Victoria (1819–1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. She inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1840. Their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". Her reign of 63 years and seven months is known as the Victorian era and was longer than that of any of her predecessors. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire.

The first ever Canadian five-cent coins were struck by the Royal Mint in London as part of the introductory 1858 coinage of the Province of Canada. These coins were nicknamed "fish scales" for their tiny size.

Engraver: Leonard Charles Wyon


Portrait of the very young Queen Victoria wearing a laurel wreath. In actual fact, the Queen was decidedly older and pudgier in the 1850s, so it is considered that the image on the coins of this year portrayed the idealized image of the Queen.

Dei Gratia Regina is a Latin title meaning By the Grace of God, Queen.

There are five different obverse varieties found on 5 cent coins between 1858 and 1901. All varieties marked with an acronym OFN, where O = Obverse, F = Five cents, N = Variant Type N (from 1 to 5).

OF1: 1858, 1870W
OF2: 1870N, 1871, 1872H, 1874H, 1875H, 1880H, 1891-1901
OF3: 1880H, 1881H
OF4: 1882H, 1883H
OF5: 1883H, 1884-1889, 1890H, 1891-1892



The facial value is surrounded by two maple boughs and the crown of Queen Victoria. Mint mark (if any) below.

1858 5 cents are found with large and small dates. The difference between is minor and difficult for many to differentiate but on the small dates the top and bottom circles of the final 8 as close to round while on the large date are more elliptical. On the small date the size of all four digits in the date are about the same, while on the large date the 58 are slightly larger than the 18.

1870 5 cents come with two border types. Flat border (FB) which is sometimes called wide border. Raised border (RB) which is sometimes called the narrow border. All dates after 1870 have the raised (narrow) border.

In 1874, there are two varieties. The first is known as the "crosslet 4" which has a small vertical bar at the very back of the four, and a slightly larger date (some references call this the "large date" variety). The second variety is the "plain 4" which lacks that small upright at the back of the four, and has a slightly smaller date (and some references call the small date variety).

From 1882 to 1889 a design was used that features a narrow rim, short denticles and 22 leaves.

1874 5 cents are found in what are known as near and far 4 varieties which can be difficult to tell a part as the spacing difference is very minor. A second diagnostic is the shape of the four where the near 4 has a slightly squared off front tip and a slightly wedge shaped upright at the back of the 4, which the far 4 is more pointed at the front and the upright at the back of the 4 is closer to rectangular than wedge shaped.

In 1885 and 1886, there are varieties with large and small last digits in the date, plus in 1885 there is a scarcer variety with the small 5 punched over a large 5.. The way to tell the 1885 large and small 5 apart is to look inside the circle of the 5. The opening inside the large 5 is distinctly comma shaped, while on the small 5 it is rounded.

Four varieties exist for 1897: narrow 8 - most common, wide 8, narrow 8 over wide 8, 7 over 7 with a standard narrow 8 - scarcest type.

The 1900 5 cent exists with either large (round) and small (oval) 0's in the date. The easiest way to confirm the variety when looking at only one coin is by the hole in the middle of the O's which on the small (Oval) 0 is more distinctly over than the outside of the O, which in the wide (round) 0 the inside is a near perfect circle.



5 Cents

KM# 2 Schön# 2
Material Silver
Fineness 0.925
Weight 1.167 g
Diameter 15.494 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Coin
Heaton Mint, Birmingham (H)
Royal Mint

Related coins

Silver, 1.167 g, ⌀ 15.494 mm

Silver, 1.167 g, ⌀ 15.494 mm

Silver, 1.167 g, ⌀ 15.494 mm