World Coins

Two Canadian silver coins honor Avro Arrow

Two new 2021 silver collector coins from the Royal Canadian Mint celebrate the Avro Arrow airplane, a one-ounce $20 coin, left, and a 5-ounce $50 coin, right.

Images courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint.

Aviation history is a point of pride on two 2021 .9999 fine silver coins from the Royal Canadian Mint.

The RCM on May 4 released a 1-ounce $20 coin and a 5-ounce $50 coin, both celebrating the storied Avro Arrow airplane.

A made-in-Canada marvel that was ahead of its time, the Avro CF-105 Arrow was designed to fly higher and faster than any other aircraft in the 1950s.

In 1953, A.V. Roe Canada Ltd. was commissioned to develop a supersonic interceptor that would bolster North America’s air defences during the Cold War. Production began at the company’s facilities in the town of Malton, Ontario, and on Oct. 4, 1957, the first Arrow, RL-201, was unveiled to great fanfare. After a successful first flight on March 25, 1958, four more prototypes were completed, plus one Arrow Mk. 2.

The twin-engine, delta-winged Arrow was hailed as a technological triumph; it was the first production aircraft to adopt a fly-by-wire flight control system, while the newly developed Iroquois PS-13 turbojet engine would have allowed it to fly at a speed exceeding Mach 2 — twice the speed of sound.

But on Feb. 20, 1959, the government canceled the project due to mounting costs and the advent of the missile age. All CF-105 Arrow prototypes, models, plans and equipment were to be destroyed, though some surviving artifacts can be found in Canadian museums.

Designing a legend

Designed by Stephen Quick, the reverse of the $20 coin is inspired by technical drawings of the Avro CF-105 Arrow.

It features a mix of cross-sectional plan and three-view drawings, while the rendering of the Arrow in perspective shows the beauty of the aircraft’s design. To complete the blueprint look, laser-engraved grid lines fill the field on both the reverse and obverse

The 5-ounce coin’s reverse, by Neil Hamelin, depicts the supersonic fighter jet taking to the skies, while on the ground, its maple-leaf-shaped “shadow” represents “those who took Canada’s spirit of innovation to new heights,” according to the RCM.

The obverses of both coins has the Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The $20 coin has a mintage limit of 10,000 pieces and retails for $119.95 Canadian.

The $50 coin has a mintage of 1,000 pieces and retailed for $569.95 Canadian but is sold out.

To order, or learn more, visit the RCM website,

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