Since 1858, the five cent coin has played a vital role in Canadian currency. The coin was first introduced as a thin sterling silver coin and known as fish scale. It was not until many decades later, in 1922, that the coin was consist of nickel and become a heavier coin, known as the actual nickel as it is
today. The first time nickel was used for the coin, it was 99.9% nickel metal which made the coins magnetic. Throughout the years, the materials used would change due to the times with the look also changing due to new reigning monarchs or new coin designs. Below we take a look at nickel coins from 1970-1979.
1971 NEW STRIKING METHODS
In 1971, the Royal Canadian Mint decided to begin striking with three different striking qualities for coins. The first was known as the Mint State, or MS. With this method, the coins were struck for issue via banks and had an average luster and surface qualities. These coins usually have little value unless they are in the highest range of the coin type.
Proof-Like is the next type, also known as PL. This is the standard mint set coins which usually come in pliofilm packaged sets, red double penny sets, etc. These coins will have a higher luster than the Mint state coins as they were struck with dies in their newest state. The coins will have minimal marks due to not being processed as Mint state coins.
The last method is known as Specimen or abbreviated as SP or SPEC. These coins would appear in double dollar sets placed in black leather from 1971 until 1980. These coins were struck with a fresh die state and were double struck which provides a higher luster and a sharper image. These coins are virtually mark free as they do not go through the mint handling process.
1977 5 CENT COIN
1977 was a significant year during this decade as some dies would create a coin with the 7s being a little lower than normal. In this year, coins would be created that are known as low 7’s and high 7’s. The higher 7’s is the variety that is harder to find as a coin collector in regards to Mint state coins. With specimen sets and proof-like coins, the high 7’s is more commonly found.
The decade did not see any changes as far as images or design are concerned for the coin. There are also very little unique mintings so coin collectors are not seeking out the unusual when it comes to coins of this decade. The coin features the same beaver design on the reverse side as it has since the mid-1960s and continues to use the image of Queen Elizabeth II with a right-facing profile and tiara worn on the Queen’s head. During this time period, the five cent coins would consist of 99.9% nickel and have a weight of 4.54 g. The diameter is 21.21 mm with a thickness of 1.7 mm. This design would later change in 1982.