January 31, 2013 – One hundred years after Canadian Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden despatched explorers and researchers on an ambitious and intrepid mission to map the Canadian Arctic and study its peoples, wildlife and geology, the Royal Canadian Mint celebrates the centennial of the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913 on its annual Proof Silver Dollar and other finely crafted precious metal collectibles.
A sketch of explorer Vilhjamur Stefansson in half profile from the right, c.1915. Profile shot of Rudolph Martin Anderson, before 1921. Sources: Wikipedia.
This historic expedition was led by ethnologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson and zoologist Rudolph Anderson, whose teams split into a Northern Party, headed by Stefansson to undertake the bulk of the mapping exercise, while Anderson’s Southern Party explored the geology, flora and fauna, and native inhabitants of the Arctic Mainland. After three years of research over thousands of kilometres, the Canadian Arctic Expedition discovered new islands and mapped land which even local inhabitants had never seen. The Southern Party compiled 14 volumes of scientific data and gathered thousands of specimens and artefacts, some of which continue to educate Canadians through permanent national museum collections.
The Proof Silver Dollar.
Reserved for milestone commemorations given the coin’s reputation as the flagship of the Mint’s annual collector coin program, the 2013 edition of the Proof Silver Dollar features a captivating design by artist Bonnie Ross whose illustration of three men standing in front of a gear-packed dog sled, ready to take their first north-bound steps into uncharted territory, captures the vision of the explorers as they would have posed for one last photograph before setting out on their historic journey 100 years ago.
The background of this scene is filled with the details of a compass rose, pointing northwards to show their intended destination. Double-dated 1913-2013, this 99.99% pure silver coin has a highly prized proof finish, which consists of a mirror-like background against which frosted design elements are elegantly contrasted.
“The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to issue a great variety of collector coins which bring events of our past back to life and spark interest in learning more about Canada’s fascinating history,” said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “The Canadian Arctic Expedition was one of our greatest adventures of the early 20th century and we are delighted to bring back the spirit of exploration and discovery by devoting our 2013 Proof Silver Dollar to its 100th anniversary”.
The Fine Silver Proof Coin.
In addition to the 2013 Proof Silver Dollar, the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Arctic Expedition is commemorated on: the 2013 Brilliant Silver Dollar; the 2013 Fine Silver Proof Set; the 2013 $100 Gold Coin; and a duo of 99.99% pure gold and silver kilo coins.
For more information on the collector coins visit the website of the Royal Canadian Mint.
To learn more about the Canadian Arctic Expedition take a look at the website of the Canadian Museum of Civilization