Designing a nation's character
During the Middle Ages, any knight who went into battle needed to distinguish friend from foe and would paint identifying marks on his shield. Later, these markings beganB appearing on surcoats, the cloth garment knights wore over their mail. With time, the practice expanded to include the cloaks worn by royal messengers. This is how the Coat of Arms was born—a design of heraldic symbols created to represent a monarchy, a family or clan, a territory or nation; its general shape echoing the shields where the custom originated centuries ago. Even Canada, a nation formed long after the battles of the Middle Ages faded into history, has a Coat of Arms—as does every province and territory within its domain. The Coat of Arms for Alberta incorporates the Provincial Shield as a central element. The Shield is topped by St. George's Cross on a white background with an azureblue sky, snow-capped mountains, green foothills, prairies and wheat fields below. A beaver, royal crown and helmet with a silver and red wreath appear above the Shield. Two supporters; a lion representing power and a pronghorn antelope symbolizing Alberta's natural resources; flank each side. The Shield and supporters appear above a grassy mound with the province's floral emblem, the Wild Rose. The provincial motto, Fortis et Liber on the ribbon means, "Strong and Free." The Provincial Shield was officially granted by King Edward VII on May 30, 1907. The larger Coat of Arms as depicted on this coin was granted by Royal Warrant on July 30, 1980.
Face Value: 300 dollars
Composition: 58.33% gold, 41.67% silver
Weight (g): 60
Diameter (mm): 50
- Second in a series of Canada’s provincial Coat of Arms