Obverse. Photo © Heritage Auctions
  • 50 Cents 1953-1958, KM# 53, Canada, Elizabeth II
  • 50 Cents 1953-1958, KM# 53, Canada, Elizabeth II
  • 50 Cents 1953-1958, KM# 53, Canada, Elizabeth II, 1953 Varieties: Shoulder and No Shoulder Fold, Small and Large Date
  • 50 Cents 1953-1958, KM# 53, Canada, Elizabeth II, 1958 Dot Variety

A very large number of varieties exist (HUNDREDS of them!), the vast majority of which relate to the size and location of the digits in the date. In the 61st Edition of the Charlton Standard Catalog of Canadian Coins, the varieties section covers 50 cent coins. They had to write 65 pages just to cover the years between 1941 and 1956.

For the 1953 production year, there were two obverse varieties (No Shoulder Fold and Shoulder Fold) and two reverse varieties (Small Date and Large Date). Because of die polishing, a variant exists in 1953 and 1954 coins where the shoulder strap cannot be easily seen.

Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; 1926–2022) was Queen of the United Kingdom and of 14 other Commonwealth realms. Her reign of 70 years and seven months, which began on 6 February 1952, was the longest of any British monarch in history.

When her father died in February 1952, Elizabeth—then 25 years old—became queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (Sri Lanka), as well as Head of the Commonwealth. Elizabeth reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes such as the Troubles in Northern Ireland, devolution in the United Kingdom, the decolonisation of Africa, and the United Kingdom's accession to the European Communities and withdrawal from the European Union. The number of her realms varied over time as territories have gained independence and some realms have become republics.

Times of personal significance have included the births and marriages of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver, Golden, Diamond, and Platinum jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012, and 2022, respectively.


First portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II (laureate bust) facing right, wearing a wreath. It was introduced in 1953, one year after the Queen acceded to the throne. It captures the grace and youth of the 26-year-old new Queen. Her hair is restrained by a laureate crown which is tied with ribbons at the back of her head. The Queen's shoulders are bare and the truncation follows the curve of the coin. The engravers initials M.G. are incuse, generally faint, and are located on the raised edge found at the base of the bust.

ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA means Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen

Engraver: Mary Gillick



Depicts a simplified version of the Royal Coat of Arms of Canada, proclaimed by King George V on November 21, 1921, surrounded by the date, the facial value and the inscription CANADA.

The design of the coat of arms includes:
• symbols of the four founding nations of Canada featured on the shield: the three royal lions of England, the royal lion of Scotland, the royal fleur-de-lis of France, and the royal Irish harp of Tara;
• the lion of England holding the Royal Union Flag and the unicorn of Scotland carrying the flag of Royal France;
• a sprig of red maple leaves at the bottom, is a distinctly Canadian symbol that became gradually identified with the country throughout the 19th century;
• the Royal Crown at the top, indicating that these are the Arms of Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada.

Engraver: George Edward Kruger Gray



50 Cents

1st portrait, Simplified Coat of Arms
KM# 53 Schön# 53
Material Silver
Fineness 0.800
Weight 11.6638 g
Diameter 29.72 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Royal Canadian Mint (RCM)

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