1965 Pennies Explained
By: Marc Bink, with Photos and research by Dean Silver
Pointed 5 verse Blunt 5
The 1965 run of Canadian pennies has always been one of the most confusing to beginning collectors. It usually takes a long time for the beginning collector to determine whether or not the “5” is blunt or pointed. Dean Silver, who does the “dts Average” for the Planchet, was asked about the subtle differences between the two types. He writes, “An individual from South Dakota asked me how do you tell the differences between the 1965 1 cent, the blunt and pointed fives”. So he composed a few words on the subject and complimented them with some pictures, after which they no longer had any problems differentiating between the two. He writes:
“The differences in the fives is considered to be at the top. It has been my observation that both types of 5 are usually pointed, just that one is less pointed than the other.”
“The considered to be blunt 5 appears to be wider at the top and the 5 itself appears to be tipped forward”
“The considered to be pointed 5 appears to be narrow at the top and the 5 itself appears to be straight”.
The pictures provide a good illustration of the differences, note the angles and where the dashed lines point to. The quickest way to see the differences at a quick glance is to look at the five itself, if the pointed part sticks out past the rounded part, then it’s pointed. On the blunt five the pointed tip of the 5 lines up pretty much with the rounded portion of the 5 and does not stick out past it.
Large Beads verse Small Beads
1965 was the first year for the Machin portrait and as such, difficulties were encountered in striking the coins. This resulted in new obverse dies to be created – a large bead and small bead type. The traditional method to determine the large beads vs. small beads types is to examine the “A” in “REGINA”. If it points between two beads it is considered the small bead type, if it points directly to a bead then it is the large bead type.
In reality, utilizing the last “A” of Regina to determine the large beads from small beads types can be rather “tricky” at times. A much easier method is to use the first Roman numeral 1 or capital I … in Elizabeth the 2nd [Elizabeth II].
For the small beads type, this letter is always directly on a bead … and for the large beads, it is always noticeably well off a bead or between beads.
Both obverse varieties were coupled with both reverse varieties, resulting in 4 different combinations or varieties. Total mintage for the 1965 penny in all 4 varieties was 304,441,082. The rarest version is variety 4, “Large Beads, Pointed 5”, which catalogs in at $55.00 in MS-60 (brown)!
One more reason to start breaking open the kid’s piggybanks again!
Previously published in the ENS “The Planchet” Magazine Vol-56 Issue-10/11