The Famous Big Nickel

The Big Nickel is an exact replica of the 1951 Canadian nickel. It was built in 1964 and symbolizes the wealth that Sudbury has contributed to the Canadian economy through nickel production. The base enables the public to walk around the Big Nickel and under it. Access is barrier-free.

Big Nickel Fast Facts:

The Big Nickel is a replica of the 1951 Canadian five-cent coin, built in 1964 by local Sudburian Ted Szilva. Open to the public at no cost, visitors are invited to walk around the Big Nickel and explore the site of the Centennial Numismatic Park.

Big Nickel Fast Facts:

The Big Nickel is the largest coin in the world.

In the 1960's the Big Nickel was joined by four large coin monuments:

  • The Fantasy Penny,
  • The Lincoln Penny,
  • The Kennedy Half Dollar, and
  • The Twenty Dollar Gold Piece.

These four monuments were dismantled in 1984.

The 1951 5-cent coin was minted to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the isolation and naming of the element Nickel.

The obverse, or 'heads' is King George VI. The reverse, or 'tails' is a stylized nickel refinery with one large stack. It is NOT the Sudbury superstack!

The Big Nickel weighs close to 13,000 kilograms (approximately 13 tonnes).

It is about 64,607,747 times the size of a real Canadian nickel.

Over the years, the composition of the 5-cent coin changed until one final change to the nickel was made in 1999. Today’s 5-cent coin is 94.5% steel, 3.5% copper, and 2% nickel.

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