1964 represented the 100th Anniversary of the historic meetings in Charlottetown and Quebec City in 1864 that began the process of moving from individual colonies to a single confederation.
Initially the meetings were driven by internal affairs to increase economic strength and political issues amongst the colonies as well as as a cry for a transcontinental railroad, but the concept was welcomed and even encouraged by representatives from Great Britain.
Great Britain during the 1860's was managing the largest empire ever known. Their military responsibilities to protect the empire would come but at a cost. To further complicate matters Australia went from a penal colony to a colonial colony (referred to as Queensland) further stretching the military's ability to protect the empire. During this time period, the American Civil War was waging and threatening to overflow into neighboring colonies or affecting economic conditions.
The cost of protecting the Canadian Colonies from the influences of the American Civil War would have been severe as both the U.S. forces (North & South) were the most experienced and advanced military in the world for that time period. Britain could have authorized each colony independence but this would not ensure their financial and economic investments. What was required was a strong central government that could provide adequate protection & support of its citizens and with a proposal from the Canadian Colonies for a maritime union a solution was born to solve the Canadian Colony's & Britain's issues.
To honor the historic occasion, the Royal Canadian Mint created a one year circulating dollar commemorative. When issued the coins official title was the “Confederation Meetings Commemorative Dollar” but as it circulated among collectors it picked up the nickname of “The Charlottetown Dollar”.
The obverse design was based on the original Young Queen Elizabeth (designed by Mary Gillick) and slightly modified by designer Myron Cook. On the outer periphery are the words “ELIZABETH II” and "DEI GRATIA REGINA" a latin term for “By the Grace of God, Queen”.
The reverse, designed by Dinko Vodanovic and Thomas Shingles, prominently features a circle with a the French fleur-de-lis, Irish shamrock, Scottish thistle, and English rose all conjoined with “CHARLOTTETOWN” and “QUEBEC” outside of the circle. Flanking the circle design are the designer's initials, D.V. to the left and T.S. to the right. On the outer periphery are the words “CANADA”, “DOLLAR”, and the dual date “1864 1964”.