Friday, October 19

1812 Commemoratives


During my recent shore leave at Niagara-on-the-Lake, I had the good fortune to procure several commemorative items released in conjunction with the bicentennial of the War of 1812. I share them here, as I believe they will be of interest to many of my shipmates.

The Royal Canadian Mint mint had a pavilion set up at Fort George and their representatives were kind enough to trade a few of my poor American dollars (currently trading at a slight disadvantage to the Canadian) for uncirculated copies of the first two coins they have issued to commemorate the war. The first is an HMS Shannon toonie*, which was released in June of this year:

HMS Shannon toonie head
HMS Shannon toonie tail
* For those unfamiliar with modern Canadian money, the Canadian dollar coin, which features a loon, is colloquially known as the "looney," which has led to the two-dollar coin's nickname, the "toonie."

The second 1812 coin, released during my visit on October 12, the eve of the anniversary of the Battle of Queenston Heights, is a quarter featuring Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, who died leading a charge against American forces in a battle that paved the way for Canadian confederation.

Brock Quarter head
Brock Quarter tail
Additional coins in the series will include Tecumseh in November 2012, followed by Charles-Michel de Salaberry and Laura Secord (both scheduled for release in 2013).

Additional information on this series and better-quality images than mine may be found here. The same page also shows additional 1812 coins that will not be circulated as common currency, including a fine silver HMS Shannon $10 coin which, through some convolution of maths which escapes my understanding, sells for $64.95 CAD.

Finally, I had the honor to be issued a commemorative medallion. I do not know precise details about the maker of this item or whether it will be available at other War of 1812 commemorations during the next three years. At this particular event it was made available only to re-enactors.

War of 1812 bicentennial medal, depicting the Niagara River Valley with the British Lion and Canadian Beaver on the left; the American Eagle on the right.

Your servant,

Lt. Tumbusch

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