The Royal Canadian Mint has released new $20 silver Proof collector coins marking the 125th anniversary of the incorporation of the Yukon Territory into the Canadian Confederation. The smallest and westernmost of Canada’s three territories at 474,391 square kilometres (183,163 square miles), was created during the 1870s and 1880s when significant numbers of gold miners began to arrive. Presently, there are 10 provinces and three territories comprising Canada, with the other two territories being the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Yukon’s entire western border is shared with the eastern border of Alaska, and its eastern border is shared with the Northwest Territory. While there is no outlet into the Pacific Ocean, there is a great coastline in North Yukon on the Beaufort Sea leading into the Arctic Ocean. Yukon has the distinction of being the second-least populated province or territory in Canada, with just 44,238 persons as of 2023. Whitehorse, which is the territorial capital, is also the largest settlement in any of the three territories. As the Yukon is home to 12 National Historic Sites of Canada, it is no wonder that tourism is one of the territory’s most important sources of revenue. With its unspoilt scenery and rugged nature, as rivers cut through dense forests, wildlife giants roam, and mountain peaks stretch so high, they seem to touch the midnight sun. Countless tourist agencies cater to activities such as hunting and fishing, canoeing and kayaking, hiking, skiing, and even dog sledding. With over 8,000 native or First Peoples who make the Yukon their home, they represent the second largest demographic and from where the design of the reverse side of the coin draws its inspiration.
The reverse side of the new collector coin is designed by artist Jean Taylor and features imagery that is reflective of Canada’s First Peoples. An Indigenous woman singing and playing a drum represents the First People’s cultures and traditions. Beneath her, the mountains are reminiscent of the landscapes of central and southern Yukon, while the wolf and crow, representing the matrilineal kinship observed by most Yukon First Peoples, are also represented. Towards the left rim is the text CANADA and in balance to the right rim is the coins’ denomination, 20 DOLLARS, with the commemorative years 1898 – 2023 placed below the primary design along the rim. The obverse features the memorial effigy of the late Queen Elizabeth II (1926–2022) by Susanna Blunt, which also bears a special marking below the portrait that includes four pearls symbolising the four effigies that have graced Canadian coins along with the double date of her reign, 1952 and 2022.
|20 dollars||.999 Silver||31.3 g||38 mm||Proof||5,000|
Each coin is encapsulated and is presented in a custom case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For more information about these and other coins available from the Royal Canadian Mint, please click here.