Royal Canadian Mint

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FRANKLIN LOST EXPEDITION Lost Ships In Canadian Waters Silver Coin 20$ Canada 2015


The second in the Lost Ships in Canadian Waters series that commemorates well-known vessels lost in Canadian waters, and the stories that have emerged from the events surrounding their final fate.
This coin serves as a unique commemoration of the ill-fated Franklin expedition and its importance to the scientific exploration of Canada’s Arctic region.

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Lost Ships in Canadian Waters
Our history is undeniably linked to the oceans, seaways and lakes that make up our great Canadian landscape. These bodies of water are notoriously unpredictable and can be treacherous; from our distant past to recent times, Canada’s history is filled with incidents of lost vessels—including H.M.S. Erebus and H.M.S. Terror, which are at the centre of an enduring maritime mystery: the lost Franklin expedition. Franklin's lost expedition was a British voyage of Arctic exploration led by Captain Sir John Franklin that departed England in 1845. A Royal Navy officer and experienced explorer, Franklin had served on three previous Arctic expeditions, the latter two as commanding officer. His fourth and last, undertaken when he was 59, was meant to traverse the last unnavigated section of the Northwest Passage. After a few early fatalities, the two ships became icebound in Victoria Strait near King William Island in the Canadian Arctic. The entire expedition complement, including Franklin and 128 men, was lost.

  • CountryCanada
  • Year2015
  • Face Value20 Dollars
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)999/1000
  • Weight (g)31.39
  • Diameter (mm)38
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)7.000
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)Yes

The reverse design features Canadian marine artist John Horton’s depiction of the Franklin expedition’s H.M.S. Erebus in the foreground, with H.M.S. Terror to starboard. Edging their way through ice-filled waters, the three-masted wooden vessels are seen travelling at a reduced speed under shortened canvas. The cool colour palette recreates the blue hues of the sky in daylight and the darker, icy waters of the Arctic. This stunning portrait situates the ships off of the northwest coast of King William Island, providing geographical context for their location when first deserted in 1848. Edge lettering bearing the names “H.M.S. TERROR” and “H.M.S. EREBUS” further commemorates the two vessels and the 128 men who were lost.