FXCM Insights

CAD – Canadian Dollar

The Canadian dollar is the official currency of Canada. The Canadian dollar is symbolised by $, or C$, CA$ or CAD$. The Canadian dollar is the fifth most held currency in the world, at nearly US$119 billion.1)http://data.imf.org/?sk=E6A5F467-C14B-4AA8-9F6D-5A09EC4E62A4 Retrieved 26 February 2015. The currency code for the Canadian dollar is CAD, and the dollar itself is made up of 100 cents. The Canadian dollar is often considered a commodity currency due to the large deposits of natural resources, especially oil that is exported from Canada. The Canadian dollar is often nicknamed loonie, for the image of a loon on its one-dollar coins, and is controlled by the Central Bank of Canada.

In this article:
CAD/USD Chart | History | Dollar Bills

CAD/USD Chart


Canadian Dollar History

Early French colonists in Canada brought in silver coins as early as the late 1600s. For the next hundred years, coin shortages plagued the New France territory in Canada. After the Seven Years War (ending in 1763), Canada came under British rule, where it soon adopted the pound sterling. Bills were circulated by the British government throughout the War of 1812, which restored faith in the paper money, which had a long history of distrust in Canada.

By 1821, Canadian banks were issuing their own notes, backed by gold and silver. By 1841, the new Canadian pound was worth US$4. Debates arose in the 1850s whether to align the Canadian currency with the United States; but the leadership in London preferred the use of the pound throughout the British Empire.

The Canadian dollar came to use in 1858, when the pound was officially replaced with minted Canadian coins. Many currencies were used throughout the Canadian territories, so in 1871, the Canadian government passed the Uniform Currency Act, unifying all territories under the single Canadian dollar.2)http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/cad.asp Retrieved 2 March 2015.

Throughout the years, the Canadian dollar moved between being pegged to the US dollar and floating, as it does now.

Canadian Dollar Bills and Coins

Canadian dollar coins are minted in Winnipeg at the Royal Canadian Mint, more than a billion each year.3)http://www.mint.ca/store/mint/about-the-mint/canadian-circulation-1100028#.VPThX_nF98E Retrieved 2 March 2015. Since 1908, the image of the monarch has appeared on every coin, while the reverse changes frequently. Current coins in circulation include the 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, $1 (loonie) and $2 (toonie).

As of 2012, the penny is phasing out of circulation.

The Bank of Canada creates all Canadian bills: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Each bill features unique designs based on themes, such as innovations in medicine, and high levels of security for both look and feel, including metallic imagery and microprinting.

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