The Royal Canadian Mint produced $5 and $10 George V gold coins between 1912 and 1914. The coins were the first Canadian gold coins since the mint in Ottawa had just been opened in 1908 as a branch mint of London's Royal Mint. Composed out of 90% gold and 10% copper, each $10 coin contains 0.4837 oz of gold and each $5 coin 0.2419 oz. The Royal Canadian Mint recently made about 30.000 such coins available that had been in storage at Bank of Canada vaults.
The obverse side depicts King George V in profile wearing his ceremonial robe and royal crown. The British monarch George V reigned from the 6th of May 1910 until his death in 1936.
The inscription "CANADA" appears above a shield bearing the Arms of the Dominion of Canada on the reverse side. Since 1868, this was the de facto coat of arms of Canada until King George V proclaimed its replacement in 1921. A wreath of maple leafs surrounds the shield on both sides and the coin's denomination of either 5 or 10 Dollars appears below it along with the year of issue. The shield displays the provincial symbols of the four provinces Ontario (St. George's cross with maple leaves), Quebec (pair of fleurs de lis with British lion and maple leaves), Nova Scotia (salmon and Scottish thistles) and New Brunswick (British lion and sailing ship).
|Gold Weight||Face Value||Diameter x Thickness|
|0.4837 oz||CAD $ 10||27 x 2.08 mm|
|0.2419 oz||CAD $ 5||22 x 1.82 mm|
British parliament permitted the establishment of a mint on Canadian soil with the Ottawa Mint Act in 1901. However, it was not until 1908 that the Ottawa Branch of the British Royal Mint opened on Sussex Drive. Its intended purpose was to refine Canada's mined gold and convert it into gold coins as well as to produce Canadian domestic coins and British sovereigns. The mint in Ottawa received permission to produce $5 and $10 gold coins with Canadian imagery 2 years later, after the construction of a much needed refinery had already begun in 1909. Although the refinery was already complete in January 1911, the start of gold coin production was delayed until 1912 by the death of King Edward VII as well as indecision regarding the design of the coins.
The coins were meant to be distinctly Canadian. All the used gold came from Canadian sources, mostly from the Klondike region in 1912 and the Ontario region in 1913 and 1914. The design used Canada's de facto coat of arms on the reverse side. Production of the $5 and $10 gold coins, Canada's first gold coins ever, continued until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. The mint replaced the gold coin production with the production of gold bars in 1915.
Many of the circulating $5 and $10 gold coins were recovered by the Canadian government. They were used to finance the war effort along with remaining stocks that had been withheld from circulation. The Bank of Canada kept the remaining coins in cloth bags for more than 75 years in their vaults. The Royal Canadian Mint recently started selling a collection of these historic coins. Out of a collection of about 245.000 George V $5 and $10 gold coins, 30.000 were hand-selected to be sold to the public. The remaining coins out of this collection will be melted and refined into pure gold by the Royal Canadian Mint.
Canadian George V gold coins were only minted between 1912 and 1914. Total mintage of the $5 coins slightly surpassed that of the $10 coins. The lowest annual mintage of the $5 coins were the 31,122 coins that were minted in 1914. The lowest annual mintage of the $10 coins were the 74,759 coins that were minted in 1912.
Click here to see a table with detailed mintage numbers.