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Faces of the monarch

Faces of the monarch

A regal image

Canada is a commonwealth country, and the effigy of our monarch has appeared on every Canadian coin produced by the Mint since 1908. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne in 1952, and over the course of her reign, a total of four different versions have appeared: the first in 1953, the second in 1965, the third in 1990, and the current version, introduced to Canadians in 2003.

Did you know?

In 2002, the Royal Canadian Mint issued a special Fifty-cent Golden Jubilee circulation coin that displayed the same effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as the 1953 Canadian Coronation Medallion.

Edward VII (1902-1910)

Edward VII (1902-1910)

Great-grandfather of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, his effigy appeared on Canadian coins from 1902 to 1910, surrounded by the Latin inscription EDWARDVS VII DEI GRATIA REX IMPERATOR or its abbreviated form D:G REX IMPERATOR depending on the denomination. The inscription means "Edward VII, by the grace of God, the King and Emperor."

George V (1911-1936)

George V (1911-1936)

Grandfather of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, his effigy appeared on Canadian coins from 1911-1936. His effigy is surrounded by the Latin inscription GEORGIVS V DEI GRA:REX ET IND:IMP:. The inscription means "George V, by the grace of God, the King and Emperor of India." For part of 1911, coins did not include the DEI GRA part of the inscription and became known among coin collectors as the "Godless" coins.

George VI (1937-1952)

George VI (1937-1952)

Father of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, his effigy appeared on Canadian coins from 1937 to 1952. His effigy is surrounded by the Latin inscription GEORGIVS VI D:G:REX ET IND:IMP: or GEORGIVS VI DEI GRA REX ET IND:IMP:, depending on the denomination, on coins dated up to 1947. From 1948 to 1952 the inscription read GEORGIVS VI DEI GRATIA:REX. The reference ET IND:IMP: meaning "George VI, Emperor of India," was discontinued after India became independent in 1947.

Elizabeth II (1953-1964)

Elizabeth II (1953-1964)

The effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II first appeared on Canadian coins in 1953 when she was 27 years old. The effigy pictured here appeared on Canadian coins from 1953 to 1964, surrounded by the Latin inscription ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA. The inscription means "Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, the Queen."

Elizabeth II (1965-1989)

Elizabeth II (1965-1989)

The effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II changed in 1965 when she was 39 years old. This effigy appeared on Canadian coins from 1965 to 1989, surrounded by the Latin inscription ELIZABETH II D G REGINA. The inscription is an abbreviated form of the one used from 1953-1964.

Elizabeth II (1990-2002)

Elizabeth II (1990-2002)

The effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II changed in 1990 when she was 64 years old. This was the first effigy to be designed by a Canadian, Dora de Pédery-Hunt. This effigy appeared on Canadian coins from 1990 to 2003, surrounded by the Latin inscription ELIZABETH II D G REGINA.

Elizabeth II (2003-present)

Elizabeth II (2003-present)

The effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II changed again in 2003, when she was 77 years old. Susanna Blunt, a Canadian, designed this effigy. The effigy currently appears on Canadian coins surrounded by the inscription ELIZABETH II D G REGINA. The effigy is reminiscent of that of her father, His Majesty King George VI, who acceded to the throne in his later years and also elected to forgo the crown.