1965 25-cent Canadian trial token at CNG’s August 23 auction


Without knowing the story behind the problem, collectors might consider a 1965 copper-nickel test token to be a “numismatic Frankenstein”.

An example of this token is offered in the Classical Numismatic Group’s Keystone No. 8 auction, which closed on August 23.

The token features on its obverse the crowned busts of George VI and Elizabeth II, Percy Metcalfe’s design of the 1939 Royal Visit Medal, marking the first Royal visit to Canada.

The reverse shows three geese flying to the left, reminiscent of the 1967 silver dollar, which shows a single goose.

The “denomination” indicated on the back is TWENTY FIVE TOKENS. The inscription as well as the size and weight (24 millimeters in diameter, 5.21 grams) suggest that it is a test token for a 25 cent coin.

Test tokens were created by the Ottawa Mint to be loaned to vending machine companies to test if a composition would work in their machines.

Canada, like many countries (including the United States of America), abandoned silver as its currency in circulation in the 1960s in favor of base metals.

James Haxby, in Striking Impressions: The Royal Canadian Mint and Canadian Currency, wrote: “The Mint has conducted experiments on various alternative metals, including cupronickel. But it was not until 1966, the year originally proposed for the transition, that a government committee was formed to decide on a new alloy of currency.

Officials quickly determined that pure nickel was the best of five possible options instead of silver, “based on appearance, availability, distinctiveness of U.S. coins, and compatibility with coinage techniques. the Currency”.

CNG has assigned the token, in uncirculated condition, an estimate of US$75

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