There are few Canadian icons more instantly identifiable than the uniform of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. People around the world immediately recognize the red serge uniform and wide-brimmed, Montana peak hat of the Mounties. Every year, Royal Canadian Mint coins are designed and produced to commemorate significant people and events in Canadian history. The year 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the merger between the Dominion Police and the Royal North-West Mounted Police. The new organization was named the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and it has served as Canada’s national police service ever since. To celebrate the 100th anniversary, the Royal Canadian Mint has released a unique new three-dimensional coin in the shape of a Mountie hat.
What Makes This Coin Unique?
In its three-dimensional design down to its very details, the coin has been made to closely resemble the real hats worn by the Mounties, only in extreme miniature. The RCMP’s hats are made out of felt, while the coin is made out of 99.99% pure silver plated in gold. To give the coin the authentic appearance of felt, the Royal Canadian Mint applied a special frosting layer between the silver and the plating. Thus, the coin has the texture of felt but with the sparkle of gold.
That was not the only engineering first used to produce this coin. The hatband on the coin is made of bronze, but, to give it the authentic appearance of the leather bands used on real Mountie hats, it was plated in brown gold for the first time in history.
What Are the Other Features of the Coin?
The peak of the hat and the hatband are considered the reverse of the coin. The obverse features the inside of the hat’s crown as well as multiple engravings around the wide brim. As is customary with Canadian coins, it features Susanna Blunt’s portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the coin’s face value of $25, and the word “Canada.” In 2020, the Royal Canadian Mint released a two-ounce bullion coin featuring an RCMP rider on horseback; that image is reproduced on the brim as well.
To commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the RCMP’s federal policing mandate and name change, the dates “1920-2020” are engraved on the coin, as is the official motto of the RCMP: “Maintiens Le Droit,” which translates in English to “Defending the Law.”
How Does This Coin Relate to Other Releases?
This isn’t the first time that the Royal Canadian Mint has released a three-dimensional coin. In 2018, it released the “Lest We Forget” silver coin in honour of the end of World War I. That coin, shaped like a Canadian WWI soldier’s helmet, was the first to feature an extreme curvature. The 2020 Mountie hat coin builds on the original concept and takes it a step further, featuring taller angles and a sharper crown.
How Did the Hat Become Part of the Mountie’s Uniform?
The addition of the iconic hat to the uniform predates the merger that created the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Prior to 1904, the North-West Mounted Police issued its members a pillbox cap or pith helmet. It is not clear how the wide-brimmed hat was introduced to the forces, but some preferred it to the standard-issue options, probably because it helped to keep the elements out of their eyes and faces. The Royal North-West Mounted Police didn’t prevent members from wearing the hat, but until it eventually became part of the official uniform, they had to pay for it themselves.
Own a Uniquely Canadian Collector’s Item
The Mountie Hat coin has a limited mintage of only 6,500 worldwide. A coin collector, a Mountie, or anyone with an interest in Canadian history and culture should appreciate this cool-looking coin. Purchase it from Colonial Acres Coins as a gift for someone else or add it to your own collection.