Obverse. Photo © Heritage Auctions
  • 1 Dollar 1939, KM# 38, Canada, George VI, Royal Visit, 1939 Royal Tour of Canada
  • 1 Dollar 1939, KM# 38, Canada, George VI, Royal Visit, 1939 Royal Tour of Canada

The 1939 royal tour of Canada by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth was undertaken in the build-up to World War II as a way to emphasise the independence of the Dominion from Britain. The royal tour lasted from May 17 to June 15, covering every Canadian province, the Dominion of Newfoundland, and a few days in the United States. There had been previous royal tours in Canada, but this was unprecedented in its scope. The tour was an enormous event, attracting huge crowds at each new city.

It was one of the first visits of a reigning monarch to Canada, and also the first time a British monarch had set foot in the United States. This tour marked the first time that the sovereign's official Canadian birthday was marked with the monarch himself present in the country; the occasion was marked on Parliament Hill with a celebration and a Trooping of the Colour.


Bare head of George VI facing left, surrounded by the legend, an abbreviated translation of “George VI by the Grace of God, King and Emperor of India”.

Note that the engraver's initials 'HP' appear below the portrait of the King. There are two varieties that revolve around these initials: double HP and triple HP. The varieties come from double or triple striking of these initials.

George VI (1895–1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth.

As the second son of King George V, he was not expected to inherit the throne and spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brother, Edward. George's elder brother ascended the throne as Edward VIII upon the death of their father in 1936. However, later that year Edward revealed his desire to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin advised Edward that for political and religious reasons he could not marry a divorced woman and remain king. Edward abdicated in order to marry, and George ascended the throne as the third monarch of the House of Windsor.

Engraver: Thomas Humphrey Paget



Depicts the Centre Block, surrounded by the Latin inscription "He reigns by the faith of his people", country name and facial value.

The Centre Block is the main building of the Canadian parliamentary complex on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Ontario, containing the original House of Commons and Senate chambers, as well as the offices of a number of members of parliament, senators, and senior administration for both legislative houses.

The Peace Tower, also known as the Tower of Victory and Peace, is a focal bell and clock tower sitting on the central axis of the Centre Block. The present incarnation replaced the 55-metre (180 ft) Victoria Tower after the latter burned down in 1916, along with most of the Centre Block; only the Library of Parliament survived. It serves as a Canadian icon and had been featured prominently on the Canadian twenty-dollar bill directly adjacent the queen's visage, until the change to polymer.

Engraver: Emanuel Hahn



1 Dollar

Royal Visit
1939 Royal Tour of Canada

Subscribe series
KM# 38 Schön# 38
Type Commemorative Issue (Circulating)
Material Silver
Fineness 0.800
Weight 23.3276 g
Diameter 36.06 mm
Thickness 2.84 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Royal Canadian Mint (RCM)

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Royal Visit

Cupronickel, 15.55 g, ⌀ 31.5 mm