Beginning in 1858, the nickel coin would be created for Canadian currency and provide Canadians with an option for payment for goods and services. The coin would change its look and composition over the years, taking over as the smallest form of currency in the county after the penny was removed from circulation in February 2013. Read on to see how the coin evolved from the time frame of 1910 to 1921, as a new reigning monarch takes over.
George V Design
From 1911 until 1936, the design of the nickel would include George V. The design of the coin was created by W.H.J. Blakemore for the reverse side of the coin which depicted a left-facing image of George V. The same composition of the coin would be used in this design as had been used in the past which consisted of 1.16 grams in weight, 15.5mm in diameter and a composition consisting of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.
1911 Five Cent Coin
In 1911, the five cent coin would be issued in Canada that featured George V on the obverse side. The inscription DEI GRATIA would be omitted from the inscription on this side of the coin, term meaning “God’ Grace” in Latin. These coins became known as the Godless Coins and would be unpopular with the public. The very next year, the Royal Canadian Mint would return the phrase to the coins due to public outrage.
No further changes would be seen in the nickel currency until the 1920s when significant changes were made to the composition as well as image of the coin.
The five cent silver coins of 1920 and 1921 would be produced with the same George V design as well as weight and diameter. However, the composition would change to 80% silver and 20% copper.
For 1921, the Royal Canadian Mint would decide to melt many of the coins down after they had been struck as the five cent coin would become struck in nickel beginning in 1922. Because of this, the coin created in 1921 is the scarcest date to be found in the five cent series when considering only the date. There is no concrete information available in regards to exactly how many five cent coins from 1921 are in existence but more than 300 such coins have been certified.
Royal Canadian Mint Production
The Royal Canadian Mint was first opened in January 1908, with coins before that time being produced in England by the Royal Mint or the Heaton Mint. By 1911, the Royal Mint had opened the Ottawa branch and Canada’s very own refinery was created. By the end of 1911, the Mint was able to produce a record number of gold sovereigns within the new facility.
This was the same year that a new monarch would take the throne. In 1910, King George V accepted the throne which meant the Royal Canadian Mint had to now create a design for currency that would feature his effigy. Canadian currency continues to depict an image of the reigning monarch.