The currency was first established in Canada in the early 1660s when the French colonists introduced coins to the area. In 1841 when Canada was under British rule, the country began issuing a currency known as the Canadian pound. In the decade that followed, there was a great deal of time spent trying to decide whether the country should continue with a sterling system or adopt a decimal system, similar to that of the US dollar. Canadians wanted a decimal system which would make it easier for Canada to do trading with the United States. London wanted to maintain the sterling currency to keep consistency across all the countries in the British Empire. In 1858 it was finally decided that the Canadian pound would be replaced with the Canadian dollar.Today coins are issued in denominations of 1 dollar, 2 dollars, 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, and 50 cents. The 50 cent piece is no longer distributed by banks and is only available from the mint, so it is rare to see these in circulation. Bills are issued in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100. In addition to Canada, the Canadian dollar currency is also used in Saint Pierre and Miquelon, a French archipelago just south of Newfoundland.