In 1896, a major gold rush in Yukon's Klondike Valley brought an awareness of gold mining and the theme of mineral wealth into the Canadian consciousness. Romantic notions of sacks filled with gold coins and rags-to-riches glory took hold of the public imagination. After a series of negotiations with the British authorities, the Ottawa Mint Act was passed in 1901, allowing for a branch of the British Royal Mint to be established in Canada to produce domestic coinage. The Ottawa branch of the British Royal Mint officially opened in 1908.
In March of 1912, the first gold coins that were Canadian in every aspect, from raw material to reverse image design, were struck.
One hundred years after the first Canadian gold coins were minted, they have returned home to the Royal Canadian Mint, formerly the Ottawa branch of the British Royal Mint. Although the world into which they now shed their warm glow is utterly different from their original era—these storied coins retain a moment in Canadian history when progress, hope, pride, and victory burned brightly in the Canadian imagination.
Obverse: Crowned bust left
Obverse Designer: E. B. MacKennal
Reverse: Arms within wreath, date and denomination below
Reverse Designer: W. H. J. Blakemore
Ruler: George V
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