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D. G. Regina Inscription

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United States
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 Posted 07/18/2019  11:30 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add bordbord to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I am still learning about Canadian coins. What's the story behind some bullion coins not having the "D.G. Regina" Latin inscription? I learned it means By the Grace of God, Queen but that is all I have been able to find out. I don't know if it's ever omitted on commemorative or circulating coins.
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 Posted 07/19/2019  06:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Canada inherited the use of Latin coinage titles from Britain, where (apart from the brief interregnum of the Commonwealth during the English Civil War) a Latin inscription has always been used for the monarch's titles. Britain and Canada are the only two Commonwealth Realms to persist in this anachronism. I suspect that in Canada's case, Latin remains on the coinage for the same reason it is still occasionally used on Swiss and Belgian coins: in an officially multi-lingual country such as Canada, Latin is a "neutral" language choice. If they got rid of Latin, they'd be legally bound to replace it with both English and French, and on all but the largest coins, that would make her titles too small to read.

There may be some residual sensitivity to removing the "D.G". Way back in 1911, the new Canadian coinage issued for King George V was struck, with the obverse inscription just "GEORGIVS V REX ET IND IMP." - they omitted the D.G. Well, there was considerable controversy from church authorities, and from religious folks generally, at this sudden and unannounced "godless" coinage. The following year, the obverse of the coins was redesigned to re-include "D.G". And Canada's never been game to remove it from circulating coins ever since.

There is no legal requirement for "D.G" to be on circulating coins. In Canada, under the Royal Canadian Mint Act of 1985, coinage design is determined by the "Governor in Council" - that is, by the designated government minister (currently the Minister of Finance), acting under advice from the Mint and the bureaucracy, writing the design briefs for new coins, and the Governor-General signing off on them. They're allowed to get rid of D.G. whenever they like.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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 Posted 07/19/2019  09:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mcshilling to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very informative SAP thank you.
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United States
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 Posted 07/19/2019  5:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add bordbord to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sap, Thanks for all that information. That's interesting history. It does sound like the decision may be arbitrary sometimes. As a possible example, I see that in the 3-coin Bison silver 1 1/4 ounce series, the 2015 coin does not include the "D.G." inscription whereas the 2016 and 2017 coins do. But it does seem to me (based on limited research) that most recent silver bullion coins (Maple Leaf coins anyway) do not have the inscription.
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