The Royal Canadian Mint have launched a new gold coin which pays tribute to both the centennial anniversary of the Canadian Arctic Expedition as well as the brave & courageous team who organized and led the expedition.
In 1913, a scientific expedition which was organized by Arctic explorer and ethnologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879 – 1962) set off with three ships, the Karluk, the Mary Sachs, and the Alaska. Originally to be sponsored by the American branch of the National Geographic Society and the American Museum of Natural History, the government of Canada took over its sponsorship since potentially, there might be the discovery of new lands. Also joining the expedition was Canadian zoologist and explorer Rudolph Martin Anderson (1876 – 1961) and with this valuable addition, the expedition was divided into two teams, Northern and Southern parties led by each man respectively.
The hardships of 1913, and the challenges faced by the expedition, including the ships having been frozen in the water even before being able to reach their destinations, took their toll. Lives were lost and the principle ship, the Karluk was itself crushed by the ice of the arctic ocean resulting in the loss of life. Three years of activity included the mapping of newly found territory as far east as Bathurst Inlet, and the expedition discovered land previously unknown even to the native Inuit peoples. In conclusion, the Canadian Arctic expedition was credited with producing valuable environmental data, and launched the careers of several explorers and scientists.
The reverse of the coin is designed by Bonnie Ross (also the designer of the silver dollar of 2013) and depicts the expedition at work, with a scene of a seated explorer peering through a sextant, while behind him a photographer operates a camera on a tripod as other members of this party and their sled dogs stand in front of an Arctic mountain range. In place of an ordinary sky, the upper area of the coin is filled by a map outline showing the vast expanse of the Canadian Arctic, stretching from coast to coast to coast. The obverse carries an effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II sculpted by Susanna Blunt and used on Canadian circulation and selected commemorative coinage since 2003.
Struck in .583 fine gold (14 carat) the coin weighs 12 grams with a diameter of 27 mm. The coin is struck in proof quality with a mintage of 2,500 pieces authorized. For more information on this and other coins offered by the Royal Canadian Mint, please visit their website at: http://www.mint.ca/store/coin/14k-gold-coin-100th-anniversary-of-the-canadian-arctic-expedition-mintage-2500-2013-prod1620010 International orders fulfilled, information offered in both English & French.