Coin, Canada, Elizabeth II
5 Cents - 1965 - Royal Canadian Mint - Ottawa
Queen's bust right
Beaver on rock divides date and denomination
- Denomination: 5 Cents
- Composition: Nickel
- Mint name: Royal Canadian Mint
- Year: 1965
- Country: Canada
- Product type: Coin
- Catalog Initials: KM
- Coinage Type: Circulation Coinage
- Ruler Name: Elizabeth II
- Diameter: 21.2
- Mint location: Ottawa
- First Issue Date: 1965
- Period: 1965
- Theoretical Coin Weight Entire (gr): 4.54
- Mintage: 84876018
- KM: 60.1
- Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms: 1952–2022
- Dynasty: House of Windsor
- Predecessor: George VI
- Successor : Charles III
- Regime: Parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born in London in April 1926. She married Philip Mountbatten in 1947 and acceded to the throne in 1952 upon the death of George VI. She was 25 years old when she became queen and reigned over the 15 Commonwealth realms. Among others, these include the United Kingdom (of course), Canada, New Zealand, the Bahamas, and Jamaica.
Her coronation at Westminster in 1953 was the first ever to be broadcast on television. She celebrated her Diamond Jubilee (60 years on the throne) in 2012. In 2015, she broke the record for longevity of reign previously held by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. A great many coins and a great many banknotes featuring the effigy of the Queen were issued by the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms during her reign.
She passed away in September 2022, having celebrated her Platinum Jubilee (70 years on the throne) just a few months earlier. Her eldest son then acceded to the throne as Charles III.
Picture: Official portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, unknown photographer (1959) - Library and Archives Canada (CC)
If nickel had its place in antiquity, then it was in the form of an alloy, due to a lack of means to separate it from its ore companions. It was not isolated for the first time until Axel Fredrick Cronsted succeeded in 1751.
Its name has an amusing origin. The ore from which it was extracted came from Germany and resembled copper. The miners named it Kupfernickel, meaning “sprite copper”, a reference to a mischievous sprite in Germanic mythology which played dirty tricks in the mines.
Nickel is a hard metal, which is silver in color, shiny, and resistant to wear.
The first nickel coins were issued by Switzerland in 1881. France did not follow suit until 1903 with the 25 centime coins engraved by Henri-Auguste-Jules Patey.
This metal never really became popular until after WWI due to the rarefaction of silver. Unfortunately, there are two negative aspects which have lowered its value in its pure form recently: its rising cost (nickel is now twice as expensive as copper) and its hardness, which puts coins at risk.
For this reason, other alloys like cupronickel are often preferred.
An “AU(55-58)” quality
As in numismatics, it is important that the state of conservation of an item be carefully evaluated before it is offered to a discerning collector with a keen eye.
This initially obscure acronym comprising two words describing the state of conservation is explained clearly here:
This means – more prosaically – that the coin has been in circulation but sufficiently little that its original beauty is preserved almost in its entirety. The wear is barely visible and any other defect can only be identified with a magnifying glass or a particularly keen eye. The number (55-58) indicates that between three quarters and almost all of the original luster remains.