The Underground Railroad, the famous network of safe houses and secret routes that helped enslaved people of African descent escape to freedom, is the subject of the Royal Canadian Mint’s latest issue in its ongoing Commemorating Black History coin series. Launched in conjunction with the start of Black History Month, this silver collector coin designed by Toronto artist Kwame Delfish, portrays in a unique perspective the human side of the perilous northward migration, which reached its peak in the 1850s and ’60s. This moving new collectible is available as of February 1, 2022.
“The employees of the Royal Canadian Mint are proud to once again add to the national celebration of Black History Month with a beautiful silver coin that brings the important story of the Underground Railroad to life,” said Marie Lemay, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “By remembering those who undertook the long and risky journey to escape slavery in the 19th century, as well as their brave and tireless guides, we are reminding ourselves that freedom is one of our most enduring values.”
The reverse design of this 99.99% pure silver coin is an innovative tribute to those who traveled the Underground Railroad. The men, women, and children following the Big Dipper constellation to guide their way north to freedom, are illustrated along the coin’s edge to create the sense of circular motion representing their long, continuous journey. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt, set against a repeating maple leaf pattern.
“This coin is meant to honor and pay homage to the ancestral slaves that escaped to the North in search of freedom,” said artist Kwame Delfish. “Many did not get to complete the journey and faced the same (if not more) hardships than what they left behind. The ones that made it built their legacies and shaped the mosaic that Canada is today. My hope is that their strength and courage are illustrated on this coin and that I have sung their gospel.”
Limited to a mintage of 5,500, the 2022 $20 Fine Silver Coin Commemorating Black History – The Underground Railroad retails for $99.95 CAD. This new collectible may be ordered as of today by contacting the Mint at 1-800-267‑1871 in Canada, 1-800-268‑6468 in the US, or at www.mint.ca.
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About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada’s circulation coins. The Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high-quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. For more information on the Mint, its products and services, visit www.mint.ca.