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The Canadian 5 Cent Coin: The Canadian Nickel

Updated on May 02, 2016

The Canadian Nickel

An interesting fact about the Canadian nickel is these first 5 cent pieces would go down in history as being the tiniest Canadian coins to ever be circulated within Canada.

Although the first nickels were shipped from England, on January 2, 1908 the Royal Canadian Mint In Canada began producing, and distributing Canadian Coins within Canada.

The first 5 cent coin was not to be referred to as a nickel though until much later when the Canadian 5 cent coin's material would change from a largely silver composition to one of a large percentage of nickel.

Photos found on this article are ©Jolene Belmain. Other images found at Karen Whimsey's.

Have you ever seen a fishscale nickel?

Have you ever seen a fishscale nickel?

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Did you know the first Canadian Nickels were called Fishscales?

The first Canadian Nickels were nicknamed "fish scales" because of their tiny size, and gleaming silver appearance. This Canadian sterling silver 5 cent coin weighed in at about one gram in weight, and measured around 15.5 mm in size. These tiny 5 cent Canadian silver coins really did resemble a fish's scales and so rightfully deserved their nickname.

The first Canadian five cent coins featured the image of England's reigning monarch on one side and the image of a pair of maple boughs on the other side from 1858 till 1921 when the nickel was upgraded to receive a more modern appearance.

The Wonderful Canadian Beaver

In 1922 the Canadian five cent coin under went a major updating. The Canadian nickel's dimensions increased to 21.21 mm in size and it's weight increased to 4.54 grams.

The metal composition of the Canadian 5 cent piece also changed. The silver nickel was now replaced with a ninety-nine percent composition of the much lower valued metal nickel. This is how the term "Nickel" came to describe the new Canadian five cent coin.

In 1937 the industrious beaver was added to the Canadian five cent piece. This beaver image was designed by G.E. Kruger-Gray, and is an image strongly reminiscent of Canada's historical beginnings, as well as the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson%27s_Bay_Compan... Canadian Hudson's Bay Company.

The image the maple leaves on this new version of Canada's five cent coin also changed from two entwined maple boughs to the simple image of two maple leaves.

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Changes To The Canadian 5 Cent Coin:

In 1942 Canada's five cent coin changed once again. With nickel being required for the manufacture of metals used in the war effort the nickel used in the Canadian five cent coin was suddenly extremely precious. From 1942 to 1946 the metal used in the Canadian 5 cent coin was comprised of a specially prepared brass known as Tombac.

A victory symbol was proudly displayed on each of these Canadian war time nickels. This gave the Canadian 5 cent pieces minted during these years the nickname of "Victory Coins".

A little known fact about these Canadian victory nickel coins is that from 1943 to 1945 these 5 cent coins had a special Morse code message etched into the outer edge of each coin. The Morse code message on the Canadian nickel is, "We win when we work willingly".

In 2005 a special Canadian anniversary 5 cent nickel with the victory symbol was minted to celebrate the sixtieth year after the end of World War ll.

A celebratory 5 cent Nickel was minted in 1951 to proudly proclaim Canada as the worlds largest producer of nickel. This 5 cent coin featured the image designed by Stephan Trenka of a nickel refinery.

In 1967 a lucky rabbit was featured on the Canadian Centennial five cent coin. This hopping rabbit image on Canada's Centennial nickel was designed by Alex Colville.

Protect those valuable coins

The Monarchs On The Face Of The Canadian Nickel.

Since 1908 England's reigning Monarch has been pressed onto one side of all Canadian coins minted at the Royal Canadian Mint.

It is these Monarchs who gracefully rest on the face of each Canadian nickel:

1902 and 1910 it is the image of Edward Vll

1911 to 1936 it is the image of George V

1937 to 1952 it is George V1

1953 to present day it is Queen Elizabeth.

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Canadian 5 cent coin souvenir jewelery.

Canadian Nickel ÒBeaverÓ Two Toned Coin Hinged Money Clip
Canadian Nickel ÒBeaverÓ Two Toned Coin Hinged Money Clip

This delightful money clip featuring the image of the hopping rabbit which appears on the Canadian centennial 5 cent piece is an absolute treasure to own. Often referred to as the lucky rabbit coin just having this good luck piece so close makes you feel just so much luckier. A very nice souvenir piece for Canada.

 

Are you an avid coin collector?

