Royal Canadian Mint


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The ninth coin in the Royal Canadian Mint’s exciting new O Canada series focusing on iconic Canadian images, this beautiful coin celebrates a great Canadian sport, hockey.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Tony Bianco presents a small group of individuals enjoying a pick-up game on a small local rink. In the foreground, we see the backs of a father and child, sticks over their shoulders and skates hanging from the sticks by their laces in a typical Canadian fashion. Bundled in warm coats, snowpants, and toques, they walk through the snow to a small outdoor community hockey rink. In the background, other players lean against the outside of the boards, sticks held high, waiting for their turn to join the game. On the rinks itself, an adult and several children are engaged in a game. The adult and one of the children wave their hands and sticks high in the air, signalling perhaps that someone has scored a goal. In the distant background, stark leafless trees rise against the wintry horizon.
Special Features:

  •  This is the ninth coin in the Royal Canadian Mint’s exciting new O Canada ½ oz silver coin series. Rendered in 99.99% pure silver with limited mintages, this series is sought after by collectors.
  •  Future coins in this series include images on the Maple Leaf, the Orca and more.
  •  This design has incorporated each of the various finishing details available to Mint to ensure a detailed execution of the final product. This coin will have you looking at it over and over to see all the fine details.
  •  This beautiful pure silver coin comes in a clamshell case encased in a special full-colour beauty box.
  •  Engraved in exquisite detail to celebrate one of Canada’s most popular national sports.
  •  A great gift and collectible to celebrate the Canadian culture, hockey and sport in Canada, Canadian history, and the country’s unique iconography.

Product Specifications:
Item Number: 123859
UPC: 6-23932-04599-6
Face Value: 10 dollars
Mintage: 40,000
Composition: 99.99% pure silver
Weight (g): 15.87
Diameter (mm): 34
Edge: Serrated
Finish: Proof
Certificate: Serialized
Artist: Tony Bianco

Each coin is encapsulated and presented in a maroon clamshell case lined with flock and protected by a customized full color sleeve.
Finished size: 67 mm x 67 mm


Advertising Date: November 4, 2012
Launch Date: September 10, 2013

Each coin is encapsulated and presented in a maroon clamshell case lined with flock and protected by a customized full color sleeve.
Finished size: 67 mm x 67 mm

Complete certificate text:
O Canada
Canada’s national identity is much like its majestic landscape: diverse, storied, and sometimes elusive. In the ever-changing tectonics of Canadian culture, identifiers tend to reflect the nation’s multicultural nature and its geography, fauna and flora, and social and political institutions. Born of this complex background, Canadian icons are distinct because they carry meaning for all Canadians, regardless of where we live or how we came to be here. These are the images that plumb the depths of Canadian pride and kindle Canadians’ love for their home.
Great Canadian Sport, Greatest Canadian Passion

Saying that hockey is important to Canadians is akin to suggesting that water is important to fish—a major understatement. Today a multimillion-dollar industry supported by grassroots demand from fans, hockey’s origins and popularity in Canada have roots in the most profound elements of Canada’s national character. The story of Canadian hockey connects with this land’s diverse history of settlement, but goes much deeper into the primordial past of an ancient land populated by First Peoples whose culture had, over the span of millennia, become intrinsically intertwined with the world of the North.

Historians generally agree that the first formalized and refereed public hockey game was played in Montréal, Quebec, in 1875. In the intervening years, the professional and amateur variations of the game have become, by turns, national celebrations, passionate performances, arenas for controversy, patriotic symbols, and more. But beyond the professional ranks and elite amateur leagues, Canadians of all stripes have loved and played hockey-like sports for the entire lifespan of European settlement here—as the Aboriginal originators of the game did for centuries before that.

Aside from the relative merits of teams and players, one of Canadians’ favourite topics of debate is the origin of hockey. Pinpointing hockey’s roots is not a straightforward exercise. From shinny to hurley to wicket and more, settlers in this wintery land played various forms of ice-bound games involving the use of curved sticks to manoeuvre an object into a goal. These games are mentioned in Canadian records from the early nineteenth century, but as to whether any of them can technically be considered hockey, widespread disagreement prevails.

There is little dispute, however, that hockey in the form Canadians understand today has important origins with Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. Historians of the sport cite references to games that sound very much like modern team-based hockey contests played by the Haida Nation of the Northwest Pacific Coast, the Mi’kmaq of Canada’s East Coast region, and others. Some aboriginal versions of the sport were played on ice skates made from bone, lending the game the exceptional speed that distinguishes modern hockey.

While definitions of what constitutes early hockey remain contentious, it is the two elements of team contest and skating that fundamentally differentiate the game’s Canadian story. When Halifax-based craftsman John Forbes invented the spring skate in 1865, Canadian hockey took on a new life. Whereas past versions skates were cumbersome, Forbes’ skates provided the technological structure necessary for modern hockey’s unmatched speed and agility. So perhaps modern Canadian hockey actually began with Forbes’ spring skate. Or with the early hand-carved hockey sticks produced by the Mi’kmaq Nation of Nova Scotia. Or perhaps, as Canadian poet Richard Harrison has said, “What’s important isn’t where the origins of hockey is found in Canada, but how Canada finds at least a part of its origin in hockey.”

A Canadian Icon
In a land where that which is wild is revered and notions of struggle and courage are counted as the highest traits of character, Canadian hockey is a symbolic microcosm of the core tenets of the Canadian spirit. In Canada’s game, we see powerful and bold warriors taking on wild foes, each testing his or her mettle in a frozen world of ice and cold. As Canadian writer Stephen Marche has said, “Hockey is a metaphor for life in the North.” Canada’s truly unique sport and its many heroes—players, coaches, commentators, technologists, first originators, and loyal fans—are icons that hold a special place in the hearts of all Canadians.

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