The Royal Canadian Mint has compiled together two distinct coin designs which have become, for many collectors of Canadian coins, memorable classics. With the accession of King George VI as king of Canada in 1936, the proposal to change the reverse designs of all circulating Canadian coins that had been part of the coins since before confederation became a priority for the treasury. These special strikes offer rare insight into the evolution of a numismatic work of art, from idea to coin, to eventual icon.
In 1934, the Department of Finance invited the noted sculptor Emanuel Hahn (1881–1957) to submit a design for a silver dollar to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V’s reign, which was due to be celebrated in 1935. With Canada’s first circulating dollar being released for this occasion, the reverse design was so well received that it would be retained as part of the new series re-designed in time to be issued for the coronation year of King George VI. The 1935 silver dollar depicted a voyageur and an indigenous guide paddle, a fur-laden canoe past wind-swept pines that rise up from a semi-circular island, beneath the aurora borealis. The design carried into 1936 with a revised effigy of King George V that had been used on circulating Canadian coinage since 1911. With the death of George V that same year, it was decided to continue with this denomination and design, but there would be a need to revise all other reverse designs in time for what was supposed to be the coronation of King Edward VIII, who succeeded his father in January 1936. Edward VIII’s abdication in December that same year did not change the Royal Canadian Mint’s plans to revise Canadian coinage, but the plans would now include an effigy of King George VI, the younger brother of Edward VIII.
One-dollar coin: Important changes are shown on the canoe on this collector version of the dollar coin with the HB letters being positioned differently, while the insignia on the canoe is erased. The
25-cent coin: Additional designs to be considered also included concepts by Hahn, which would result in one of the world’s most
The obverse of each coin features the effigy of HM King George VI, which was the work of British sculptor T. H. Paget. This effigy was the only one used during the reign of the king and also appeared on the coins issued in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
|25 cents||.999 Silver||62.2 g||50 mm||Proof|| 1,750|
|One dollar||.999 Silver||62.2 g||50 mm||Proof|
Each coin in this two-piece set is individually encapsulated and presented in a custom case to accommodate both the coins and a special certificate of authenticity. The sketches, which these collector coins’ designs are based on, are preserved in the National Currency Collection, along with Hahn’s correspondences, plaster models, and other production materials.
For additional information about these coins and others available from the Royal Canadian Mint, please visit their website.