World Coins

Canada celebrates St. Lawrence Seaway on coin

Canada’s 2019 Proof .9999 fine silver $30 coin marks the 60th anniversary of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Images courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint.

The St. Lawrence Seaway’s channels and locks have connected North America’s heartland to the Atlantic Ocean and the world beyond since 1959.

In 2019, the Royal Canadian Mint marks the 60th anniversary of the important infrastructure with a specially shaped Proof .9999 fine silver $30 coin.

In 1959, the newly completed St. Lawrence Seaway was hailed as one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century. Its canals and lock systems transformed a centuries-old trade route into a crucial commercial artery for the modern age, allowing access to larger ships. 

Today, the Seaway is an important shipping route for the adjacent nations, as well as a destination for recreational boaters. About 40 million metric tons of vital cargoes transit the Seaway’s locks each year.  

While the view presented is from inside a lock, highlighting the waterway’s legacy, the anchor-chain rim symbolizes longevity and gives the coin its never-before-seen shape. 

Artist Claire Watson designed the coin, which was engraved by Howard Lam, engraver at the RCM.

Watson said that her initial design was much simpler than what ended up being produced on the coin. 

“I wasn’t aware of the process or how detailed the art could be when translating to engraving,” she said, in a press release from the RCM. “My biggest challenge was creating a technical design centred on man-made structures, versus the more organic, nature-inspired subject matter I’m used to working with. It was great for me to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.” 

The shaped, engraved rim sets this coin apart by providing an additional canvas for engraving that matches the nautical theme of the coin. 

The coin weighs 62.69 grams, measures 50 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 4,000 pieces.

It retails for $219.95 Canadian. The actual price in U.S. funds will be determined at the time of purchase based on the exchange rate.

To order the coin, visit the RCM website

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