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1965 Canadian Pennies: Their Varieties

Updated on May 18, 2012

1965 Canadian Pennies: No Less Than Four Varieties

If you like looking for varieties in your Canadian coins, 1965's your year. The penny has no less than four varieties, one of which is scarce and one verging on rare. Thankfully, which one is yours can be determined by a two-step decision tree. All you need is a high-resolution digital camera or loupe, and knowledge of where to look. The next two modules show what to watch for by guiding you through the decision tree.


First Step: Pointed Or Blunt 5?

This step's the most important - and the trickiest

The first part of your 1965 penny that you have to inspect - closely - is the 5 on the date. If the upper right end of the 5 is clearly pointed, then you've got the scarcer Pointed variety. If there's only a slight point, or none at all, you've got the common Blunt variety.

Before I go on, I should say that this part of the decision tree is harder than it sounds. The fact is, many blunt 5s have a slight point at the end while some have the end at right angles to the top. "Blunt" is a catchall category: if it's not clearly a pointed, then it's a blunt.

How do you distinguish a point from a blunt? By looking at the end closely under loupe magnification or with the highest-resolution photo of the coin you can take. The end should be angled about 30 degrees from the vertical for the 5 to be a pointed. If it's slighter, then you've got a blunt.

If you're in doubt, it's best to assume you've got a blunt. For every real pointed I've found in my search through the 1965s I got, I set aside at least four "candidiate pointeds" that proved to be blunts after another inspection. Confusing a blunt for a pointed is an easy mistake to make, so I suggest you look at your 1965 at least twice if you think you've got a pointed. Remember, the angle on the upper right edge of the 5 should be about thirty degrees from the vertical.


Next Step: Large Beads Or Small?

For the pointed, this makes a lot of difference.

To make this judgment, you need to look at the obverse and focus in on the A in REGINA - the last letter on the right. If the A is pointing to a bead, it's a large-beaded '65. If it's pointing between two beads, it's a small-beaded.

Although this step is far less ambiguous than the first, some '65s will require a bit of a judgment call. Myself, I found a '65 pointed whose A seems to point to the edge of a bead. Its beads are clearly larger than an unambiguous small, but they're not as large as the unambiguous large you see in this module. Prudence dictates I take it as a small.


At The End, Four Varieties

Which You Can Arrange In A 2 X 2 Grid

Once you've gone through this decision tree, you'll see which one of the four varieties of 1965 penny you have:

  1. Blunt 5, Small Beads: The most common variety.
  2. Blunt 5, Large Beads: Uncommon, but not really scarce. Carries a small premium above the first.
  3. Pointed 5, Small Beads: This one's a real find, if you've got the real thing. It's scarce
  4. Pointed 5, Large Beads: If you're lucky enough to find one of these, you've hit the jackpot. According to Coins and Canada, it starts at $3.50 for one in Fine condition.

But, as I explained beforehand, finding a real pointed is tricky. If you think you've found one, I suggest going to a coin forum like Coin Community and asking about it there. If it's the real thing, you'll get confirmation.

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