Years in Circulation: 1937-1952
Other Names: None
Famous: Not particularly, though this dime is the first one to show the Bluenose schooner design that is still used today
Value as of November 2011: About $2.05
When George V stepped down from the throne of England, his son George VI took the throne in his brother Edward’s stead who had abdicated in favour of his American beloved. The changing of hands on the throne meant a change to the appearance of the coins being minted across the empire, including Canada. The George VI dime was the first dime to feature the Bluenose schooner on the reverse side and of course, the profile of George VI on the obverse side.
The designer of the reverse side is Emanuel Mahn, who designed many other iconic coins, including the caribou on the quarter. The ship on the reverse of the dime is actually a composite of a fishing ship and the famous racing schooner The Bluenose which was built in Nova Scotia and built itself a reputation for winning races it took part in. The composite schooner has been on the dime ever since, making it a fairly long running coin design.
The George VI dime is still considered a silver dime; it was composed of 80% silver and .75% copper, with the rest of the metal composition largely unknown. There aren’t any really rare mintings, though the 1948 coins are harder to find since there were only a few hundred thousand minted that year. You can also watch out for the 1947 dime which has a small maple leaf beside the date which denotes that it was actually made in 1948. The reason for this is because India’s successful bid for independence meant that the legend IMP : IND (Imperial India-ruler of India) had to be removed from the coins and that had to wait until the next minting, even though India’s independence happened half way through the minting year. Otherwise, the George VI dime is fairly nondescript.
There was one case of something strange: a seller with a 1944 dime attempted to claim that a die cast mistake was actually supposed to symbolize a so-called ‘Victory Dime’ (modeled after the Victory Nickel no doubt) and was trying to pass the coin off as being worth more than it actually was. However, the coin was quickly debunked by true collectors and likely the owner quietly withdrew his sales pitch from Ebay where he was attempting to sell the coin.
While the George VI dime has some historical significance, being the first dime with the Bluenose design, it is still not worth much on the open market. This makes it good for first time collectors. More veteran collectors may want to concentrate on finding clean, uncirculated dimes since most dimes from this time period tend to be heavily worn. Whatever you decide to do, the George VI dime is an easy way to get a small piece of coinage history.