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Canadian War Nickels


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I'm 40 and until yesterday I had never heard of the Canadian war nickels. I've been familiar with the US cents and nickels for over twentyfive years but entirely ignorant of the Canadian changes. Yesterday I was helping my son define the scope of his Central States exhibit and that's where this "discovery" was made. It's just funny to me how well one can maintain ignorance.

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I knew about them because I collected Canadian coins when I was a kid. They are quite interesting. I think there were a few entered in the PCI competitions. I'll look back when I get a chance.

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When I lived closer to Canada, I'd see them in change periodically; more often than I'd see our own war nickels, actually -- but then, Canadian war nickels didn't have silver in them. Funny thing is, I found one in change in the last couple weeks. I twigged on to the idea that the person on the coin was the King... what took me a while to figure out was why were they using 'our' money (dollars, cents) rather than come up with their own kind? :pardon:

 

...boy, come to think of it, it would've been a lot cooler to see half crowns, shillings, pence and all occasionally show up in change!

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  • 1 month later...

Anyone have an idea why they went from Tombac to Steel? Excess iron?

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Anyone have an idea why they went from Tombac to Steel? Excess iron?

 

According to Charlton's, "war demands for copper and zinc forced a suspension in the use of tombac for the 5-cent piece and the institution of plated steel". Charlton's also points out that there was in fact a mintage of 1944 tombacs but they were never issued and melted, except for 1 coin which was sold in 1999 for $38,500.

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That's a deal compared to the 1943 bronze cents on the US side. I found one contemporary account from Canada, they give the reason as it being harder and more time consuming to make the brass alloy.

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