a straight-shafted san-serif "H," more delicate and slightly longer rim denticles and extensive variation in the lettering to denticle orientation throughout the entire legend.  The second "A" of "GRATIA" points off to the side of a denticle as does the "I" of "VI."  International Coin Certification Service distinguishes the varieties from one another by referencing the second "A" of "GRATIA."
    The varieties are now listed in the Variety Coin Register for these dates and denomination as VCR#1/ODV#1 and VCR#2/ODV#2 respectively.

   Ken Potter is the official attributer and lister of world doubled dies for the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America and for the National Collector's Association of Die Doubling. He privately lists U.S. doubled dies and other collectable variety types on both U.S. and world coins in the Variety Coin Register.
    For more information on either of the clubs, or on how to get a variety listed, send a self addressed US 99c stamped long envelope to Ken Potter, P.O. Box 760232, Lathrup Village, MI 48076-0232. He may be contacted via e-mail at: An Educational Image Gallery may be accessed on his website at:

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