OTD: 12-sided five-cent coin becomes round

On today’s date in 1962, the Government of Canada passed an order-in-council to change the shape of the country’s five-cent coin from 12-sided (or dodecagonal) to round.

The 12-sided five-cent piece was introduced in 1942 to help Canadians distinguish the war-time bronze-coloured tombac coins from copper cents. Tombac, which was also used on British three-pence coins, was adopted to save on nickel, which was in high demand for the production of armaments and munitions throughout the Second World War.

Following the war, the 1946 five-cent coin returned to using nickel but kept the 12-sided shape introduced four years earlier.


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