World Coins

Canadian $1 honors explorers

A century after a groundbreaking scientific expedition into the Canadian Arctic, a silver dollar celebrating the anniversary is making history of its own.

The Royal Canadian Mint on Aug. 13 released a Specimen silver dollar set marking the centennial of the Canadian Arctic Expedition, which began in 1913 and continued into 1916.

For the first time, a Canadian Specimen set includes a dollar coin in silver. In addition to the Arctic Expedition silver dollar, the new set also includes Specimen finish examples of all seven circulating Canadian coins, from the 5-cent piece to the $2 coin. Previous annual Specimen sets have offered aureate-bronze versions of a dollar coin with a special design.

The expedition was the first major scientific research study undertaken in Canada’s North.

The designs on the Specimen Finish .9999 fine silver dollar carry over from Canada’s annual silver dollar, which was previously issued in Brilliant Uncirculated, Proof and gold-plated Proof versions in January.

Bonnie Ross’ reverse shows three expedition members near a dogsled team hitched to a loaded sled. A compass dial points to 10 degrees east of true north.

Susanna Blunt’s effigy of Queen Elizabeth II graces the obverse.

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 silver dollar weighs 23.17 grams and measures 36.07 millimeters in diameter.

A total of 20,000 sets are available, for $99.95 each.

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 ¦

Community Comments