Canadian coinage since 1937

Started by <k>, May 16, 2020, 06:46:12 PM

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<k>



Canada in 1937.  Newfoundland did not join Canada until 1949.




From Wikipedia:

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles), making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching 8,891 kilometres (5,525 miles), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Various indigenous peoples inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years before European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century, British and French expeditions explored and later settled along the Atlantic coast. As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.


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<k>



This version of the red ensign was used from 1921 to 1957.




Canada used the red ensign as an informal national flag from 1892 until 1965.

From Wikipedia:

The ensign is the Red Ensign of the United Kingdom, embellished with the Arms of Canada as a shield in the bottom right quarter. The shield is divided into four quarters, consisting of the coats of arms of England, Scotland, Ireland and the Kingdom of France, the four founding nations of Canada. The first three quarters are the same as the Arms of the United Kingdom. At the base is a sprig of three maple leaves representing Canada. The leaves are described as proper, that is, the correct colour; it uses red and gold, the colour of the leaves in autumn, whereas earlier versions used green.
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<k>



The Canadian arms, as used from 1923 to 1957.
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<k>

Canada issued a new series of coins in 1937, with a modernised set of designs. Several factors led to this event. I quote from a reply given to our forum member quaziright by Canadian numismatist Henry Nienhuis:

Sir Robert Johnson, Deputy Master of the Royal Mint from 1922 to 1938, was quite the salesman. With the Statute of Westminster (1931), many commonwealth countries received various degrees of independence from British control. This created a desire for their own national coinages. Johnson embarked on a re-design campaign to help meet this need, though all coinage tools were still produced at the Royal Mint in his day.

It was J.H. Campbell, Master of the Royal Canadian Mint, who petitioned the Canadian government to have new designs for the reverses of all Canadian coins except the dollar. After the death of George V, he argued that it would be an ideal time to transition to new modern designs with a new sovereign. A local design committee was set up and designs submitted by British sculptor George Kruger-Gray (who produced many of the colonial coins) and Canadian sculptor Emanuel Otto Hahn were chosen. The new effigy of Edward VIII was to be by Thomas Humphrey Paget, but we know how that turned out. [Edward abdicated]. Edward actually paid a great deal of attention to the new modern coinage designs (Britain's, that is).

With the abdication of Edward in favour of George VI, the Royal Mint scrambled to get the new tools done for the entire commonwealth, with Britain garnering the immediate attention.
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<k>



Emanuel Hahn, who emigrated from Germany to Canada.




In late 1937, the tools and matrices finally arrived from London, so the issue of the new coins of the reign of King George VI was struck immediately. The most of the current designs of Canada's coins date from this period. The coins were as follows:

1¢: A twig with two maple leaves (Designer: George Kruger-Gray).
5¢: A beaver sitting on a log (Designer: George Kruger-Gray).
10¢: The famous Nova Scotian racing schooner Bluenose (Designer: Emanuel Hahn).
25¢: A caribou's head (Designer: Emanuel Hahn).
50¢: The Coat-of-Arms of Canada (Designer: George Kruger-Gray).
$1: Voyageur (Designer: Emanuel Hahn).
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<k>



The reverse design of the 1 cent coin, featuring maple leaves. It includes Kruger-Gray's initials.
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<k>



The reverse design of the 5 cents coin featured a beaver.




Kruger-Gray's superb design sets the beaver in context with a background of natural scenery. Usually Kruger-Gray simply placed an outline of an animal on a horizontal line, without providing any natural context. His red deer design for the ½ rupee of Mauritius is an example of his usual style. The elaborate beaver design for Canada is therefore something of a surprise.

See also: The portrayal of animals in coin design.
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<k>

#7


The famous Nova Scotian racing schooner Bluenose on a 1946-dated 10 cents coin.

Emanuel Hahn's design is rather impressionistic. The outline of the sails is not very clear.

Notice Hahn's initial at bottom left.

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<k>

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



A caribou - another name for a reindeer - appeared on the 25 cents coin.


Hahn used different fonts from Kruger-Gray on his designs. Curiously, the word 'cents' is in lower case on this design.
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<k>



The 50 cents featured the Canadian arms.

Kruger-Gray's initials appear either side of the crown.
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<k>





In 1935 Canada struck a commemorative silver dollar for King George V's Silver Jubilee. Emanuel Hahn created the famous reverse design known as Le Voyageur.

The design shows a canoe carrying a voyageur, (French-Canadian fur trader) and an Indigenous man. The canoe also contains two bundles of furs—on one, the initials HB, for Hudson's Bay Company may be seen. This design also appeared in 1936 on the standard silver dollar, showing King George V's normal portrait on the obverse. Le Voyageur was also adopted as the reverse design for the circulating silver dollar for the reign of King George VI.




See also: Canada 1935 dollar coin with unique obverse legend.
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<k>



The 1937-dated Canadian silver dollar, the first of King George VI's reign.




See also: Canada $1 1935: prototype sketches of Le Voyageur.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>




The portrait of King George VI as it appeared on Canada's circulation coins from 1937.

The Latin legend translates as: GEORGE VI, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, KING AND EMPEROR OF INDIA.
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<k>



The portrait of King George VI on the obverse of a 5 cents coin.




Under Edward VII and George V, the colonies and dominions were required to use the crowned effigy of the British monarch, while Britain used the uncrowned effigy. This measure was originally implemented as a a practical measure so that it would be easy to distinguish British coins (so called 'Homeland coins') from colonial coins, in colonies where both co-circulated. Eventually, the colonies that became dominions (the self-governing countries of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) considered that they were equal to Britain and should therefore also be allowed to use the uncrowned effigy. Thus the uncrowned effigy became a badge of status, in a way that was never originally intended.

King George V refused to allow the dominions to use the uncrowned effigy. However, King Edward VIII allowed them to do so, but he did not reign long enough to see the results of this decision. When George VI became king, he agreed to follow the course that Edward VIII had set in this respect, in order not to disappoint the people of the dominions. Thus Canada's use of his uncrowned effigy was in a sense a revolutionary, democratising and modernising development.




See also: King Edward VIII: His Place in Numismatics.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.