The Royal Canadian Mint is joining the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Louisbourg settlement by issuing two new gold and silver collector coins. The coins were unveiled by Kirk MacRae, member of the Royal Canadian Mint’s Board of Directors, at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site.
“The Royal Canadian Mint is delighted to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Louisbourg with two new collector coins designed by talented Canadian artists and handcrafted with the Mint’s unmistakable quality," said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “Generations after its founding, the historical treasure of Louisbourg is now preserved on two new collector coins which remind Canadians and collectors from around the world of the significance of this historical landmark which survives as a living monument to early Canadian history."
In commemoration of this anniversary, the Royal Canadian Mint crafted two spectacular coins; a 99.99% pure 1/25 oz. gold coin featuring the work of Nova Scotia artist Peter Gough and a 99.99% pure silver coin designed by British Columbia maritime artist John Horton. These coins capture scenes and icons which evoke trade and commerce which paved the way to Canada’s development 300 years ago.
These gold and silver struck in honour of Louisbourg 300 can be ordered directly from the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in the US, or on the Internet at www.mint.ca as of today. As of June 11, 2013, the coins will also be available at the Royal Canadian Mint's boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver, as well as through the Mint’s global network of dealers and distributors, including participating Canada Post outlets.
The Royal Canadian Mint Louisbourg 300 Commemorative Coins
During the first half of the 18th century, the fortified port of Louisbourg on Île Royale (in modern-day Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia) was the centre of French power in the Atlantic region, and home to one of the largest military garrisons in New France. While Louisbourg’s military heritage has been widely celebrated, this strategic settlement was also one of the New World’s most important economic and cultural crossroads, and a major hub for fishing and trading ships from across the globe.
The year 2013 marks the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Louisbourg settlement. After being captured by the British in 1758 and later abandoned as a military outpost in favour of Halifax, Louisbourg was declared a national historic site in 1926 and its historic structures re-built in the 1960’s to give visitors a unique experience of life in 1740’s New France. Today, the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site serves as both a model of world-class historic reconstruction and an enduring reminder of the essential role the settlement played in the development of Nova Scotia, and in helping to lay the foundation for the country that would one day be called Canada.
In commemoration of this historical milestone, the Royal Canadian Mint has crafted pure gold and silver collector coins which celebrate the origins of Louisbourg’s founding in 1713 and its survival as a living monument of early Canadian history.
A 1/25 oz, 99.99% pure gold coin features a design by Bridgewater, Nova Scotia artist Peter Gough. The stylized images of a cod fish, an 18th century ship and Louisbourg’s iconic Frédéric Gate recall the settlement’s emergence as a vital link between the Atlantic Ocean’s lucrative Grand Banks fishery and the rich waterways of the St. Lawrence. This 50-cent face value gold coin retails for $129.95 CDN and is limited to a mintage of 10,000 world-wide.
The 99.99% pure silver coin is the work of celebrated Canadian maritime artist John Horton. It captures a bustling scene of the Louisbourg shore as it would have appeared when it became one of the busiest ports on the North American continent only 40 years after it was founded. Bearing a $20 face value, this coin is enhanced by the contrast of multiple finishes and special edge lettering which reads “Louisbourg 300” and is accompanied by a repeating pattern of an anchor, fleur de lys, and maple leaf. Limited to a mintage of 8,500 examples world-wide, this silver coin is available for $89.95 CDN.
The obverses of both these coins feature the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II designed by Canadian portrait artist Susannah Blunt in 2003.