Long Beard's Blog

01 May 2021


Coins-World | Long Beard

Prior to 1935, the coinage of Canada was somewhat rudimentary in design. The obverse always depicts the reigning British monarch at the time of striking while a standard layout bearing the country of origin, the date and a crown with leafy wreath graced the reverse. Although beautiful in ways by their own design, on this date the future of all Canadian coinage would break away of sorts from British authority. Enjoy!

Under the Dominion of Canada Currency Act of 1910, the sole purpose of eliminating the dependence of foreign bullion to back it's paper currency (Spanish, French and even the highly favorable U.S. silver dollar were among those used up to the Act's passage), a Canadian silver dollar was proposed. Of course both the Canadian government and British government had to convene, with a resulting coin forth coming on the Silver Jubilee of King George V. The debates had not prevented the Canadian mint from striking specimen patterns prior to the King's 25 year anniversary of reign, as 2 are known bearing the date 1911. By 1934, with all but an actual design created, the British government retained it's sole right to the obverse, having the Royal London Mint's engraver, Percy Metcalf begin designing a Jubilee commemorative. While in the same year, the Canadian Department of Finance hired designer/engraver Emanuel Hahn to design the reverse.

On May 1, 1935, with King George V's Silver Jubilee being celebrated in both England and Canada (and all British held territories), the people of Canada were about to see a coin which represented them as such. Canadian. The first ever silver dollar, with a diameter of 36 mm and thickness of 2.84 mm, consisted of 80% silver, 20% copper. The obverse featured a bust of George V wearing the Imperial Crown and wearing a special robe to mark the occasion. The reverse, truly Canadian, depicts a fur company boatman (known as a voyageur) and a native American travelling by canoe, evergreens in the background , beneath the Northern Lights. In total, 428,707 Canadian silver dollars were struck, with 4 known varieties. A coin so bold that even their neighbors to the south began to gravitate towards them, collectors in the United States seeking them out as the perfect companion to the American dollar.

By 1937, the Canadian silver dollar brought about a slew of new designs across other coinage. Struck from 1935 to 1986, with exception to commemorative issues, and quickly dubbed Voyageur dollars, only several changes were made to the obverse. The first came with the death of King George V in 1952, Elizabeth II replacing him on coins struck in 1953. Since then, many revised designs of the Queen occurred as she aged. Within the series are many varieties, such as the 1953 type I and type II (no shoulder fold) and many water line refinements or date modifications. There are also several rarities, such as the key 1948 of which only 18,780 were struck. And the highly sought after 1945 and 1947. Today, this silver dollar of the north is still widely collected. Which is easy to see why.

The image provided is courtesy of Vcoins



Level 5

Thanks for the history lesson on the coins of Canada.

It's Mokie

Level 6

I love Canadian coins, I think my current holdings are more Canadian than U.S. at this point. But I am not a big fan of their massive amount of new programs every year. Thanks for a great blog!!!


Level 6

Nice blog and coin! I love the designs from Canada, especially the older mintage's.


Level 5

Canadian coins have a great design, and a unique aspect. Thanks for sharing!

Kevin Leab

Level 4

Thanks for the great blog! I really like the coins from Canada. I started a set of Canadian dollar coins years ago but never finished them. I'm not a fan of the newer ones though..from about 1965 to present.


Level 5

Always enjoyed Canadian coins. Have 4 sets of cent albums starting in 1920. Have 1920 to 70's cents in them. Have a few maple leafs.


Level 6

I am a big fan of Canadian coinage. Especially these older mintages. I don't collect a lot of them but do pick up the odd pieces that catch my eye. I enjoyed reading your blog and learned from it. Always a good thing. Thanks LB.


Level 7

I'm not into coins from Canada. However that said they have made some beautiful coins. The 1935 is one of them. I almost pulled the trigger on one. They make some classics this and others. Again your history has impressed me. I always learn . I learned something today again.Thanks for that.

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