November 29, 2018 – As a special museum exhibit remembering the sinking of SS Princess Sophia tours the Pacific Northwest, the Royal Canadian Mint has issued a coloured silver coin commemorating this tragic event in Canadian maritime history. 100 years ago, the Canadian Pacific Steamships Line coastal liner struck Vanderbilt Reef, near Juneau, Alaska, and started taking on water within sight of the shoreline. The ship sank a day and a half later, after her more than 350 passengers and crew waited patiently for rescue, killing all aboard.
Canada / 20 dollars / silver .9999 / 31.39 g / 38 mm / Design: Yves Bérubé / Mintage: 6,000.
“The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to craft coins that illustrate and preserve the full spectrum of the Canadian experience, including a rich seafaring history,” said Jennifer Camelon, Interim President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “Through this coin, the Mint is able to increase awareness of the incredible story of SS Princess Sophia, while honouring all those who were lost on her last voyage.”
The SS Princess Sophia in 1912.
The 2018 $20 Fine Silver Coin – The Sinking of the SS Princess Sophia is crafted of 99.99% fine silver and features a dramatic depiction of “the unknown Titanic of the West Coast” by Canadian maritime artist Yves Bérubé. His choice of colours convey the challenging conditions in the early morning of October 24, 1918, when a blinding snow storm pushed the SS Princess Sophia on a fateful collision-course with a dangerous reef hidden by the high tide. The scene showing the moment of impact is framed by engraved cartography of Lynn Canal, the Alaskan inlet where tragedy struck. Completing the reverse design is an innovative nautical rope motif engraved to the edge. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
More information on this coin is available on the Royal Canadian Mint website.
This short documentary tells you more about the history of the SS Princess Sophia.