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Proof Fine Silver Dollar – 100th Anniversary of the Canadian Arctic Expedition (2013)


The Canadian Arctic Expedition was an important event in the exploration of the Canadian Arctic, helping to map the extent of Canada’s Arctic territory, preserve Canada’s sovereignty in the region, and uncover important research about the people, flora, fauna, and geology of the region. The year 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Arctic Expedition.

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100th Anniversary of the Canadian Arctic Expedition

This Proof Silver Dollar is certified to be 99.99% pure silver with a diameter of 36.07 millimetres and a weight of 23.17 grams. Designed by Canadian artist Bonnie Ross, the reverse image portrays several significant elements from the Canadian Arctic Expedition. In the foreground, the image draws on the abundant photography from the Expedition to present a portrait of three men standing beside a dogsled packed with gear. Harnessed to the sled, the waiting dog team watches and listens for the command to move on across the Arctic tundra. On the distant horizon, a stylized image of a compass pointed 10 degrees east of true North fills the background. The reverse features the words “CANADA DOLLAR” and the dates “1913-2013” to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Arctic Expedition. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

Special Features:
– The Royal Canadian Mint’s world-renowned annual Silver Dollar celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Arctic Expedition with a coin whose artistry draws on the rich legacy of imagery from the historic exploration of the Canadian Arctic.
– A unique product rich in tradition and artistry: it is the 54th issue in the Royal Canadian Mint’s flagship Silver Dollar program – a must-have for all collectors!
– Starting in 2012, Silver Dollar is struck in 99.99% Fine Silver – No GST/HST!
– Intricate and elegant design is finely engraved and meticulously presented in a beautiful Proof finish (frosted raised elements on mirror background); a testament to the exceptional talents of the designer and unparalleled RCM craftsmanship.
– An excellent addition to any collection focused around history, Canadiana, the North, and the celebration of Canadian identity.
– An excellent gift for lovers of history, exploration, the North, and the variety and grandeur of the Canadian landscape.

Encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with a black beauty box.

Box Size: 67 mm x 67 mm

The Canadian Arctic Expedition 1913–1916
On the antique celluloid, the light flickers. Sled dogs move silently across the Arctic tundra. A man perched on an ice floe surveys the horizon as teams of men and dogs prepare for ice-bound travel behind him. In the distance snow-capped mountains rise into the sky like jagged shards of ice.

In grainy photos, men stand alongside makeshift fences, before shelters made of skins and furs, in open ice fields, atop sleds packed with gear. Some smile; others stare silently into the lens, arms crossed, thoughts unfathomable.

These are only a few of the approximately 4,000 photographs and more than 2,700 metres of film capturing one of the twentieth century’s most exciting moments in exploration: the Canadian Arctic Expedition.

In 1913, Canadian Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden commissioned an expedition, led by Manitoba-born ethnologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson, to explore and map the western Canadian Arctic. Stefansson and zoologist Rudolph Anderson had travelled through the Far North the previous decade. Knowing that there was a great deal of unexplored potential in the region, Stefansson planned to continue his earlier journey, but the Government of Canada, recognizing the importance of new sovereign territory, hosted the Expedition and broadened its mission significantly. A Northern Party led by Stefansson would undertake the mapping exercise while a Southern Party led by Anderson would explore the geology, resources, and native inhabitants of the northern mainland.

Travelling by sea and despite significant hardships, the Northern Party covered thousands of kilometres, mapping land that even the local inhabitants had never seen. The Northern Party discovered four new islands and proved that some of the geography proposed by nineteenth century expeditions was erroneous.

The Southern Party completed the full mapping of the mainland and produced 14 volumes of scientific data as well as thousands of specimens and artefacts, opening up a new world of wonder for Canadians. Their findings included information about flora and fauna never before recorded, fossil samples, and more. Their cultural research familiarized the world for the first time with the culture and way of life of the Copper Inuit and other aboriginal peoples of the Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory, Alaska and Siberia. From these Aboriginal peoples—some of whom participated in the Expedition as guides and other assistants—they collected artistic artefacts, tools, knowledge, and thousands of photographs as well as extensive film footage.

The Expedition’s artefacts, photos, and recordings enabled researchers to introduce to the rest of the world cultures that had been virtually inaccessible until that time. The artefacts have also had a broad educational legacy, forming the basis of numerous educational programs and museum exhibits, and are an important pillar of the permanent National collections of the Canadian Museum of Nature and the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Item Number: 121842
Face Value: $1
Mintage: 40,000
Composition: 99.99% pure silver
Weight (g): 23.17 (3/4oz)
Diameter (mm): 40
Edge: Serrated
Finish: Proof
Certificate: Serialized
Artist: Bonnie Ross (reverse), Susanna Blunt (obverse)

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