As part of the "Canada 150" set of commemorative coins in celebration of the country's 150th anniversary of federation, the 2017 Canada Voyageur 1 oz Silver 150 Special Edition $5 Coin is an impressive homage to one of Canada's most famous coin designs.
Struck from extra-pure .9999 fine silver by the Royal Canadian Mint, each of these coins bears a $5 face value and contains 1 troy ounce of pure silver.
The design of two fur trappers (one Native and one European) rowing together in a canoe is a classic image that appeared on Canada's silver dollar for much of the 20th century. The Voyageur design was introduced in 1935 and last minted in 1986, and holds the distinction as Canada's first circulating silver dollar coin. Originally designed by Toronto-based sculptor Emanuel Hahn, it also ranks among the first coins ever designed by a native-born Canadian. (Previous coin designs came from the Royal Mint in Britain.)
The reverse design bears a slightly modified version of the classic Voyageur design. The canoe carries a bundle of furs imprinted with the small letters "HB" in honor of the iconic Hudson's Bay Company. Pine trees waving in the breeze on an island in the backdrop speaks to Canada's pride in its pristine frontier. Rays of light depicted above the canoe are meant to show the famous aurora borealis, the fantastic phenomena also known as the "Northern Lights." The purity "9999" is found above the image, while "150 YEARS ANS" is prominently placed below, next to a micro-engraved miniature maple leaf security mark. Rim inscriptions include the issuing country "CANADA" and the year-date "2017" along the top of the coin, while "FINE SILVER 1 OZ ARGENT PUR" appears along the bottom rim.
On the obverse, Susanna Blunt's effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II is shown facing toward the right. The Queen's name, followed by the abbreviated Latin regnal titles "D. G. REGINA" are found along the outer rim, with the denomination "5 DOLLARS" curling beneath Her Majesty's portrait. The edge is reeded while the surface of the obverse uses a special radial line finish. This not only imparts a brilliant shimmer when held in the light, but is also another cutting-edge security feature. The coin's diameter measures 38 mm across.
The Voyageur image is a vivid tribute to Canada's first major industry, the fur trade, as well as the history of respect and cooperation between the country's European settlers and aboriginal inhabitants. The Royal Canadian Mint will only be producing these special edition 2017 Canada 150 Voyageur 1 oz Silver Coins during this year's commemorative celebration, so be sure to get yours at Gainesville Coins before inventories are depleted!