Canadian silver dollar

Canadian silver dollar

The Royal Canadian Mint issued the first silver dollar in 1935. It is meant to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of His Majesty King George V. The coin’s reverse design is sculpted by Emanuel Hahn and portrays a voyageur and an aboriginal paddling a birch-bark canoe. The faint lines in the background are meant to represent the Northern Lights. This design would be utilized on the dollar until 1986. [The Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, W.K. Cross, p.155, The Charlton Press, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-88968-297-6]

Varieties

1947

Ten varieties of the 1947 Voyageur Dollar exist. The ten varieties can be placed into three distinct categories: the Pointed Seven, the Blunt Seven, and the Maple Leaf issue. The mintages for all of these are included on the mintage indicated on the chart below.

Pointed seven

Two styles of the number 7 in 1947 were used in the dies to produce the Voyageur coins. The seven was a tall figure with the lower tail pointing back to the right. [The Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, W.K. Cross, p. 158, The Charlton Press, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-88968-297-6] On some of the coins, a dot appears near the 7. This is attributed to an imperfection in the die. Six different varieties of the Pointed 7 exist.
*Pointed 7
*Pointed 7 with a Double-Punched 4
*Pointed 7 with a dot near the 7
*Pointed 7 with a double punched HP under the effigy of His Majesty King George VI
*Pointed 7 with a triple punched HP under the effigy of His Majesty King George VI
*Pointed 7 with a quadruple punched HP under the effigy of His Majesty King George VI (The HP is the initials of the designer: T.H. Paget)

Blunt seven

A shorter 7 with the lower tail pointing almost straight down has been labelled as the blunt seven. [The Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, W.K. Cross, p. 158, The Charlton Press, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-88968-297-6]
*Blunt 7
*Pointed 7 with a double punched HP under the effigy of His Majesty King George VI

Maple Leaf issue

*1947 with the Maple Leaf near the 7
*1947 with the Maple Leaf near the 7 with a double punched HP under the effigy of His Majesty King George VI [The Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, W.K. Cross, p. 158, The Charlton Press, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-88968-297-6]

1950-1952

Arnprior type varieties

During 1950, a technical problem emanated during the 1950’s that was to plague the Royal Canadian Mint. At each end of the canoe on the Voyageur Dollar, are four shallow water lines. In the process of polishing the dies, parts of these lines tended to disappear. The result was that there were differences in the appearance of the coins from year to year. There were collectors that decided arbitrarily that a certain pattern of partial water lines at the right-hand end of the canoe should be collected separately and command a premium over dollars with perfect water lines or other partial lines configurations. [Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, W.K. Cross, p. 160, The Charlton Press, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-88968-297-6] The Arnprior type configurations tended to consist of 2 and ½ water lines at the right. Any trace of the bottom water line disqualified a coin from being considered an Arnprior type. [Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, W.K. Cross, p. 160, The Charlton Press, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-88968-297-6]

Varieties of 1952

A modified reverse, with no water lines at all, was put into use in 1952. In addition to removing the water lines, this modified reverse was different because the image of the canoe on the coin had a larger islet tip at the right end. This variety is different from the Arnprior coins in that it was deliberately created. [Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, W.K. Cross, p. 161, The Charlton Press, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-88968-297-6]

Origin of the Arnprior name

In December 1955, the Royal Canadian Mint made up an order of 2,000 silver dollars for a firm in Arnprior, Ontario. These coins had 2 and ½ water lines at the right end of the canoe. This was similar to the accidental disappearance of water lines on the versions from 1950-1951. The 1955 dollars caught the interest of many collectors and it was this version that led to the term Arnprior being applied to any dollar with an appearance of missing water lines. An even more collectible of the 1955 Arnprior, is given by the die break on the obverse legend, with the result being the joining of the T and the I in GRATIA. [Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, W.K. Cross, p. 163, The Charlton Press, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-88968-297-6]

No shoulder fold obverse

An element that was common on every denomination of 1953 was the two obverses that existed. Said obverses are commonly identified as the No Shoulder Fold and the Shoulder Fold. The coinage for the year featured the new effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. The sculptress was Mrs. Mary Gillick and she created a model with a relief that was too high. The centre portion of the effigy was to feature two lines on the shoulder. These lines were supposed to represent a fold in the Queen’s gown. As these lines did not appear very well, it was commonly termed the No Shoulder Strap by many collectors. [Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, W.K. Cross, p. 70, The Charlton Press, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-88968-297-6] Later on in the year, the Royal Canadian Mint’s Chief engraver Thomas Shingles lowered the relief of the model and strengthened the shoulder and hair details. This modified obverse became known as the Shoulder Strap variety.

1957 Arnprior

The 1957 dollar had a reverse that was considered an Arnprior. The reverse featured one water line to the right of the canoe.

1965

Although 1965 would mark a change in the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, the year would offer five different varieties of the dollar.

Variety 1 and 2

The small beads on the obverse of the coin define varieties 1 and 2. The rear jewel on Queen Elizabeth II’s tiara is well attached. The 5 in 1965 has two varieties. There is a pointed 5 (the point is at the bottom) while there is another version with a blunt 5 (the bluntness is at the bottom of the 5 too).

Variety 3 and 4

The large beads on the obverse of the coin define varieties 3 and 4. The rear jewel on Queen Elizabeth II’s tiara is well attached. The 5 in 1965 has two varieties. There is a pointed 5 (the point is at the bottom) while there is another version with a blunt 5 (the bluntness is at the bottom of the 5 too).

Variety 5

The obverse of variety 5 features medium beads. Unlike the other varieties, the 5 in 1965 is pointed.

1982 planchet varieties

The 1982 nickel dollar exists on a rolled thin planchet. The normal planchet has a weight of 15.62 grams, a diameter of 32.13 mm, and a thickness of 2.50 mm. The thin planchet consists of incomplete reeding. Its weight is 7.78 grams, a diameter of 31.82 mm, and a thickness of 1.50 mm. [Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, W.K. Cross, p. 544, The Charlton Press, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-88968-297-6] It is believed that only two exist.

History of composition

Voyageur

Nickel content, 1968-1986

[The Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, W.K. Cross, pp.155-170, pp.289-299, The Charlton Press, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-88968-297-6]

1981-1999

"Note:" 1981 was the first year that the RCM issued two different qualities of silver dollars. One version was the Proof, which composed of a frosted relief against a parallel lined background. The second version was the Brilliant Uncirculated. The finish is classified as a brilliant relief on a brilliant background.

References


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