Understanding Canadian coins

Hi guys and gals,

Thanks for the visit!  We just wanted to share our thoughts on how to increase our understanding of Canadian coins.  This is meant to be a very basic view of what kind of coins we expect to find in Canada that has Canadian roots.  Depending on the area of your digging, you can find coins which are tied to other parts of the world.  The focus here will be on Canadian coins..

Given 2017 is the 150th anniversary of Canada, we all know that 1867 is very important in terms of “Canada”.  What is this 1867 date?

Canada (1867)

Canada became a nation, the Dominion of Canada in 1867.  This explains why this year is being celebrated as the 150th year anniversary.  The Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the “British North-America Act”, which recognized a constitution of a new country written by who was known as the “Fathers of the confederation”.  At the time this represented the unification of three provinces:

  • Nova-Scotia
  • New-Brunswick
  • Canada (now Quebec and Ontario)

Without too much details of history in order to keep this fairly short; here are the key dates of other provinces entering the confederation:

  • 1870: Manitoba and North West Territories
  • 1871 British-Columbia
  • 1873 Prince Edward Island
  • 1898 Yukon Territory
  • 1905 Alberta and Saskatchewan
  • 1949 Newfoundland and Labrador
  • 1999 Nunavut

The first coins of the “Dominion of Canada” introduced in 1870 were silver 5,10,25 and 50 cents.

1870 5 cents21870 10 cents

1870 25 cents1870 half dollar

In 1876 the “Dominion of Canada” released it’s first one cent coin.1876 1cent

Province of Canada vs Dominion of Canada

This being said, you might find some “one cent” coins with the word Canada at the bottom which is older than 1876.  This would be the 1858-1859 1 cent coins from the province of Canada and not the “Dominion of Canada”.  The 5,10 and 20 cents coins from the province of Canada were issued in 1858.  The 5 and 10 cents coin design from the province of Canada was reused for the “Dominion of Canada” 1870 coins.

New-Brunswick coins

Between 1861 and 1864, New-Brunswick issued 1/2, 1, 5, 10 and 20 cents denomination coins.  The 1/2 and 1 cent were struck in bronze and the others in silver.


Nova-Scotia coins

Between 1861 and 1864, Nova-Scotia issued 1/2 and 1 cent denomination coins.  They were the only Nova-Scotia coins and were struck in bronze.ns.PNG

Prince-Edward Island coins

In 1871, PEI issued a 1 cent coin which was struck in copper.  They then entered the confederation 2 years later.


Newfoundland and Labrador

The coins of Newfoundland are of historical importance as Newfoundland and Labrador was a British colony until 1907, and a Dominion of Newfoundland until 1949, when Newfoundland and Labrador became the tenth province of Canada.  The dates of these coins range from 1865 to 1947.  The denominations range from 1,5,10,20,25,50 and 2$ coins.  The 2 dollar coins were issued between 1865 and 1888.  The special thing about this particular coin is that it was struck in GOLD!!!


This is just a short introduction to the variety of coins in our beautiful country of Canada.   We barely touched the surface of what is to learn on coins. The key take away from this blog post is that there is always something to learn about coins. The more you learn, the more you understand the history of Canada and the world.

We hope you enjoyed the short read!  If you have not seen our youtube channel please check it out and subscribe to follow us on our weekly episodes related to metal detecting on the east coast of Canada!

Cheers and happy hunting!

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Getting closer to spring weather!

Can you feel it?  Finally we are seeing some improvements! The shores of Fundy showing very little ice and we can’t help but feel that spring weather is just around the corner.  Wasn’t it supposed to be here like 2 weeks ago?

Given the weather, we spent some time in the past week on the beaches!  We all can’t wait until the weather takes a turn for the positive side of the Celsius scale.  Next week’s weather looks very promising with +6 on Tuesday and finally hitting double digits over the weekend.  We are definitely hoping for the ground to thaw enough so we can have a few digs on some old farmlands on the East-Coast of Canada.

As we just started our new youtube channel and blog, we are hoping you are all enjoying the content!  At the moment we are planning to have a blog post every two days at a minimum but could become a daily post shortly given the nicer weather.  Our youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSKfVotcl1LWt9VGGQNfN-A (nbmetaldetecting) will have a weekly video of our finds.  This will be uploaded every Monday morning at 8am EST.

If you have not done so, please checkout our channel and if you like what you see, please give a like or leave a comment.  We appreciate all the support and will try to give you good content!

We are uploading Episode 3 tomorrow morning on our youtube channel.  Please subscribe and stay tuned!


Happy Hunting!

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DIY beach scoop part 2 (final)

Welcome again to our blog!  We finally finished the PVC beach scoop tonight.  We are now editing our video and we will upload to our youtube channel (nbmetaldetecting) as soon as it’s ready.  If you have not done so already, make sure to read part 1 on our blog prior to proceeding further.

The PVC pipe sizes we chose for our scoop is 4″ for the body and 1 1/4″ for the handle.  The handle itself is quite sturdy and is very hard to bend.  Some of the benefits of PVC is that it’s easy to work with in terms of cutting, drilling and shaping.  It’s also a fairly light material and is pretty cheap!  A heat gun is definitely good to have in order to shape PVC.

