World Coins

Classic silver coin of New France gets golden treatment

A new gold coin from Canada celebrates a classic silver coin of New France, 350 years after it was issued.

Images courtesy of Royal Canadian Mint.

Canada’s colonial history, though connected to Great Britain, actually has much deeper roots to France.

A new 2020 .9999 fine gold $10 coin from the Royal Canadian Mint celebrates this connection by replicating the design of a silver coin from 350 years ago.

The reverse design faithfully reproduces that from one of the rarest pieces in Canada’s colonial and numismatic past: the Louis XIV 15-sol coin issued in 1670. Until now, its design has never been featured on a coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint.

The coin was issued in and used in French colonies including New France, which then also included parts of what is now the United States of America.

According to RCM officials, the coin’s aged appearance was made possible by modern engraving techniques that re-create the effects of time without interfering with the coin’s luxurious Proof finish.

Close consultation with the Bank of Canada Museum helped to ensure this version is as historically accurate as possible, according to the RCM. Only 17 examples of the original issue are known worldwide, and the Bank of Canada Museum has three of them. Among the privately held ones was an example in the John J. Ford Jr. Collection; it sold Jan. 16, 2006, for a hammer price of $130,000 U.S.

For historical accuracy, the reverse includes the original A (Paris) Mint mark beneath the shield, and at the top, the rook engraver mark of Jean-Baptiste Dufour.

The obverse carries the Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The coin weighs 7.8 grams and measures 20 millimeters in diameter.

It has a mintage limit of 1,000 pieces and retails for $849.95 Canadian.

Delivery is expected to begin June 1. To order, visit the RCM website, www.mint.ca.  

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