In 1973, the Royal Canadian Mint (R C M) issued a silver dollar to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). To be fully accurate, however, 1973 was the 100th anniversary of the creation of a police force that became the North-West Mounted Police (a forerunner of the RCMP). "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)
In 1920, an Act "to amend the Royal North West Mounted Police Act came into force" was passed. 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 http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/history-rcmp).
The commemorative reverse design pf the 1973 SD presents a NWMP officer (vs. a RCMP officer) on his horse, facing left (viewer's perspective). The officer is wearing a circa 1900 uniform. The design is the work of Paul Cedarberg; it was engraved by the Mint's Patrick Brindley. The initials of each can be seen on the coin, Cedarburg's "PC" is to the left of the dual dates, Brindley's "B" is seen to the right of the dates. The obverse of the coin features the Queen Elizabeth II portrait sculpted/engraved by Arnold Machin. 1973 Royal Canadian Mounted Police 100th Anniversary Silver Dollar
The SD is 36.07 mm in diameter, weighs 23.327 grams and is comprised of 50% silver and 50% copper. The R C M refers to the finish of the coin as being "Specimen" - a different type of "Specimen" vs. the satiny, linen-lined finish of today's Specimen coins. For the 1973 SD, Specimen referred to a brilliant, higher-quality strike vs. circulation from specially-prepared dies that could yield coins approaching a proof finish. The coin was distributed in a black, simulated leather clamshell case with a plastic coin frame insert; the clamshell features a silver imprint of Canada's Coat of Arms and "CANADA" on its lid.1973 Royal Canadian Mounted Police 100th Anniversary Silver Dollar Coin Frame
The distribution quantity for the coin (i.e., coins sold) is generally listed as 904,723; the Mint appears to have struck a total of !,031,271 coins, however, between 1973 and 1974, which appears to indicate that over 126,500 SDs were eventually melted by the Mint). (Total Struck Figure: Dushnick, Stephan, Silver & Nickel Dollars of Canada,
Hicksville, NY: The Brooks Publishing Company, 1978.) The coin's issue price was $3.00 CAD per coin.
The RCMP arranged to have a group of the silver dollars placed in special cases (by the Mint) that were made available specifically to RCMP personnel. The RMCP clamshell case is dark blue, textured and features a golden-coloured, three-dimensional RCMP crest on its lid. Inside the special clamshell case is the standard red faux velvet lining with the coin embedded in a black plastic frame (same as standard issue). The coin was not in a capsule, however, so many of the coins were either damaged by the foam insert placed above the coin or after it dislodged from the frame and slid around within the case. 1973 Royal Canadian Mounted Police 100th Anniversary Silver Dollar - Custom RCMP Clamshell
I've been in contact with the folks at the RCMP Her
itage Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan, but have not yet been able to secure the number of the special packages originally ordered from the Mint in 1973 or the price at which they were offered to members of the RCMP. I will continue my efforts, however!
I've previously discussed several of the Mint's issues that were issued to honor the RMCP:
- Coins for RMCP Founding
For other of my posts about Canadian commemorative coins and medals, check out: Read More: Commems Collection