The back plate is the only piece of PVC that needed to be flattened out.  We first started by cutting a piece which is big enough to cover the back of the scoop:


Once this piece was cut, we then proceded to cut the pipe in half. This was done using a jigsaw.


You still end up with a piece of sturdy PVC that needs to be flattened out.


This piece is flattened out using a heat gun.  Don’t get too close to the PVC or you will burn it like I did :).  It does not matter since the piece is big enough to bypass this mishap.


Once your piece is nice and flat, we traced the inside circle of the PVC pipe in order to get size of the back plate to cut out.  This was done using a jigsaw.


In order to attach the back plate to the body of the scoop we cut out two small rings of PVC.


You will notice that some material is removed from the ring in order for it to fit snug inside the 4″ Body.

Here is our back plate assembly


We then proceeded in cutting the holes in the body of the scoop.  The pattern we use is quite simple and require only 2 bits.  You will notice that each large hole is surounded by 4 smaller holes.  The more holes the better!  Pun intended lol.  We used 5/8″ and 5/16″ bits.  The larger hole will be just under the size of a dime.


We traced a 90 degree angle line with the longest point of the scoop in order to align the center of the holes to drill out.  Notice there is a gap at the base of the scoop with respect to the location of our first hole. This is for the back plate assembly.


Then we proceeded to drill holes in the back plate:


Now we need to cut one more piece before we start applying glue.  This was cut with a jigsaw.


Now time to glue the back plate in place (ring, plate, ring).  We place the base of the scoop flat on a piece of wood in order to make sure it’s flat on the surface of the base. The reinforcement plate was then glued on and clamped in place in order to make sure it was snug.  Leave to dry and start to work on handle.


Handle is cut at a 30 degree angle. We find that this inclination is perfect for digging.  For the handle we use 1 1/4″ PVC pipe.  This was done using miter saw since our miter box does not have 30 degree option.


Then we cut the wood dowel at the same 30 degree angle.  We cut the wood dial at the length of about 3 1/2″ which should give enough clearance for the fastening screws.

IMG_2445Our wood dowel was bit too small for our 1 1/4″ pipe, so we improvised and added some electrical tape in order to get it nice and snug.  We then inserted the dial and fastened it in place.


We chose 42 inches for the length of our handle but that is based on preference and you could choose any length.

Fastened it to the scoop with deck screws.  We use 4 deck screws and try to follow similar angle as the handle in order to stay in the wood dowel.

screwsalmost finished

We applied some silicone in order to stop water going on the wood dowel.


Thanks for the visit!  If you find this useful please check out our youtube page where we should have the video edited and uploaded by the tiime you are reading this.

You can also follow us on twitter @nbmetaldetect or on our facebook page nbmetaldetecting.

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DIY beach scoop part 1

Today is day 15 since we started our youtube channel, we now have released 3 videos and we are now working 4th video explaining how to build a metal detecting beach scoop.

We are fairly new to producing youtube videos, but we love the process involved in making an end product.

Tonight we spent about 1 hour setting up material in order to produce our next video which is related to how to make your own PVC beach scoop.  Here is a picture of the scoop we are building:


If you ever produced a howto video you will know that 1 hour is fairly short in order to shoot a full video of a process that should not take much more than 1 hour.  Today we filmed the material that is needed and took shots of the dimensions we used.  We did our first 45 degree cut and we will continue shooting footage tomorrow night.

We are father’s first and tonight is a school night; furthermore we do have day jobs, so weekdays are fairly short for shooting footage.

Here is some of the dimensions:


We used approximately 8 1/4 inch for the longest part (bottom), but I guess it’s up to the user on the desired length.  We find this to be a good length.

Got the first cut done:


Used a miter box to cut 45 degree angle in order to get the body of the scoop.


Tomorrow we will continue on finalizing the scoop, and release a video this weekend.

Stay tuned!

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Early History of Moncton NB

In 2017, Moncton has become one of the largest cities in Atlantic Canada.  It’s location was very strategic in early days since it was located directly at “the bend” of the Petitcodiac river.  Anyone wanting to travel from the mainland to Nova Scotia had to go through Moncton.

After the settlement of Beaubassin was established in the 1670’s, a small settlement “Le Coude” had developped around 1733.  Le Coude was the french word for elbow and was meant to represent the bend in the river.  Some say that’s where the origin of Petitcodiac comes from where you could say “petit coude” which translates”little elbow”.  I know there is also a Mi-kmaq word for this region which is “pet-koot-koy-yek, so it may also have aboriginal influences.

A small chapel was built around 1750 by the acadians at the currently known bore park region of moncton where people gather to watch the tidal bore.  The whole region of tidal grasslands were dyked (also known as aboiteaux) and planted by acadians.

You may wonder what is a dyke or aboiteaux.  This was a very ingenious solution in order to be able to desalinate the soil which was being flooded by the high tidal waters of the bay of Fundy.  These dykes did not allow the tide to flood the shores of the river but allowed the water to drain out into the river.  This over time desalinated the soil and it became very fertile soil.

