Coins honor Arctic exploration

Silver $1 marks scientific journey
Published : 01/19/13
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The first major scientific research study undertaken in Canada’s North, the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913 to 1916, is the focus of Canada’s annual silver dollar.

The scientific expedition was jointly organized by the Geological Survey of Canada and the Naval Service, bringing together experts in anthropology, biology and the earth sciences.

A northern party mapped the western Arctic coast and adjacent islands, and a southern party explored the geology, resources and native inhabitants of the northern mainland.

Traveling by ship and dogsled, the team braved multiple hardships, and 17 of its members died during the expedition.

Their efforts led to discovery of four islands and produced 14 volumes of scientific data and thousands of specimens, artifacts and photographs.

The expedition centennial is honored in a Bonnie Ross design for the .9999 fine silver coins — available in Brilliant Uncirculated, Proof and gold-plated Proof versions — showing three expedition members near a dogsled team hitched to a loaded sled. A compass dial points to 10 degrees east of true north.

A Proof .5833 fine gold $100 coin shows Ross’ design of a survey team taking measurements atop an ice floe, with a map of the Canadian Arctic in the background.

The silver dollars each weigh 23.17 grams and measure 36.07 millimeters in diameter.

In total, 20,000 BU and 40,000 Proof silver dollars are available individually; 25,000 selectively gold-plated silver dollars are available only as part of the RCM’s annual Proof set (which also features gold-plated examples of the standard circulating $1 and $2 coins).

Pricing, ordering

The BU coin is priced at $54.95, the Proof example is available for $59.95 and the annual Proof set costs $229.95.

The gold coin, which weighs 12 grams, measures 27 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 2,500 pieces, costs $599.95.

All prices are listed in Canadian dollars. The U.S. prices for collectors in the United States buying from the RCM fluctuate with the exchange rate, calculated at the time of purchase.

Telephone the RCM inside the United States at 800-268-6468. In Canada, telephone the RCM at 800-267-1871. Visit the RCM website at

Three United States distributors for the RCM carry the coin at fixed prices in U.S. dollars.

Gatewest Coin Ltd., Brian Jenner Inc. and Talisman Coins are all official distributors for the RCM.

To contact Gatewest, telephone the firm at 204-489-9112 or visit

Write to Jenner at P.O. Box 2466-a, Pasco, WA 99302, or telephone him at 509-735-2172.

Telephone Talisman at 888-552-2646 or visit its website at ■

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