$20 Fine Silver Coin - Coal Mining Trade (2009)
Fuel for Fire
In Canada, it was the late 1600's when the reserves of coal
along the east coast first came to light. Visible in the
outcroppings of cliffs along the shoreline, the valuable fuel
source was easy pickings for the French military and early
Authorities soon realized a potential source of wealth lay in the ground beneath them and opened the first commercial coal mine in 1720 in Port Morien (Cow Bay) in Cape Breton (Nova Scotia). Four years later, coal was shipped to Boston; the first recorded mineral export from Canada. By 1873, there were eight coal companies operating in the region. Theirs were some of the most extensive mining operations in the world.
Coal was the economic fuel of many communities—the prosperity of town and mine linked directly to each other as company stores and housing quickly disappeared when the coal ran out. From east to west, scenarios like this played out wherever coal was being harvested from the ground. Although production in Ontario and Quebec was limited, it was Nova Scotian coal that fuelled their industrial development for almost a century.
• Second issue in the Historical Commerce Collection of fine silver coins.
• Silver rendition of the engraved Gold Design.
• Handcrafted artistry and cutting-edge craftsmanship ensure ultra-crisp definition and relief.
• A remarkable tribute to a founding industry that has shaped countless communities across North America.
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