The nickel of Canada is a piece of coin currency that has an interesting history. Having been created in 1858, the nickel has changed in size and shape along with look and composition over the years to stay in line with the country as it changed as well. The nickel became the lowest form of coin currency in Canada on February 4th 2013 when the Royal Canadian Mint decided to stop the distribution of the currency. The years 1922 to 1929 are interesting ones involving the nickel as significant changes were made to the composition as well as the way the coins were produced.
1922 Dramatic Changes to the Five Cent Piece
Canadian Five Cent coins were changed dramatically in 1922. The coin is known as a nickel today and for many years previously due to the material that the nickel is made of. In 1922, the change was made to include more nickel with the coin increasing in weight to 4.54 grams and a new diameter of 21.21 mm added. The reverse side of the coin would have a new design, one created by W.H.J. Blakemore. The obverse would remain the same, a design created by Sir E.B. Mackennal.
By this time, it was the Royal Canadian Mint striking five cent coins and not the Royal Mint. The Mint was not prepared to strike nickel as this is a tougher alloy material than bronze or silver. The coins with a high grade from this time frame were struck inconsistently which is a result of the mint obtaining the nickel from the International Nickel Company. The refining method of this company was different when producing nickel so the purity of the material would range from 88% to 92%. Two nickels that were created from the same sheet may have a varying degree of purity.
The 1922 five cent piece was created in two varieties. The two are described based on a difference found with the spacing of the S located in the word CENTS as well as the coin rim. The coin actually has a differentiation in the way the rim was formed so the coin can easily be miss-identified. The near S coin will have a slight concavity where the metal found in-between the S and the coin rim is rounded up and there is no distinct edge on the rim. The Far S version is harder to come by and has a flat field so when the metal reaches the rim a right angle is formed which creates a distinct edge on the rim. The differences give the coins the illusion that there is less spacing from the S to the rim but factually there is not a measurement difference.
1926 Five Cent Coin
The five cent coin created in 1926 is created with two types and can be determined by the number 6 of the date’s position. The Near 6 coin will have the six rotate slightly where the 6 tip is located closer to the design of the maple leaf and the bottom of the number is further away from the coin rim. The Far 6 version will have the tip of the number located closer to the rim but further from the maple leaf design. Basically opposites of each other.