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1 oz. Pure Silver Coloured Coin - The Sinking of the SS Princess Sophia - Mintage: 6,000 (2018)

1 oz. Pure Silver Coloured Coin - The Sinking of the SS Princess Sophia - Mintage: 6,000 (2018)

$114.95 CAD
Mintage: 6,000
Canada and US only
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A DESIGN FIRST! Edge-engraved rope frame. Order today!

It is the “unknown Titanic of the West Coast.” Just hours after sailing out of Skagway, Alaska, on the night of October 23, 1918, a blinding winter storm pushed the SS Princess Sophia off course and onto Vanderbilt Reef. Stranded on the rocky outcrop, the 75 metre (245 ft) long steamship, was pounded by wind and waves for roughly 40 hours before eventually foundering during the early evening of October 25. The tragic sinking of the SS Princess Sophia left no survivors, only unanswered questions that linger a century later. Your selectively coloured coin commemorates the 100th anniversary of the worst marine disaster along the Pacific Northwest Coast. Framed by a nautical rope motif and edged by a map outline, the reverse’s image of the SS Princess Sophia depicts an unfolding tragedy in the icy Alaskan waters, where the loss of more than 350 lives plunged communities in British Columbia, Yukon, and Alaska into a state of mourning.

Bring home this centennial commemoration of a tragedy that occurred in the icy waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Special features:
  • A DESIGN FIRST! Engraved on your coin is an innovative first: an edge-engraved rope frame. This technical achievement provides undulating relief at the furthest edge of the coin, fully encircling the nautical theme.
  • A TRAGEDY NEVER FORGOTTEN! Combining selective colour and engraving, your 99.99% pure silver coin commemorates the centennial of the tragic sinking of the SS Princess Sophia and the loss of more than 350 lives.
  • STUNNING COLOUR! Colour heightens the sense of tragedy on your coin where the colour palette conveys rough seas and icy wind that night, with waves crashing against the hull and sweeping over the reef at the moment of impact.
  • ENGRAVING ADDS GEOGRAPHIC CONTEXT! The reverse image fills the water between the engraved shores of Lynn Canal, the narrow Alaskan inlet where the SS Princess Sophia foundered.
  • NOT JUST ONE FOR THE HISTORY OR NAVAL ENTHUSIASTS! Stories of lost ships have long fascinated people of all ages, and this tragic tale is no exception. Your coin’s captivating mix of colour and engraving makes it a stunning addition to your collection, regardless of theme.
  • INCLUDES SERIALIZED CERTIFICATE! The Royal Canadian Mint certifies all of its collector coins.
  • LOW MINTAGE! Limited to 6,000 coins worldwide.
  • 1 OZ. PURE SILVER! Your coin is crafted from one ounce of 99.99% pure silver.


The powerful coin image by Yves Bérubé presents a dramatic depiction of an event that has been called “the unknown Titanic of the West Coast.” The artist’s choice of colours convey the rough seas in the early morning hours of October 24, 1918, when a blinding winter storm pushed the SS Princess Sophia off course and on a fateful collision with a wave-swept reef. The colourful scene shows the moment of impact, when the ship’s hull struck Vanderbilt Reef head on. The colour image fills the space between the engraved shores of Lynn Canal, the Alaskan Inlet where the events took place, which adds geographic context to the design. While the face value “20 DOLLARS”, the word “CANADA” and the year “2018” are engraved on both shores, the reverse is framed by an innovative nautical rope motif engraved to the edge. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

Did you know…
  • SS Princess Sophia was one of several new ships built for the British Columbia Coastal Service (BCCS), a division of the Canadian Pacific Railway, whose Princess fleet was a lifeline for isolated ports along the northern routes up to the Alaska Panhandle. During her six years of service, the steamship ferried passengers and freight to northern communities between May and October, and between Victoria and Vancouver during the rest of the year.
  • Before her fateful voyage, the SS Princess Sophia had encountered a fair share of mishaps: In April 1913, the Sophia ran aground on the same rocks that had damaged her sister ship, the SS Princess May, in 1910; in November 1913, Sophia’s stern post was broken when the steamer hit a submerged object; and in January 1914, Sophia ran aground in the waters near Alert Bay, British Columbia.
  • Requests for assistance were sent out after the ship struck Vanderbilt Reef. Several ships arrived to help, but onboard the stricken vessel, conditions were deemed unsafe to transfer the passengers. A rising barometer had given the Captain and crew a sense of hope that the gale would soon subside; however, the converging weather systems resulted in the storm intensifying.
  • The ship had survived a higher tide on the late afternoon of October 24 and the tide on the late afternoon of October 25 was lower, which provided an added sense of security and rescue vessels sought shelter for the night.
  • Rescue ships unfortunately were unable to respond to the S.O.S. call from the stranded ship due to the blinding snowstorm and gale force winds. The next morning all that remained was the top of the ship's foremast rising up from the icy waters near Vanderbilt Reef.
  • It’s hard to know exactly how many lives were lost in the tragedy. The ship could accommodate 350 passengers, but her maximum capacity was 500 passengers and 75 crewmembers. The ship’s logbook was never recovered; meanwhile, different accounts (including two passenger’s final letters) and reports estimated a death toll that varied somewhere between 343 and 370 lives lost.  The main reason for the discrepancy in the passenger manifest was largely due to the fact that several workers had got on board in Skagway to replace crewmembers who had come down with the flu plus and there were possible stowaways on board.
  • The tragedy was pushed off the front pages of the newspapers by world events, from the Spanish flu influenza to the end of the First World War. Many of the recovered bodies arrived in Vancouver on November 11, 1918, just as the city began celebrating the Armistice.


Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with a black beauty box.

Order today!

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  • No.167535
  • Mintage6,000
  • Composition99.99% pure silver
  • Finishproof
  • Weight (g) 31.39
  • Diameter (mm) 38
  • Edgeserrated
  • Certificateserialized
  • Face value20 dollars
  • ArtistYves Bérubé (reverse), Susanna Blunt (obverse)

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