While the 1970s may not have seen any physical changes to the one cent coin, the decade was a time when the Royal Canadian Mint decided to create three different striking qualities for coins. A fourth would be added by 1981. The one cent coin would continue to feature the mature image of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse side with the reverse featuring the maple leaf twig as depicted by Kruger-Gray.
The one cent coin was first created for Canada in 1858 and was minted by the Royal Mint of London. Over the years, the Royal Mint would continue to produce the coin along with the Heaton Mint in Birmingham, England. Once Canada became independent, the Royal Canadian Mint would be created and all coinage would be minted from locations in Ottawa and Winnipeg.
Each one cent coin, like all other coins, would feature the reigning monarch of the time on the obverse side. The reverse featured varying items but for the most part, some form of maple leaf or twig. For the 1970s decade, the coin would have the updated version of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse, a more mature depiction than one that was used in the 1950s.
Changing the Striking Qualities of Coins
In 1971, the Royal Canadian Mint decided to begin striking coins with three different striking methods. Each method had a purpose based on the coin type. A fourth method would be created by 1981.
The first method is known as Mint State, which can be abbreviated as MS. This method is when coins are struck for issue via the banks and have an average luster and surface quality. These coins will have little value unless they are in the highest range of such coins.
The next method is known as Proof-like which is known as the abbreviation PL. This method involves the standard mint set coins. This will be such coins as red double penny sets, packaged sets, blue book set, etc. These coins will have a higher luster due to the fact that the coins were struck with dies that were new. Marking will be minimal on these coins as they do not have to go through the mint handling process as mint state coins do.
The third method introduced in the 1970s is known as Specimen, SP or SPEC. These coins were found in black leather double dollar sets from 1971 until 1980. These coins were struck from fresh dies but were double struck which means a higher luster and a sharper image. These coins are also mark free because they do not go through the mint handling process.
1979 One Cent Coin
Some of the one cent coins from 1979 have a strong doubling on the date. The doubling will be more noticeable on the 79 portion instead of the 19. Certain variations of this coin can cause the coin to have a higher value.
The decade of the 1970s would end in Canada with several changes on the way for coins, including the one cent coin for the 1980s.