With the death of King George V in 1936 and the ascension of his son George the VI to the title of King 1937 represented a change in obverse designs for all of Canadian coinage.
Besides an obverse change the Royal Canadian Mint also determined to update or modernize the reverse designs for all coinage except for the dollar coin. It was the Mint’s opinion that the dollar reverse already had a modern design that reflected the essence of Canada and is the only coin to remain unchanged during the Monarchy change.
The obverse, designed & engraved by T.H. Paget, features the bust of George the VI facing left. At the bottom of George's neck are the designer’s initials “HP”. On the outer periphery are the words "GEORGIVS VI D:G : REX ET IND : IMP :".
The reverse, carried over from the previous George V Dollar, was designed by Emanuel Hahn which features an Indian and Traveler (voyager) in a canoe paddling past a small inlet with pine trees and rays behind the inlet to represent the northern lights. There is cargo inside of the canoe and the bundle to the right (closest to the Indian) has the initials “HB” which represented the Hudson Bay Company. Just below the right of the canoe are the designer’s initials “EH”. On the outer periphery is the denomination “DOLLAR” and the word “CANADA”.
In 1947 India received its independence. The obverse legend "IND IMP" (India's Emperor) had to be removed from the King's titles on any British Commonwealth coins dating 1948 or newer.
Variety 1 – 1937-1947 Old Obverse Legend
Variety 2 – 1948-1952 New Obverse Legend
Variety 3 - 1947 Maple Leaf by date
|Variety 1 Obverse||Variety 2 Obverse|
General Market Notes
For the investor, the key to the series (excluding proofs & errors) is the 1948 issue with its miniscule mintage of 18,780. The semi-keys are the 1945, 1947 and 1947 (with maple leaf) issues.
For possible sleepers look for the years 1938 & 1946 issues with mintages less than a 100,000. Another potential sleeper is the 1947 with maple leaf issue, while a bit expensive its price does not reflect its small mintage of only 21,135.