170 years ago, two British naval ships set sail to chart the last stretch of the Northwest Passage – the navigable route that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific through the frozen Arctic. The ships were never seen again. The mystery surrounding what happened during that fateful voyage remains the stuff of sea legend and scientific discovery. What caused the ships to be lost at sea? How many of the crew survived and for how long? In September 2014, the wreck of Franklin’s flagship, HMS Erebus, was discovered lying on the Arctic seabed.
To commemorate the brave men and their ill-fated voyage, the Royal Canadian Mint has issued a colorized $20 silver coin – the latest in its Lost Ships in Canadian Waters series.
Obverse: Susanna Blunt’s effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. The queen faces to the left, as is the tradition. The inscription reads: 20 DOLLARS, ELIZABETH II. Susanna Blunt’s initials “SB” are located on the Queen’s right shoulder, slightly above the bust truncation.
Reverse: A full-color painting of Erebus and HMS Terror by noted marine artist John Horton. Erebus is depicted in the foreground, navigating through the Arctic ice. The topography of the Northwest Passage, in silver raised relief cuts into the portrait. Inscriptions read: CANADA, 2015. The artist’s initials “JH” are located at the five o’clock position next to the rim.
Designer(s): Susana Blunt is a Canadian artist and designer. Her portrait of Queen Elizabeth has appeared on Canadian coinage since 2003. View Designers Profile. John Horton is a naval veteran and artist, whose work has appeared on a number of nautical-themed coins. View Designers Profile.
|Year Of Issue:||2015|
|OBV Designer||Susanna Blunt|
|REV Designer||John Horton|
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