The 1980s would see several changes to the one cent coin, though some would go unnoticed by the public. The Royal Canadian Mint would add a new striking method in 1981 and particular coins would have variations that prove to be quite the collector’s item. Learn more about this decade below.
The one cent coins minted in the 1980s had a change take place but one that was not noticed by the public. The design of the coin as well as the alloy would be the same but the weight was reduced to 2.8 grams from 3.24 grams. This was done by reducing the diameter to 19.00mm from the previous 19.05mm. The thickness was also changed to 1.38mm from 1.5mm. This was a small change per coin but one that had a big impact on the raw material savings for the Royal Canadian Mint.
1981 Striking Method Change
In 1981, the Royal Canadian Mint added a fourth striking change for coins minted, including the one cent coin. The term Proof, or PR, would be the term used for coins that were produced in the majority in proof sets that were double dollar black leather boxed. There were other specialty coins as well that did not come in such boxes. The coins were double struck with specially prepared dies. This caused the coins to have mirror fields and frosted images. The coins were handled in a particular manner so that they would be as perfect as possible.
The weight of the one cent coin would be further reduced in 1982 to 2.5 grams from 2.8 grams. The size would increase though to 19.1mm from 19.0mm. The shape was changed with the coin now being twelve sided instead of round. The alloys would stay the same yet the reverse would have a denticle border that replaced a beaded border.
The one cent coin minted in 1983 came in two varieties. One would feature obverse beads going around the Queen’s head near the rim while the other would have the beads farther from the rim. The faraway beads would be a bit smaller and only ½ way from the rim and the Queen’s bust. The closer beads would be closest to the rim and would be about 1/3 from the rim and Queen’s bust. These types exist in MS, Specimen, Proof and Proof-like versions of the coin.
In 1985, there were also two varieties of the one cent coin. The 5 of 1985 would have two variations on the coin. The more common one would have a blunt 5 going straight up and down on the top front of the 5. The rare pointed 5 at the top right part of the 5 will angle to the right and point towards the maple leaf. This coin only is found in MS strikes and never in the mint sets.
This was the last of the rare one cent coins in the 1980s. The decade saw unique changes to the one cent coin along with an addition to the minting process by the Royal Canadian Mint.