Posted on September 08, 2017
The Royal Canadian Mint is on a year-long quest to celebrate the 150th birthday of Canada’s movement toward independence. Confederation got underway in Canada on July 1, 1867, making 2017 the 150th anniversary. This year’s release schedule from the Royal Canadian Mint has resulted in numerous beautiful coin programs.
Some of the silver and gold coins for sale this calendar year from the RCM have featured new designs or altered twists on historic designs. Still other coins have been released that revive some of the most significant coins from Canadian history. The latter is the case with the all-new Voyageur 150th Anniversary coins from the Royal Canadian Mint. Available in gold and silver, this coin design celebrates the nation’s position today, honors its past, and resurrects one of its most significant coin designs in the process.
The design on the 2017 Voyageur 150th Anniversary Coins is more than 100 years old itself. This historic image representing the fur trade in Canada was introduced by the Royal Canadian Mint in 1935 on the nation’s first-ever silver dollar coin. It was released in that year to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of England’s King George V.
Toronto-based sculptor Emanuel Hahn developed the original image for the Voyageur silver dollar coin introduced in 1935. It remained on the circulation silver dollar coin until 1986. Due to the significant history of the original silver dollar and the deep historical roots of the design itself, the Voyageur imagery was a natural choice to be part of the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.
On the reverse side of both the gold and silver coin in the Voyageur release, you’ll find Hahn’s original design. It reflects the partnership at the time between early fur traders arriving from Europe and the First Nation people of Canada. With a European trader at the helm paddling the canoe, a First Nation guide sits at the bow leading him along the twists and turns of the waterway.
Hahn’s original design was beautifully complex. Look closely in the canoe and you’ll note the presence of stacked furs ready to be traded at the market. In the background, there are numerous streaking lines meant to represent the Aurora Borealis lighting up the sky as the two make their trek down the river.
As modern bullion coins from the Royal Canadian Mint, there are extra features integrated into this historic design for the 2017 Voyageur 150th Anniversary release. Inscriptions around the coin’s design field included “Canada 2017,” and the metal content, weight, and purity of the individual silver or gold coin.
Inside the design field, below the Voyageur design you’ll find the engraving of “150 Years/Ans” and the micro-laser engraved maple leaf privy mark with “17” at its center. Radial lines are added to the background field on both sides of the coin.
There are only minor differences between the two coins available in this release, coming down largely to the metal content and face values. Both coins feature the laser-engraved maple leaf and radial lines, added security features that have appeared on all Canadian bullion coinage since 2014 to deter counterfeiting.
As for the 2017 Canadian Gold Voyageur Coin, there is a limited mintage of only 15,000 coins in total for the release. Each one ships inside of a sealed plastic package that has an assay card printed on the back. The Gold Voyageur coin has a first-ever $150 (CAD) face value in honor of the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. The gold coins include 1 Troy oz of .9999 pure gold in BU condition.
With the 2017 Canadian Silver Voyageur Coin release there is greater opportunity to get your hands on this stunning product. Unlike the low mintage of the gold coin, the Silver Voyageur coin has a limited mintage of 250,000 coins in total. These coins ship to you in one of three ways: individual plastic flips, mint tubes of 25 coins, or mint-sealed boxes containing 500 coins in total inside of 20 mint tubes.
Each silver coin has a total of 1 Troy oz of .9999 pure silver in BU condition, and a face value of $5 (CAD). Both coins being in BU condition means they lack all signs of wear and tear, however that does not make them perfect. Coins in BU condition can feature minor flaws from production such as breaks in the luster, spotted surfaces, or contact marks.
Additionally, both coins in the Voyageur 150th Anniversary release include the obverse image of Queen Elizabeth II. The now-iconic portrait was created by Canadian artist Susanna Blunt in 2003, and has featured on all Canadian coinage since 2004.
Confederation for Canada was a long process that began July 1, 1867. The process transformed the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a united grouping known then as the Dominion of Canada. Upon the start of confederation, the old province of Canada was divided into two new provinces of Ontario and Quebec, with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick remaining the same.
Over time, Canada expanded to take on the provincial and territorial makeup we know today. In July 1870, Manitoba joined as a new province along with the Northwest Territories. British Columbia and Prince Edward Island joined as provinces in 1871 and 1873, respectively. The Yukon Territory was added in 1898, followed by the addition of Saskatchewan and Alberta as provinces in 1905. The most recent additions were Newfoundland as a province in 1949 and Nunavut as a territory in 1999. Today, Canada is comprised of 10 provinces and three territories.
The official sovereign mint of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint was formed in 1908 to provide the emerging, independent nation of Canada with its own coining capacity. This was spurred on, in part, by a need to refine gold and other precious metals discovered in the Yukon Territory in the late 1800s in Canada rather than transferring it across the ocean to the Royal Mint in the United Kingdom. Today the RCM consists of its original facility in the federal capital city of Ottawa, and a second facility in Winnipeg.
All of our gold and silver coins for sale are visible in our online catalog 24/7. The 2017 Voyageur Coins are currently available for purchase in the silver version and on pre-sale right now for the gold. As always, stay tuned to the JM Bullion blog for the latest news, information, and product release updates to keep you up to date on precious metals.