Second issue from the Mint’s “Lost Ships in Canadian Waters” series captures the wonder and danger of Arctic exploration in the 19th century
One hundred and seventy years after Sir John Franklin and his crew set sail from England aboard HMS Terror and HMS Erebus on a journey from which they would never return, a new silver collector coin tells the unforgettable story of the famed Franklin Expedition, whose tragic loss of all men and their ships in Arctic waters have left an indelible mark on Canadian and maritime history. The coin was unveiled today at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia at a ceremony which included the launch of commemorative Franklin Expedition stamps by Canada Post Corporation.
“The Franklin Expedition is a very important event in Canadian history which laid the foundations of Canada’s Arctic sovereignty nearly two centuries ago,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General. “The Royal Canadian Mint’s new commemorative silver coin is a poignant and beautifully crafted reminder of the vision, bravery and sacrifice needed to explore Canada’s Arctic and to protect the true north, strong and free, as a cherished part of our nation.”
“Canadians are familiar with stories of daring exploits in Canada’s Arctic but few stand out as sharply as the Franklin Expedition and the loss of its crew and ships during their ill-fated search for the Northwest Passage,” said Sandra Hanington, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “The Mint is proud to honour the brave men who took part in the historic Franklin Expedition on a finely crafted silver coin which will preserve their memory as intrepid explorers of Canada’s North.”
Designed by noted Canadian maritime artist John Horton, the second coin in the $20 Fine Silver “Lost Ships in Canadian Waters” series pays tribute to the Franklin Expedition with an elegant illustration of Terror and Erebus navigating the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean. This meticulously coloured 99.99% pure silver coin shows Erebus in the foreground, whose 2014 discovery by Canada’s Victoria Strait Expedition is one of the century’s greatest achievements in maritime archeology. The words “H.M.S. Erebus” and “H.M.S. Terror” are also engraved along the coin’s edge. Retailing for $109.95, it is limited to a world-wide mintage of 7,000.
The coin can be ordered as of today by contacting the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in the U.S., or online at www.mint.ca. It 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.