The obverse, designed by George W. DeSaulles, features the bust image of King Edward VII facing right. On the outer periphery are the words "EDWARDVS VII DEI GRATIA REX IMPERATOR" (latin for "By the Grace of God, King and Emperor"). Below Edward's shoulder are the designer's initials.
The reverse features a wreath & crown that encircles the words "50 CENTS CANADA" with the date below. A mint mark for the Heaton mint "H" can be found below the bow for 1903 issues. All other years were minted at the Ottawa mint and carry no mint mark.
Variety 1 1902-1910 – Victorian Leaves Reverse (weight of 11.62 grams)
Variety 2 1910 – Edwardian Leaves Reverse (weight of 11.66 grams)
Because the weight change is so slight, the easiest method to determine if a 1910 issues had Victorian or Edwardian leaves is by look at the rim and denticles. Victorian reverses had leaves that nearly touched the denticles and had nearly no rim. Edwardian reverses had a broader rim and larger separation between the leaves & denticles.
|Victorian Leaves Reverse|
General Market Notes
Excluding die & error varieties, the keys to the series is the 1905 issue while the semi key is the 1904 issue.
For the value collector, look for the 1903H issue with a mintage of only 140,000. There are other years available with lower mintages but this was the only issue minted at the Heaton or Birmingham Mint making this an issue always in demand among collectors.