World Coins

Canada's iconic beaver appears on first stamp, 3-cent coin

Editor's note: The following is the fourth piece of a multi-part Coin World series about the intersection of coins and postage stamps prepared by Jeff Starck for the May 2015 monthly edition of Coin World.

The Pobjoy Mint is not the only mint to make numismatic commemorations of philatelic rarities.

In 2001, Canada chose its first and only 3-cent coin, produced in Proof, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 3-cent Beaver postage stamp, the nation’s first stamp.

Read other pieces from the series:

Coins that leave their stamp on history

Blue Mauritius stamp among world's most valuable issues

British Guiana's Penny Magenta stamp an expensive, ugly, stamp

2008 coin honors first stamp from Russia

The first stamp was issued April 23, 1851. The stamp, printed in red, depicts Canada’s national animal, the beaver. Stanford Fleming, a civil engineer, designed the stamp, which also blends symbols of the monarchy (the letters V and R for Victoria Regina, meaning Queen Victoria), and rose, shamrock and thistle. 

On the coin, part of the stamp’s design is framed within the center on the reverse. A trio of Frosted, Satin and Mirrored finishes on a .9999 fine gold surface make for a unique combination, but is affordable, because the coin is actually made of silver, plated with gold. 

A coin and stamp set, containing the 2001 coin, a replica of the stamp, and commemorative stamps, remains available from distributor Gatewest Coins for $13.95.

The original stamp itself is valued at $35,000 in New condition and $1,000 Used, per the 2015 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940.

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