Barbara F. writes: I have a 1837 Canadian coin and I’m trying to find out about it. One side says “PROCINCE DU BAS CANADA.” There is a picture of a man and below him it says “UN SOU”. On the other side of the coin it reads “BANK TOKEN” below that a banner says “CONCORDIA SALUS” the ends of the banner say “CITY” and “BANK”. below that it reads “1837” and below that “HALF PENNY”. Thank you in advance. Barb
The coin was issued by the Bank of Montreal in 1837. The denomination is One Sou (Un Sou) or half-penny. The French legend PROVINCE DU BAS CANADA is, in English, “Province of Lower Canada”. “CONCORDIA SALUS” is Latin, roughly “together in safety” probably infers that the bank was a safe place to put your money. The man standing on the obverse was thought to be Louis Joseph Papineau, a famous French Quebec patriot, and these one sou coins soon became to be known as “Papineaus”.