Here are pictures of a fun little treasure handed to me at a local
deli here in my hometown.
I have had this thing about looking at coins and their dates since
I was a kid. When I was little, it was fun to find the Lincoln, Wheat
cents, and it still is!
I received this coin recently in change handed to me, and it
caught my eye because it was so shiny and also since it was Canadian.
But when I looked at the date, I was surprised that something from
1976 would be so bright.
It looks like it may have been Uncirculated or in a collection or
something, but I am guessing it’s been circulated a bit before I got
it due to the small scratches. What do you think?
Based on your photographs, it appears likely that the coin was cut
from a 1976 Canadian Prooflike set. Prooflike coins like this one were
part of six-coin sets packaged in plastic sleeves. In addition to the
cent, the other coins were the 5-cent, 10-cent, 25-cent, 50-cent and
Somehow your cent then ended up in circulation, which would
explain the scratches on the coin that you note.
According to Coin World’s World Coin Values, available
with the digital edition of Coin World, a 1976 Canadian cent
in Mint State 63 red condition is valued at 50 cents.
From the images, your coin would likely not grade this high. It
is, however, acknowledged that the excitement of finding something out
of the ordinary in change adds some personal value.
Canada’s cent dates back to 1858, when the coin was first issued
by the Province of Canada, before much of the lands that now compose
Canada confederated in 1867. The newly joined nation inherited the
denomination and Canada’s cent remained a fixture of circulation,
lasting a total of 155 years before the Royal Canadian Mint decided
striking the coins was impractical. The last day for the coin to be
placed into circulation was Feb. 4, 2013.
During the denomination’s long history, the cent featured five
different monarchs: Victoria, Edward VII, George V, George VI and
Elizabeth II, and cents were struck at five different mints: Winnipeg
and Ottawa in Canada, and Heaton, Birmingham and the Royal Mint in
Originally 5.67 grams of copper, tin and zinc, with a
25.4-millimeter diameter, the cent’s size was reduced to 19.05
millimeters and 3.24 grams in 1920.
In modern times, the coin has been struck in a multi-ply plated
steel composition with a weight of 2.35 grams.
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