In 1755, Fort Beausejour was captured by the British forces and was renamed to Fort Cumberland.    Governor Charles Lawrence proclaimed the expulsion of the Acadians from Acadia.  The small settlements north of the Chignecto area alongside the shores of the Peticodiac river became small pockets of resistance against British power. Colonel Robert Monckton sent troops up the Peticodiac river to crush any remaining French resistance and began to burn Acadian settlements.   The british force led by Major Joseph Frye, burnt the first acadian settelment at Shepody which ended up in burning over 180 buildings which seems like a large number (maybe they counted outhouses lol).  They then proceeded to Village-des-Blanchards (now known as Hillsborough) and burnt 253 buildings (again a bit excessive number, there was only 54 families…outhouses/chicken coops?).  When they proceeded to burn the church, the british were surprised to encounter a Acadian force led by Charles Deschamps de BoisHébert who defeated the british forces and forced Frye to retreat back to Fort Cumberland (Beausejour).    Overall, 1100 Acadians from the Beaubassin region was sent to exile, but Acadian settlements above Hillsborough remained largely intact due to some Acadian’s defeat of the British forces at Hillsborough.

The chapel and surrounding area was burnt by the ravages of Scott at the time of the 7 year war between the British and the French.

1763: Treaty of Paris  was signed, ending the Seven Years’ War. France ceded to Britain all North American possessions except Saint-Pierre and Miquelon off Nfld, and Louisiana (sold in 1803). The treaty authorized freedom of religion in the colony

In 1766, Pennsylvania Dutch settlers arrived to re-establish the pre-existing farming community at “Le Coude”.  The settlers consisted of 8 familes: Heinrick Stief (Steeves), Jacob Treitz (Trites), Matthias Sommer (Somers), Jacob Reicker (Ricker), Charles Jones (Schantz), George Wortmann (Wortman), Michael Lutz (Lutes), and George Koppel (Copple).  They renamed the settlement “The Bend” and remained an agricultural settlement for nearly 80 more years.

In 1836, the Westmorland Road became open to year round travel and a regular stage coach and mail service was established between Saint John and Halifax. The Bend became an important transfer and rest station along the route. Over the next decade, lumbering and then shipbuilding would become important industries in the area.

The turning point for the community was when Joseph Salter took over (and expanded) a shipyard at The Bend in 1847. The expanded shipyard ultimately grew to employ about 400 workers. The Bend subsequently developed a service-based economy to support the shipyard and gradually began to acquire all the amenities of a growing town. The prosperity was helped by the wooden shipbuilding industry.  This allowed “The Bend” to incorporate as the town of Moncton in 1855. The town was named after Lt. Col. Robert Monckton.  A clerical error at the time the town was incorporated resulted in the misspelling of the community’s name, which is still present to this day. The first mayor of Moncton was the shipbuilder Joseph Salter.


  • a Short History of Moncton by Dan Soucoup
  • Wikipedia

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Garrett Ace 150 Experience 

Being fairly new at metal detecting, we did not want to purchase 1000$ range machine.  We therefore did some research and found that the Garrett Ace 150 is a very good bargain for the price and performance.  The Ace 250 has the capability to do pinpointing, but we will say that with some good practice, it’s pretty easy to pinpoint with the Ace 150 using an T or X search pattern.  We always find our mark!   X marks the spot!  We like to dig all targets therefore discrimination is not that important to us, but the Ace 150 does allow discrimination of iron an pulltabs, but discrimination of pulltabs can potentially fall into the range of gold detection.

The only drawback I can find is that here in Canada, our newer coins (post 1967-1968) tend to register as an iron tone rather than coin, but if you dig all holes, who cares!

The good targets like copper,silver or gold does have nice strong ptab/coins/ring signals therefore the user that want to descriminate iron can do so at his/her own discretion.  Might miss a few newer Canadian coins but there is a solution which is to dig all targets.

Being in Canada, we have to deal with cold weather, therefore we need to understand how our detector behaves in cold weather.  We found that having sensitivity set to higher than 2/4 on a frozen beach can give you false targets.  We tend to stick on level 2 during early spring and when things thaw we use level 3.  We find that beach detecting on level 4 will sing a song of tones that could become catchy, but it’s totally useless for detecting.  It’s most likely related to the mineralization in the sand.

We recommend doing an air test with different kinds of coins/metals in order to learn any detector.  It will help you in the field.

Overall,  we believe the Garrett Ace 150 is a good starting machine for any metal detecting enthusiasts.  Its price and functionality definitely warrants a closer look.
Here is a few screenshots of the different discrimination modes:

Hope you like this post!



Metal detecting half frozen beaches

We spent some time this weekend with the kids detecting the shores of the Bay of Fundy and the shores of the Northumberland Straight.   The kids got wet, muddy and had lots of fun.  No major finds in terms of treasure, but our greatest treasure is our wonderful memories with the kids.  Check out our video: