2023 Canada 5-cent 1947 Maple Leaf Mark Fine Silver (No Tax)
This selectively gold-plated 2 oz. 99.99% pure silver coin is a timely look back at one of our most famous transitional issues: the 1947 Maple Leaf five-cent coin. Faithfully re-sculpted using archived images from the Bank of Canada Museum, the historic reverse features the maple leaf mark that was added 75 years ago, in early 1948, to 1947-dated coins struck after India gained its independence from British rule. That small maple leaf alludes to imminent change: the removal of “ET IND: IMP:” (“Emperor of India”) from the outmoded obverse legend, which has also been reproduced on this limited collectible that brings the past to life.
After India gained its independence from British rule in 1947, Canadian coinage required new obverses without the outmoded “IND: IMP:” (“Emperor of India”) in the legend. But in early 1948, Canada’s Mint was still awaiting new matrices and punches from the Royal Mint, which still produced all die-sinking tools for its former Ottawa branch. The demand for new coins of every denomination proved too great, so a small maple leaf was placed next to the year “1947” on the old dies, where this maple leaf mark helped to differentiate these antedated 1948 issues from regular strikes. New master tooling arrived later that year, but by then, more than nine million 1947 Maple Leaf five-cent coins had already been struck; as a result, just 1,810,789 five-cent coins were produced with the updated obverse and a true date of 1948.
All denominations of Canadian circulation coins were struck with the outmoded obverse in early 1948, not just the five-cent coin. Made by Thomas Shingles, the Mint’s chief engraver from 1943 to 1965, the original punch that produced the Maple Leaf mark is now part of the National Currency Collection (NCC) of the Bank of Canada Museum.
The five-cent coin’s 12-sided shape was introduced in 1942 to help distinguish pieces made of tombac—a copper-zinc alloy used as a substitute for nickel, which was critical to the war effort—from one-cent coins. The unique shape was so popular, it was retained until 1963, when the traditional round shape was re-introduced.
The coin is a faithful re-creation of the 1947 Maple Leaf five-cent circulation coin, but on a larger scale and with selective gold plating. Framed by a raised rim that mimics the original coin’s 12-sided shape, George Edward Kruger Gray’s iconic beaver design appears on the reverse, where a small maple leaf placed next to the year “1947” indicates the coin was originally struck in 1948 using outdated dies. The obverse features an updated year of issue (“2023”) and Thomas Humphrey Paget’s effigy of King George VI with the outmoded legend “GEORGIVS VI D:G:REX ET IND:IMP:” (“George VI, by the grace of God, King and Emperor of India”).
Item Number: 207000
Composition: 99.99% pure silver with selective gold plating
Weight: 62.69 g
Diameter: 50 mm
Face Value: 5-cents
Artist: G.E. Kruger Gray (reverse), T.H. Paget (obverse)
• A Faithful Tribute. Step back in time with this re-creation of a famous transitional issue! The original 1947 Maple Leaf five-cent coin was struck in 1948 while awaiting a new obverse, one without “ET IND: IMP:” in the legend, after India gained its independence from British rule.
• Silver and selective gold plating! Crafted in 2 oz. of 99.99% pure silver, this near-faithful reproduction of a historic coin is enhanced with selective gold plating on its obverse and reverse.
• History on both sides. Just like the original coin, your coin’s reverse is marked by a small maple leaf placed next to the year “1947”. Your coin’s obverse also features the same effigy and outmoded legend as the original 1947 Maple Leaf coin.
• The look of a 12 sided coin! The coin has a round shape, but a shaped rim to mimic the look of the original 12-sided coin.
• A re-creation of a classic. Both the obverse and reverse designs have been re-created using modern techniques and archival photographs.
• Take a closer look. The re-sculpt of the maple leaf includes the original vein detail on a microscopic level!
• Two Dates. The year “1947” is key to the story and it appears on your coin’s reverse, just like the original coin. The issuing year “2023” has been moved to the obverse and made less prominent in order to keep the focus on the historically significant elements.
The coin is encapsulated and presented in a black Royal Canadian Mint-branded clamshell with a black beauty box.
Coin, George VI, 5 cents, 1947, Canada. © Bank of Canada
Museum, NCC 1978.58.442.2
de monnaie, George VI, 5 cents, 1947, Canada. © Musée de la Banque du Canada, CNM 1978.58.442.2