CAD - Canadian Dollar
The currency used by the Canada is known as the Canadian Dollar, which is also written out in full as the Canada Dollar and popular exchange rate is USD to CAD. The currency symbol for the Canadian Dollar is C$, while the currency code is CAD. You might see either of these listed in any exchange rate. You can find the most up-to-date Canadian Dollar rates as well as a convenient currency converter above.
Top CAD Cross Rates
- Short: CAD
- Long: Canadian Dollar
- Country: Canada
- Symbol: C$
- Central Bank Name: Bank of Canada
- Central Bank Website: bankofcanada.ca
- Unit: 1/100
- Cent: cent
- Coins: 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, $1, $2
- Banknotes: $5, $10, $20, $50
Canadian Dollar – Information on the Canadian Dollar
The Canadian dollar is the official currency of the country of Canada. Its value is based primarily on its value in relationship to the American dollar. Just as with the American dollar, the Canadian dollar is broken down into increments of 100 called pennies. However, the Canadian government announced in 2012 that it will be phasing out the making of pennies and leaving the Canadian nickel as the smallest denomination still made. The ISO 4217 code for the Canadian dollar is CAD. It is issued by the Bank of Canada. The symbol for the Canadian dollar is the familiar $ symbol. But if a distinction needs to be made between the Canadian dollar and any other dollar currency, then a C$ symbol is used.
The history of Canadian currency goes all the way back to the 1500s when the beginning of the colonization by the French and English. In the early days of Canadian currency, Native North American wampum and beaver pelts were considered to be currency. The value of each of these items as currency fluctuated from trading post to trading post.
In the 1660s, the French government tried implementing a coin system in the new Canadian colonies, but the coins were all intercepted by merchants and used to buy British goods. The state of currency got so bad in Canada in the late 1670s that decks of playing cards were used to substitute for currency.
Playing cards were used to pay soldiers working in Canada for several decades. The government official would write the amount that the card was worth on the back of the card, and it was then considered good currency. The practice was stopped in 1709 when soldiers started to get paid in deniers.
Tokens and forms of foreign currency were used in Canada until 1821, when Canadian banks started to issue their own currency which was backed by gold and silver. In 1837, Canadian banks started to bring in metal tokens from England as a more durable form of currency. In 1851, the Canadian tried to institute a money system based on the sterling pound. But the currency converter with the rising American dollar made that difficult. In 1853, Canada adopted the gold standard and began basing its currency on the American dollar.
While Canada was moving in and out of the gold standard, regional currencies started to flood the Canadian economy. For example, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland both had their own coins in circulation for years that competed with the national currency.
The first Canadian coin was minted and circulated on January 2, 1908. The first coin was a fifty-cent piece made of silver.
The Canadian one dollar coin is known as a "loonie" because it has the image of a loon duck on it, and the two dollar coin is known as a "toonie" because it has two loons on it.
The Canadian government will often issue commemorative coins to recognize an individual or great event in Canadian history. With very few exceptions, these commemorative coins are issued as legal tender.
The Bank of Canada was opened in 1934. Prior to the Bank of Canada, the Canadian economy was run through such institutions as the Royal Mint, the Ottawa Branch of the Royal Mint and the Dominion of Canada.
It is rare to find the images of people on Canadian coins. The most popular images on Canadian coins include loons, maple leafs, beaver, caribou and moose. One of the few human images that do appear on Canadian coins is the Queen of England.
Canadian printed money often features political figures that are still alive. Even though Canada is liberated from England, some of the Canadian printed money still features images of the Queen of England.
In 1951, Canada issued a special nickel that commemorated the discovery of the nickel metal. At the time of issue, Canada was the source for a little more than 90 percent of the nickel metal found in the world.
There are few nicknames for the Canadian dollar. There are more nicknames for the other denominations than there are for the paper dollar itself. Some of the more common nicknames include:
The Canadian dollar is the official currency of Canada. It is recognized throughout the world, but the only other places that utilize the Canadian dollar as primary currency are Saint Pierre and Miquelon.