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Commems Collection Canadian: King George V On Canada's 36 MM Silver Dollars

 
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 Posted 02/07/2021  6:18 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
The portrait of King George V (KGV) made its first appearance on a Canadian silver dollar in 1935 when Canada issued its first silver dollar - a circulating commemorative! The portrait was the work of Percy Metcalfe of The Royal Mint in London. The commemorative nature of the coin was limited, however, to the obverse inscription which translates from Latin as "George V King Emperor 25th Year of Reign." The coin's reverse marked the first appearance of Emmanuel Hahn's now-iconic Voyageur design.


Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions, http://www.ha.com.

A KGV portrait also appeared on Canada's regular issue 1936 silver dollar, though the portrait was the work of Sir Edgar Bertram MacKennal vs. Percey Metcalfe. The commemorative obverse inscription of 1935 was replaced with one that translates as "George V, by the grace of God, the King and Emperor of India."


Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions, http://www.ha.com.

KGV reigned over the UK and the British Commonwealth from 1910 until his death on January 20, 1936. During that time, essentially all of Canada's circulating coins featured the MacKennal portrait on their obverse (the 1935 SD being the exception). The KGV portraits by Metcalfe and MacKennal are my favorite of all the portraits of British monarchs that appear on coins (regardless of country) - the portraits represent what I grew up imagining a King to look like!

After KGV's death, a new portrait was used on Canada's coins beginning in 1937 - the portrait of King George VI.

Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) ascended to the British throne following the death of King George VI; she ascended on February 6, 1952. QEII's portrait has been the standard on Canada's NCLT silver dollars since they were first issued in 1971; the portrait has been updated over the years, however. The QEII portrait has been displaced on occasion in favor of a KGV portrait when the anniversary being commemorated by the Royal Canadian Mint ( RCM) marked an event from KGV's time.

Please Note: This post is focused on the RCM's 36 mm silver dollars that depict KGV on their obverse; it does not discuss $1 coins of larger diameters or coins of different denominations. KGV's portrait has been used on many RCM non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) releases over the past ten+ years. It's a rich area that I'll leave to others to explore.


2010 75th Anniversary of Canada's First Silver Dollar

In 2010, the RCM's Limited Edition Silver Dollar commemorated the 75th anniversary of Canada's first circulating silver dollar. It was the first time KGV's portrait was used on a modern NCLT SD. As referenced above, the 1935 dollar featured Percy Metcalfe's KGV portrait on its obverse and Emmanuel Hahn's iconic voyageur design on its reverse. The 2010 coin's obverse uses the commemorative KGV inscription of the 1935 coin in keeping with its commemorative replica intent. The reverse design recreates Hahn's voyageur design with a slight modification to include the dual date "1935-2010" vs. just the "1935" found on the original coin. The reworking of the Northern Lights is another obvious modification on the replica coin.

The coin was available as a standalone proof coin for $69.95 CAD, and as part of a Limited Edition Proof Set for $159.95.


Images courtesy of Royal Canadian Mint.


2011 100th Anniversary of the 1911 Silver Dollar

In 2011, the trial/pattern strikes of Canada's 1911 silver dollar were celebrated with a Special Edition Silver Dollar. Mekennal's KGV obverse portrait was paired with a recreation of William Henry James Blakemore's original reverse design that was to be used for the silver dollar if it had been struck for circulation in 1911 (and beyond). The coin's denomination was updated from "ONE DOLLAR" to "1 DOLLAR" on the design to make it bilingual and the date "1911" was made "1911-2011" to reflect the coin's commemorative anniversary status.

The coin was available as a standalone Special Edition proof coin for $64.95 CAD, and as part of a Special Edition Proof Set for $179.95.


Images courtesy of Royal Canadian Mint.


2015 100th Anniversary of "In Flanders Fields" Poem

2015 saw the release of a Limited Edition Silver Dollar that marked the 100th anniversary of Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae's "In Flanders Fields" poem. McCrae wrote the piece in the midst of the Battle of Ypres in May 1915. It was originally written to honor those who lost their lives at Ypres, but went on to be viewed as a piece that recalls and honors all who lost their life in the Great War and all subsequent wars; the poem has become internationally recognized. The commemorative reverse of the SD includes a large poppy flower that is filled with red enamel in its background with a pair of mourning soldiers standing over the grave of a fallen friend in the foreground. The obverse features E. B. MacKennal's KGV portrait with the inscriptions used in 1936.

The coin was available as a standalone Limited Edition proof coin for $79.95 CAD; it was not included as a coin in any proof set.

Images courtesy of Royal Canadian Mint.


2021 100th Anniversary of Bluenose Launch

The current 2021 Bluenose silver dollar is the latest SD to feature KGV on its obverse (the MacKennal portrait). The coin features an interesting commemorative reverse design which presents the Bluenose partly as a completed ship under sail and partly as a a design rendering. The SD is available as a standalone, standard proof coin and with selective gold-plating as part of the 2021 Fine Silver Proof Set.


Images courtesy of Royal Canadian Mint.

The Bluenose was launched on March 26, 1921 at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, approximately 11 years into KGV's reign. The schooner was built to be a commercial fishing vessel as well as a racing ship; she had very successful careers in both worlds. Though the famous ship has appeared on the Canadian ten-cent coin since 1937, it wasn't until March 15, 2002 that the RCM officially declared the ship depicted in Emanuel Hahn's design for the dime to be the Bluenose.

A brief but informative history of the ship and its successes can be found in The Canadian Encyclopedia ; read the Bluenose entry here: Bluenose.


The six coins make for an attractive subset of Canada's silver dollar series. For those with an interest, it is a subset that is fairly easy to assemble!


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 02/08/2021  10:05 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add GMS5 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I am currently awaiting my 2021 Bluenose Silver Dollar. Stellar design.
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 Posted 02/09/2021  08:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Alex A to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
All of these are great designs. As usual great job commems and thank you for posting.

Cheers!
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 Posted 02/13/2021  4:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Alex A: Thanks for the kind words - much appreciated! Glad you enjoyed the post.

I agree with you re: the designs of all the coins - very regal!


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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