Code on the Canadian Wartime Nickels

Code on the Canadian Wartime “V-Nickels”

By: MICC Lifetime member #001

Few Canadian collectors acquire much time in the hobby before they become aware of the fact that the Mint placed Morse Code on the reverses of the “V-Nickels” issued 1943 through 1945 – brass “tombac” in 1943, chromium-plated steel afterward. Replacing the denticles around the rim of the reverse, the message spelled out is simple enough to remember: “We Win When We Work Willingly”. But where is it exactly?

(Illustration from CNJ, Feb., 1982, p.53. Used with permission.) 


Location of the Morse Code message on the reverse of the “V-Nickels” from World War II.

The message begins at the very bottom with the dot under the N of CENTS. In Morse Code, “dot-dash-dash” equals “W” and there are six of them, each beginning a word.

Oddly, the 1943 5-cent appeared exactly 100 years after the invention of the code for telegraphers by Samuel Morse.


Previously printed in the MICC Numismatic Journal Vol-02, Issue-03