The Royal Canadian Mint has released new gold coins which are dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Canadian territory of Nunavut — and with this addition — the map of Canada changed. Formed on the 1st April 1999, the former Northwest Territories (NWT) were divided in two — creating a new territory called Nunavut —which, in the Inuit language Inuktitut, the word “Nunavut” simply means “our land.” The territory of Nunavut constitutes nearly one-fifth of Canada’s total land mass and is as large as the country of Mexico.
Developed from the northernmost area of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut borders the floating icecaps of the North Pole, Greenland to the east, the new boundary of Northwest Territories to the southeast, and the Province of Manitoba directly south. With a population of just 40,000 inhabitants, the majority of those of Inuit heritage, the territory has the smallest population in Canada. The Canadian far north, is, for all intents and purposes, barren. However, it is also an unspoiled part of the planet that is sparsely inhabited by indigenous peoples and the land contains vast mineral resources and wealth. In 1982, Ottawa was decided to divide the Northwest Territories into two parts, one called Nunavut, and the other retaining the name “Northwest Territories.” On 1st April 1999, Nunavut came into official existence with its capital city and seat of government designated as Iqaluit — formerly Frobisher Bay — which was changed in 1987. With just over 7,700 residents located on the southern coast of Baffin Island, this northernmost Canadian capital and administrative city gained international prominence when, in 2010, they played host to the G7 meeting for finance ministers.
The anniversary coins are minted wholly from gold, which is provided by Agnico Eagle Mines’ Meadow Bank Mine near Baker Lake, as well as TMAC Resources’ Mine at Hope Bay. The reverse design, which is applied to a larger than average diameter, is the work of Inuk artist Germaine Arnaktauyok, whose iconic drummer design featured on these anniversary coins first appeared on the two-dollar bi-metallic circulation coins celebration of Nunavut’s creation in 1999.
The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, designed by Canadian artist Susanna Blunt in 2003.
|3.14 g||20 mm||Proof||
The encapsulated coins are presented in a custom-branded Royal Canadian Mint case that also includes a certificate of authenticity. For additional information about this coin and others available from the Royal Canadian Mint, please visit their website.