World Coins

Canada coin issue a nod to first Black settlers

Canada honors the Amber Valley, Alberta, settlement with a Proof silver $20 coin. African-Americans fled the United States to settle there in 1910.

Images courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint.

Settlers from America that left Oklahoma, Texas and other surrounding states to form a community in Alberta are the subject of a new silver coin from Canada.

The Royal Canadian Mint released the Proof silver $20 coin on Jan. 27, as part of its ongoing Commemorating Black History series.

In 1910, seeking a life away from segregationist laws, racial hostility and violence, the settlers journeyed to northern Alberta in response to the government of Canada’s offer of free land in the Canadian west.

The approximately 300 men, women and children endured and overcame new hardships as they tamed the Alberta wilderness to carve out a new life and a thriving community that was renamed Amber Valley in 1931.

Their inspiring tale of spirit and determination is forever preserved on the coin, according to the RCM.

Coin design

The reverse, designed by artist Valentine De Landro, is centered on an imagined scene of a homesteader family arriving in Pine Creek, Alberta, in 1909, gazing out over the land that would become the thriving community of Amber Valley.

The design includes a map outline of the province of Alberta, enhanced by a bough of maple leaves. The lower portion of the reverse depicts a wagon train of settlers completing the long journey from the United States. The scene is framed by log cabins, which were the first houses built by the Black pioneers, determined to make a new home in northern Alberta.

The obverse features Susanna Blunt’s transitional effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, which includes a special marking consisting of an inscription of the dates 1952 and 2022, separated by four pearls to symbolize the four effigies that have graced Canadian coins throughout the reign.

The coin weighs 31.39 grams, measures 38 millimeters in diameter, and has a mintage limit of 5,500 pieces. It retails for $104.95 Canadian.

To order or learn more, visit the RCM website, www.mint.ca.

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