For more than a century, the five cent coin has played a vital role as coin currency in Canada. First introduced in 1858, the five cent coin has evolved many times over the years, even taking the place of the penny in 2013 as the smallest coin value in Canadian currency. During the 1980s, changes were made to the composition of the five cent coin yet no changes were seen as far as imaging or design.
The five cent coin of Canadian currency has quite the history and it can be fun as a collector to be able to see just how the coin has changed over the years. Below is more information from the decade of the 1980s, where we see changes to the composition of the coin as well as many mintings each year of the nickel for distribution.
1981 5 CENT COIN
In 1981, the Royal Canadian Mint decided to create proof sets that would have frosted images and mirror fields. Collectors who enjoy proof sets can add the set to the collection for visual appeal as it does not have a significant value.
1982 5 CENT COIN
In 1982, the Royal Canadian Mint decided to change the composition of the five cent coin. The alloy was changed to cupronickel alloy instead of using the same pure nickel that had been used for many years prior. The new cupronickel would consist of 75% copper and 25% nickel. The size of the coin would remain the same as before at 21.21 mm diameter. The weight would also remain the same at 4.54 grams and a thickness of 1.75 mm. The coins look the exact same as they did before but are not magnetic as were the previous coins made from pure nickel.
In some instances, the 1982 nickels will have a toning on the reverse side. Many of these coins found in a double dollar proof set will have a light golden colour on the reverse but some five cent coins have been found that have a brighter colour.
Each year, the Royal Canadian Mint has to decide how many new coins will be minted and added to circulation as well as any commemorative sets or other mintings. During the 1980s, there were no commemorative sets or collectors sets created, other than the proof set from 1981. Below are the total number of mintings for each year during the 1980s, so you can get an idea as to how many five cent coins were produced for each year.
Overall, the nickel coin did not change much during the 1980s. However, during the next decade, the coin would see significant changes, including the introduction of an anniversary coin along with proof strikes seeing a change in composition.
No nickel collection is complete without the addition of 1980s five cent coins. If you are a collector, consider having a five cent coin from each year or at least from 1982 when the composition of the coin changed.