Royal Canadian Mint Honors 400th Anniversary of French Explorers in Ontario with Silver Coin


Four hundred years after French explorers led by Samuel de Champlain explored the territory that would become present-day Ontario, the Royal Canadian Mint has issued a silver collector coin celebrating the 400th anniversary of Champlain’s historic journey to Huronia. The coin was unveiled on June 11 in Ottawa, Ontario, during the official launch of the 2015 Festival Franco-Ontarien.

“The Government of Canada values the Royal Canadian Mint’s unique ability to deepen our understanding of Canadian history through the production of meticulously crafted collector coins,” said Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans. “The Mint’s newest silver coin sheds new light on the story of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of Huronia and reminds us that, after four centuries, his legacy lives on through the richness of Franco-Ontarian culture.”

“I am thrilled to celebrate this momentous occasion for francophones and francophiles in Ontario and would like to thank the Royal Canadian Mint for its representation of Champlain’s arrival on the shores of Georgian Bay – a turning point in the history of our province,” said the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, Attorney General of Ontario and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs.

“As the famed founder of Quebec City, Samuel de Champlain is an imposing historical figure whose role in the early history of Ontario deserves to be told on a Royal Canadian Mint coin,” said Sandra Hanington, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “We are pleased to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Champlain’s visit to Huronia on a new silver collector coin which opens a new window on his numerous contributions to Canadian history.”

The reverse image of this 99.99% pure silver coin designed by Canadian artist Laurie McGaw is engraved to emulate the famed 17th-century astrolabe–long attributed to Champlain–found in Cobden, Ontario. Against this navigational tool is set a full-body portrait of Samuel de Champlain. Visible through the spaces between the astrolabe’s latitude and longitude crosshairs are engravings of scenes from Champlain’s journeys in Huronia, which also depict the Huron guides who were indispensable to his expedition. The unique reverse is engraved with the word “CANADA”, the date “2015” and the face value of “3 DOLLARS”. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

This coin has a limited mintage of 10,000 and retails for $29.95.

The coin can be ordered directly from the Mint as of June 11 at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in the U.S., or on the Internet at The coin will also be available at the Royal Canadian Mint’s boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver, as well as through the Mint’s global network of dealers and distributors, including participating Canada Post outlets.

About the Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada’s circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2008 certified company 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

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