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Canada’s Voyageur silver dollar design revisited

The design of the reverse of this large silver 2019 25 cents is based on preliminary sketches of Emanuel Hahn for his Voyageur silver dollar of 1935. (Image courtesy of Royal Canadian Mint)

Recent years have seen several world mints revisit classic designs of former coins. The Royal Canadian Mint is no exception. This year has seen it dust off its archives to reconsider one of the country’s best-known coins: Emanuel Hahn’s Voyageur silver dollar first struck in 1935.

The upshot is a superb proof 50 mm, 62.69 g (2 oz), .9999 fine silver 25 cents.

The reverse image may look familiar, but all-new sculpts are based solely on the artist’s preliminary pencil sketches preserved in the National Currency Collection of the Bank of Canada.

Hahn’s initial design features drawing guides, omissions, additions and even a few inaccuracies. Laser engraving on the flat field mimics the artist’s hand-drawn guide lines with draft artwork set above. All in all, the final result gives a rare insight into the evolution of a numismatic work of art.

For example, an earlier drawing by Hahn doesn’t include the Northern Lights. The new coin shows the Aurora soft and broad in contrast to the final version that simply depicts the lights as a series of sharp, near-vertical lines.

To complete the historical perspective, the obverse bears T. H. Paget’s effigy of George VI. Mintage is 1,750.

For ordering details, visit https://www.mint.ca/.


This article was originally printed in World Coin News. >> Subscribe today.


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