When Canada considered new coin designs for 1937, the Royal Canadian
Mint turned to designer Emanuel Hahn for options.
During his life, Hahn (1881 to 1957) was the artistic force behind
two silver dollars, as well as the Bluenose and Caribou designs that
still grace Canadian circulation coins today.
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Besides the Bluenose (10-cent coin) and Caribou (25-cent piece)
designs that were adopted, Hahn submitted several other design
proposals. Now three of those designs have been realized as actual coins.
Struck in a Reverse Proof finish, this set of Hahn’s wildlife “coins
that never were” is the Royal Canadian Mint’s way of “faithfully
carrying out the sculptor’s vision, by interpreting his pencil
sketches as though they had been entrusted to us today,” according to
the RCM. “To remain true to the artist’s vision, the Royal Canadian
Mint’s engravers pored over every fine detail contained in one of the
few resources still available today: Hahn’s sketches, which are a part
of the National Currency Collection.”
The 5-cent coin’s reverse has a remarkable tie to the present: it is
Hahn’s original Caribou design, the precursor to the one now
synonymous with Canada’s 25-cent circulation coin.
Viewed in side profile, the ungulate moves beneath the night sky,
where the Big Dipper is clearly visible. The caribou’s antlers reach
into the legend, where the word CANADA is engraved alongside the year
2018; beneath the flat landscape, an oversized 5 winds its way through
the word CENTS.
A Hahn 25-cent coin design features a polar bear standing on an ice
floe, its head turned toward the right side of the coin, while the
open sea is visible behind the mound.
A stylistic representation of the Aurora Borealis hangs over the low
horizon and stretches across the northern sky, only yielding to the
Big Dipper asterism that is a common element on all three coins. The
word CANADA is engraved at the top while the face value 25 CENTS and
the updated year 2018 are engraved over the ice.
The diamond-like stars are more prominent in a second 25-cent coin
design, which centers on a goose in flight. The side-profile view
allows for the inclusion of several details, including the flight
feathers along the outstretched wings. Here again, the Big Dipper adds
a point of interest to the field, where the face value 25 CENTS, the
year 2018 and the word CANADA are also engraved in the starry sky.
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The obverse of each coin features the effigy of King George VI by
Thomas Humphrey Paget.
The .9999 fine silver coins each weigh 31.39 grams and measure 38
millimeters in diameter.
The coins are offered only in a three-coin set, with a mintage limit
of 5,500 sets. Sets are packaged in a plush red case with certificate
The set retails for $269.95 Canadian. When buying from the RCM, the
price in U.S. dollars will be fixed at the time of purchase.
To order, or learn more, visit the RCM website.