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1938 Canadian Nickel


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I've got a 1938 Canadian nickel in my collection that appears to be in good condition (for a coins that's 73 years old). Are these desirable or just worth a nickel?


A relatively low mintage for the series, there are only 3.898 million others out there like this. (Everybody in Los Angeles could get one and we would still have 100,000 left over to satisfy collectors.)


When you say "good" condition, that is actually a technical term with a precise meaning depending on the coin and its series. (With ancients, medievals, etc. the term is more general.) With US and Canadian coins (others from places with establish collecting communities, UK,France, etc.), the words go like this:





Very Good


Very Fine

Extremely Fine

About Uncirculated

Mint State


Bizarrely enough in the USA we use a 70-point scale with Mint State running from 60 to 70 and Poor being 0.

Good - 8

Fine - 12

Very Fine - 20

Extremely Fine - 40

About Uncirculated - 50


US numismatics (Canadian, too) is one foot wide and one mile deep. These are nations without long histories, so every series is studied in great detail. That means that grading is different for different coins. Nominally, you might say that if 100% of the details are there, that is Mint State and if you can see half the original details, that is VF/XF, your typical collector grade coin and if you can see about 25% of the detail that is like Very Good maybe.




For the Indianhead Cent, the Barber Dime, etc., etc., whether that means three letters of LIBERTY in the headband or the split in the two ribbons that tie the bundled rods or (as in the case of your avatar) whether you can see Miss Liberty's toes, those determinations are what define the grade.


Welcome to the hobby.

It is an excellent place to meet other obsessive compulsives, finicky eaters, lonely old guys, and nerds. We do get one or two sociable people here and one or two women. All four of them have national reputations. :bwink:

Like I said, welcome to the hobby.

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