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Commems Collection Canadian: The R C M P's Founding - Pick A Year

 
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 Posted 04/24/2021  10:53 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Over my years of collecting Royal Canadian Mint ( RCM) commemorative coins, I have, from time to time, been surprised by the multiple dates the RCM identifies as anniversary years for what it presents, at least on first glance, as the same historical event. One such case is the two different dates it has used for commemorating the founding of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

The RCM celebrated the 100th anniversary of the RCMP in 1973 with a commemorative 25-cent coin and silver dollar. In 1998, it marked the RCMP's 125th anniversary. That made sense -- 1973 + 25 = 1998. In 2020, however, 22 years after the 1998 release, the RCM issued a silver $5 commemorative coin for the 100th anniversary of the RCMP - Huh? How did 125 + 22 become 100?

I decided to do a bit of research and figure it all out. Fortunately, I've learned that the RCM's reasoning for its RCMP anniversary dates is straightforward and logical though its marketing terminology could be a bit more defined and accurate.

As noted above, in 1973, the RCM issued a commemorative 25-cent coin; it was struck for circulation as well as for collector sets. The Mint also issued a non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) commemorative silver dollar for collectors. The commemorative reverses of the two coins used similar but different designs of an RMCP Mountie on horseback; both designs were the work of Paul Cedarburg, and both coins were promoted as marking the 100th anniversary of the RMCP.




In reality, 1973 was the 100th anniversary of the creation of a police force that became the North-West Mounted Police. "In May 1873, the Parliament of Canada established a central police force, and sent 150 recruits west to Manitoba. The new police force gradually acquired the name North-West Mounted Police (NWMP)...In 1904, King Edward VII conferred the title of "Royal" upon the North-West Mounted Police." (from "History of the RMCP" at https://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/history-rcmp)

The year 1873 was also used for the basis of a 1998 NCLT silver dollar that was advertised as commemorating the RCMP's 125th anniversary.



In 2020, the Mint marked the 100th anniversary of the Royal North West Mounted Police being combined with the Dominion Police to become the RCMP with a silver $5 coin. It was in 1920 that an Act "to amend the Royal North West Mounted Police Act came into force. The Act changed the name of the RNWMP to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and allowed for the move of RCMP headquarters to Ottawa from Regina. In addition, the Dominion Police was terminated and its roles and responsibilities for federal policing in Eastern Canada were taken over by the RCMP." (from "History of the RMCP" at https://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/history-rcmp).


(Image Credit: Royal Canadian Mint.)

So, at least two different "founding" events are commemorated by the RCM as RCMP establishment anniversaries:

1. The 1873 date which was when the RCMP's predecessor (the NWMP) was formed - this date has given rise to the 1973 commemorative 25-cent coin and NCLT silver dollar plus the 1998 NCLT commemorative silver dollar.

2. The 1920 date which was when the name "Royal Canadian Mounted Police" officially replaced the name "Royal North West Mounted Police" and the force was given the responsibility of being a national police service.

I'm sure the RCM appreciates having two different founding dates to commemorate, it gives them more opportunities to strike and issue collector coins with a popular theme!

In 2023, the RCMP is planning to celebrate its 150th anniversary thanks to its roots that date back to 1873 and the North-West Mounted Police - it seems a safe bet that the RCM will issue one or more coins to mark the occasion of the roots of Canada's national police service.

The RCM has issued multiple coins with an RCMP theme over the years, but many do not commemorate a specific anniversary - most have been more of a numismatic tribute to the force vs. being a traditional commemorative. (The 1998 Last RMCP Dog Sled Patrol silver dollar is an exception - you can read more about it here: 1994 Last RMCP Dog Sled Patrol).



Now that I understand the chronological roots of the RCMP and the early dates associated with its organization, I will no longer be surprised by a new coin's date as long as it's based on one or the other (1873 or 1920). If the RCM comes up with another "founding" date in order to issue a new coin, it will be time for me to conduct another research cycle!



Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Edited by commems
04/24/2021 10:57 am
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 Posted 04/24/2021  11:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Alex A to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great article commems. Will this be a chapter in your book?

BTW, the 1973 circulation quarter proved very popular with both the public and collectors. It was in circulation for a long time and it is still possible to find one today.
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 Posted 04/24/2021  12:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JadeDragon to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice summary of RCMP history. I still see the 1973 circulation coin occasionally but mostly they have been saved in drawers or removed by the Mint for recycling of the pure nickel in them. The Mint can replace those coins with a steel coin for less then the value of the Ni in the old quarter.
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 Posted 04/24/2021  6:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Amazing - Canadian expertise as well.
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.finewoodcrafter.com
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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 Posted 04/25/2021  9:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@AlexA and JadeDragon: Thanks for the positive feedback and insights into the circulating piece - I can't get that from my vantage point down here in the US!

@nickelsearcher: Thanks! I do like Canada's commemorative silver dollar series and enjoy writing about it!



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