Last week Martin Purdy asked for more information on a 1953 Elizabeth II Coronation medal believed to have been struck in Canada. John Regitko submitted these thoughts. Thanks!
To come up with the answer, one should look for the possible minters that can handle such an order. I mentioned the following Canadian minters in my columns in Canadian Coin News:
Canadian medals have been struck in the past by:
Canadian Artistic Dies/Lombardo Mint (Sherbrooke)
Elliott & Bishop
Franklin Mint (Mississauga)
Interbranch International Mint (Mississauga)
Jacques Cartier Mint (Aurora)
Johnson Matthey (Brampton)
Lasqueti Mint (Lasqueti Island)
Sherritt Mint (Fort McMurray)
Steve Kelly and Barry Much
Wellings Mint (Scarborough)
Pressed Metal Products (Vancouver)
Great Canadian Mint (Edmonton)
Mississauga Mint (Mississauga)
Rideau Recognition Solutions (Montreal)
When you eliminate the ones that were not in existence in 1953 (they had either gone out of business or absorbed by another) and the ones that were incapable of handling such a large order in the limited time available, it didn't leave much of a choice. (Today, only the last three still exist.)
All of the above were privately owned Mints. However, today we completely forget that at one time, the Royal Canadian Mint was a big player in the large-volume medal business, whether for private corporations or government agencies at the national, provincial or civic level.
I recalled the Royal Canadian Mint's involvement in the past and ask my contact at the Mint about the history of the Coronation medal. He pointed me in the right direction.
The answer appears in a book written by James Haxby entitled
Striking Impressions. It includes the following text, from Chapter 17
A new Queen graces our coins, which states that the mdal was struck by the Mint's Medals Branch. The RCM's 1953 Annual Report would also confirm this.
The text, which was provided to me by the RCM's Senior Manager, Public Affairs for republishing, states:
The Medal Section was also active in the 1950s. Britain had been disappointed by the response to the medal it had struck for the Coronation of King George VI. Therefore it did not plan a medal to commemorate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Canada, which had marketed the British medal in 1937, decided to create one of its own.
Since Britain was not producing a medal, Canada had more than the usual freedom of choice in the matter of selecting a suitable obverse. Twenty-seven possibilities had been prepared in Britain by individual designers and firms, and passed on to the Official Coronation Medal Panel. From these the Royal Mint Advisory Committee had chosen one for which it was willing to furnish dies. Canada, despite its freedom, chose this alternative valuing the convenience as much as the design.
The portrait was modelled by Mr. G.H. Paulin of London. It showed Queen Elizabeth crowned and robed, facing right. It was distinctive for its lack of surrounding inscription. An inscription surrounding the Royal Cypher surmounted by the St. Edward's Crown was included on the reverse. The whole of the reverse was modelled by the Mint engraver.
Unlike the procedure for the Royal Tour of 1939, no gold or silver presentation pieces were struck, but more than three million bronze medals were made for school children.
Aidan Work writes:
"There is one coin that uses the medal portrait on a coin. The 'P' on the obverse of this coin is NOT a mintmark, but a composition mark to indicate that this is struck on Nickel plated Steel at the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg."
Wayne Homren, Editor
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