World Coins

RCM plans circulating dollar for suffrage centennial

Nellie McClung was a leader in the fight for women’s suffrage in Canada. A new dollar coin will honor the centennial of suffrage, but the Royal Canadian Mint has not disclosed whether a person will be identified on the coin.

Images courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint and the Archives of Canada.

Canada is planning to celebrate the 100th anniversary of suffrage with a circulating commemorative dollar coin in 2016.

During World War I, some women in Canada were finally allowed to vote, and in 1919 all women over the age of 21 gained the right to vote in a federal election.

Canada’s government celebrates the anniversary with several commemorations, including the coin.

Women in Manitoba became the first females allowed to vote in 1916, after five years of lobbying from activists like Nellie McClung, who was one of the premier leaders in the fight for women’s suffrage in Canadian history.

The reverse of the coin will feature a woman and child, circa 1916, the woman proudly casting a ballot while the child looks on, according to a description of the coin available from the notice by the government of Canada authorizing the coin. RCM officials have not stated whether the image is intended to represent a particular person or is generic in nature.

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The reverse will also carry the standard lasermark maple leaf, the artist’s initials LM (perhaps indicating Laurie McGaw), and legend WOMEN’S RIGHT TO VOTE in English and in French translation.

The obverse of the coin will feature the common Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, as well as statutory inscriptions indicating the nation of issue, denomination and other information.

No mintage figure or release date is available from the Royal Canadian Mint. 

The Canadian dollar measures 26.5 millimeters in diameter and weighs 6.27 grams. It is struck from multi-ply plated steel. 

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