Dave S. writes: I found a Canadian 1944 nickel. The head is a male, I believe it is King George. It has the following text around the outer edge of the head “georgivs vi d:g:rex et ind:imp:” coin. The coin has square edges. On the tail side it has what appears to be a torch inside a ‘V’. There seems to be something odd about the coin, I can’t quite explain it, but everyone I have shown it to agrees. Can you identify it? If so, is it worth anything? Thanks.
In 1942 & 1943 the composition of the 5 cent piece was changed from pure nickel to Tombac (.88 copper .12 zinc) to preserve nickel for the war effort. Close to the beginning of the production run in 1944 the composition was changed again, this time to nickel/chromium plated steel. Only about 8,000 tombac (.88 copper .12 zinc) 5 cent coins were struck in 1944 along with 11,532,784 steel pieces.
The 1944 tombac pieces are quite rare (worth about U.S.$10,000). The standard steel 5c pieces are worth about U.S. 10 cents in average circulated condition. The design on the 1943-45 nickels shows King George VI of England on the obverse a “V” for victory and a Liberty torch on the reverse. In 1946, the beaver reverse resumed and the 5 cent piece returned to its pre-war composition of pure nickel.