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    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 2 years ago

      I don't have any information on the double dated nickels offhand, I would have to do a bit of research ;) Just might be a good idea though.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 2 years ago

      I have just become aware of the 90th anniversary coins of the Royal Canadian Mint. Do you have any information on the 1908-1998 double dateed nickels, part of the special coins released for the anniversary?

    • profile image

      Putri 2 years ago

      Simply discovered your web page thuorgh google and I consider this can be a disgrace that you are not ranked upper due to the fact that that is a fantastic post. To switch this I determined to avoid wasting your web site to my RSS reader and I will try to point out you in one of my posts since you actually deserv extra readers when publishing content material of this quality.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 4 years ago

      @srsddn lm: I received some Chinese coins a couple of months ago... it's so neat to see the difference in coins from one country to the next :)

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 4 years ago

      I have quite a few coins from different countries. Occasionally, I add some.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 4 years ago

      I am not, but I do enjoy seeing coins! Great stuff! :) Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @goo2eyes lm: You are right, it can cost quite a lot for an acquired piece depending on what it is.... but can be so worth it in the end.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: Blessings are always welcome around these parts, thanks so much for stopping by :)

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      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      I don't collect coins but I've seen a bunch from different countries. Seems foolish to me to produce coins in the UK then ship them over to Canada. I wonder why they made it to small in the beginning. Nice Morse code message too, but I think the average person wouldn't know how to interpret it.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      i collect when i can. collectibles are also not so cheap.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      My first sprinkling of angel dust on this lens has long worn off so I am back once again to scatter a little more. It is my quest today to bless all the lenses which I blessed in October of 2010. You are on this list.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @jimmyworldstar: I agree, Morse Code is so out of date, unless you were in the army or navy or something like that, you wouldn't have a clue how to interpret it.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @julieannbrady: I've been collecting coins since I was a young child as well, had tons of collections (including stamps as well).

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      You know, as a child, I was a collector of stamps and coins. I wonder what I did with my stamp collection ... can't recall ... but I do remember those triangular, rather artistic stamps. And, the coins? I do believe it was my grandma who got us started. The Canadian coins were always so special ... more artistic than U.S. ones me thinks.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @anonymous: It's amazing how they change over time, and although they haven't changed shape in my lifetime, they have changed designs quite a bit. Money is so neat to look at.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Now this is fascinating from "fish scale", the changes in metal content due to the value of nickel resulting in "Victory Coins" and to that familiar shape I have seen all my life. I don't recall seeing the rabbit but must have. I grew up close to the Canadian border, so seeing Canadian money was always a treat.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Now this is fascinating from "fish scale", the changes in metal content due to the value of nickel resulting in "Victory Coins" and to that familiar shape I have seen all my life. I don't recall seeing the rabbit but must have. I grew up close to the Canadian border, so seeing Canadian money was always a treat.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @anonymous: They are very clever when they change any of the monies, it's neat to look at the difference they come up with from year to year.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I took a look at a 2005 5 cent coin and noticed there wasn't a "5" on there. Until I noticed and read about the "V" for victory is also for five in Roman numerals. Quite clever

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      Thank you for stopping by my Canadian 5 Cent Coin lens. Have a great day :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Well done. Use them all the time.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @BrianRS: Your wife must really love you :)

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: Thank you so much.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @aesta1: Yes especially because Canada was still under British rule when it's first coins were produced.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @Blackspaniel1: There sure is a lot of history in coins. Some are very fascinating.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @Violin-Student: Lol...U.S. coin collecting or Canadian coin collecting, both are just as appealing. I think it is just the fact that it is money which makes coins so appealing to collect.

    • Violin-Student profile image

      Violin-Student 6 years ago

      Some interesting information here. Good job. Lensrolled to my Barber Half Dollar, Barber Quarter, Buffalo Nickel, Coin Collecting for Beginners,Flying Eagle Cent, Franklin Half Dollar, Indian Head Penny, Liberty Nickels, Sacagawea Dollar, Mercury Dime, National Park Quarters, Shield Nickels, Three Cent Pieces, Walking Liberty Half Dollar and several other coin related lenses. Numismatists Unite!

      --Art Haule

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 6 years ago

      Always looking for coin info.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Never knew the history. It is interesting.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      Blessed by a squid angel...have a great day :)

    • BrianRS profile image

      Brian Stephens 6 years ago from France

      I have got to be honest I hate those tiny little coins and I always give them to my wife to put in her purse so I don't have to deal with them. I guess they have got to be so small because otherwise they will cost more to make than the value they represent, but I still can't be bothered with them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Money is one of my favorite subjects :)

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      Cute bear bank :)

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