Historians generally believe that Vikings made the earliest European
contact with North America, and the earliest settlement is now being
honored with a 2014 silver coin from Canada.
Though the coin program does not single out the L’Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of the
island of Newfoundland, that is where a small group of sailors landed
and settled for an unknown period. The remains of the camp, which were
declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, were
discovered in 1960 by Helge and Anne Stine Ingstad.
The focal points of this archaeological site are the reconstructions
of three Norse buildings. According to Parks Canada, Norse sagas tell
the story of a crew of 30 sailors that landed somewhere on the coast
of North America as Leif Eiriksson made his historic first contact
with North America.
The Matte Proof .9999 fine silver $15 Vikings coin is the fourth in
the Royal Canadian Mint’s multi-month Exploring Canada series. The
monthly program began in June and continues through April 2015. The
Vikings coin was released Sept. 2 and, like other coins in the
program, is available individually or as part of a subscription.
The reverse design by Canadian artist John Mantha shows an imposing
Viking ship coming ashore on the rocky coast of Vinland (“the land of
wine,” the name the Vikings gave the lush, abundant land far across
the Atlantic). The captain points the way as he directs his oarsmen
seated behind a row of shields.
The obverse carries the Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
The coin weighs 23.17 grams and measures 36.07 millimeters in diameter.
The coin has a mintage limit of 15,000 pieces, and retails for
The price from the RCM will be determined based on the exchange rate
at the time of purchase.
Telephone the RCM inside the United States at 800-268-6468 or visit
As distributors for the RCM, Gatewest Coin Ltd., and Talisman
Coins carry the coin at a fixed price in U.S. dollars. Gatewest
sells the coin for $47.95 U.S., and Talisman Coins offers it for $49.95.