The obverse, designed by E.B MacKennal, features the bust of King George the V facing left. On the outer periphery are the words "GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: REX ET IND: IMP:".
The reverse, designed by W. H. J. Blakemore , features a wreath & crown that encircles the words "50 CENTS CANADA" with the date below. The reverse design was actually carried over from the Queen Victoria and King Edward VII series.
3 Major Varieties
Variety 1 – 1911 “Godless” No - "DEI GRA" in motto
Variety 2 – 1912 to 1919 with “DEI GRA” in motto
Variety 3 – 1920 to 1936 Reduced Silver Content 80% silver, 20% copper (0.300 ounces of silver)
General Market Notes
According The Charlton Press, 144,200 coins were melted in 1920 and it is believed they were all dated 1919 reducing the mintage that year from 1,113,429 to 969,229. Also for the years 1920 & 1921 a total of 790,827 coins were minted but only a small number were issued for circulation due to low demand. In 1929 the mint decided to melt the remaining stock of 1920 & 1921 coins (some 480,392 pieces) and recoined into 1929 issues.
What few 1921 coins survived are assumed to be from specimen sets & strikes sold to visitors of the mint making the 1921 issue the key to the series. The semi-keys to the series are the 1914 and 1932 issues.
For those on the hunt for a potential “sleeper” the 1931, 1934 & 1936 issues look to be a bargain with their small mintages. Another interesting coin is the 1911 “Godless” issue with a mintage of only 209,972, being a first year coin and having a unique variety make it a coin always in demand.