2018 FINE SILVER 4-COIN SET HISTORICAL CURRENCY OF CANADA: PLAYING CARDS OF NEW FRANCE
Introduced in 1685, the playing card money of New France is one of the most interesting chapters in the story of Canadian currency, but few examples survive today. This set of rectangular coins by the Royal Canadian Mint is a four of a kind in fine silver — a King of each suit, and all in a colourful style inspired by the cards that once circulated like banknotes.
SRP: $649.95 (set)
Item Number: 169541
Composition: 99.99% pure silver
Mintage: 1,250 (set)
Weight; 47.34 g (each coin)
Diameter: 49.8 mm x 28.6 mm (each coin)
Face Value: $25 (each coin)
Artist: Trevor Tennant
Packaging: Maroon clamshell with black beauty box
- An homage to currency history. This four-piece collectible is a card-shaped tribute to an unusual currency that circulated in New France. It’s a fascinating glimpse of Canada’s early past—one that gives a sense of the challenges and shortages faced by a growing colony.
- Inspired by the past. The four original designs were inspired by the 18th-century Lionet and Provence Pattern of court cards, with small details that reflect the period style.
- Rectangular shape. In the 17th and 18th centuries, playing cards did not have rounded corners — and neither do these rectangular coins.
- A total of six ounces of silver. The set includes four 1.5 oz. silver coins, each one masterfully engraved and crafted in 99.99% pure silver, plus full colour on the reverse.
- Display and play. Each set comes with a FREE Royal Canadian Mint-branded set of playing cards! Together, this card-and-coin pairing reflects the popularity of card games, now and then.
All four rectangular coins bear original art by artist Trevor Tennant, who drew inspiration from the 18th century Lionet and Provence Pattern of court cards. Each reverse mimics the period style of the playing cards that were used as currency in New France. It features full colour over the engraved depiction of a King from one of four suits: spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs.
- The King of Diamonds (Julius Caesar) holds an authoritative baton in one hand, and in the other, a sceptre that symbolizes imperial power.
- The King of Clubs (Alexander the Great) is a confident king who holds a dagger-like sword in his right hand, and a lotus in his left.
- The King of Hearts (Charlemagne) wears a cloak edged with a scarf-like pattern, while the fleur-de-lis (a symbol of the French monarch) is visible throughout.
- The King of Spades (the biblical David) wears a full-length, fur-lined robe. He holds a sword in one hand and in the other, an orb that signifies having the world in one’s hand.
The obverse features a repeating pattern of the four suit symbols and the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.