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14-karat Gold Coin – 100th Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion – Mintage: 1,500 (2017)

14-karat Gold Coin – 100th Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion – Mintage: 1,500 (2017)

$699.95 CAD
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Mintage: 1,500
Canada and US only
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PREVIOUS COIN IN SERIES SOLD OUT! A poignant addition to your Canadian history coin display! Order today!

"Hold up the train. Ammunition ship afire in harbour making for Pier 6 and will explode…Good-bye, boys."  –Railway Dispatcher Vincent Coleman

December 6, 1917—a tragic date that looms large in the history of Halifax.

It was on this day that the Norwegian steamship SS Imo and the French munitions ship SS Mont-Blanc collided while travelling through the strait that connects Halifax's busy harbour with Bedford Basin. The collision itself might not have been so severe had it not been for SS Mont-Blanc's cargo: 200 tons of TNT, 2,300 tons of picric acid, 35 tons of flammable benzol and 10 tons of guncotton—a catastrophic combination.

As flames engulfed SS Mont-Blanc, the sight drew spectators on both shores, where few knew the gravity of the situation. Suddenly, at 9:04 a.m., SS Mont-Blanc exploded with a powerful force, emitting a blast wave that levelled the nearby neighbourhood of Richmond, triggered a tsunami, and showered both shores with shrapnel. The loss of life was staggering: an estimated 2,000 residents of all ages were killed by the blast, debris and ensuing fire, with 9,000 more injured.

Halifax had been devastated by one of the largest man-made explosion of the pre-atomic age. But from this great tragedy also arose stories of courage, heroism and compassion. These have never been forgotten by the people of Halifax, where every December 6, at 9 a.m., a carillon of bells ring out from the Memorial Bell Tower in memory of those who were lost during that tragic moment in time.

A poignant addition to your Canadian history coin display. Don't be disappointed, order your coin today before they are all gone!

Special features:
  • 09:04:35—A MOMENT FROZEN IN TIME! In your coin, the clock stands as a permanent reminder of a moment frozen in time, its hands forever marking the moment of the explosion of approximately 9:04 a.m.
  • OUR WORLD-RENOWNED ANNUAL $100 GOLD COIN! Our annual $100 gold coin this year commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, which remains one of the worst Canadian tragedies of all time.
  • A POIGNANT REMINDER! Your coin commemorates those who were tragically injured or killed during this devastating maritime disaster and includes the dates "1917-2017".
  • SUPERB PROOF FINISH! Engraved in 14-karat gold, the frosted elements are simply exquisite against the coin's mirror background, which infuses the overall design with a sense of layered depth and dimension.
  • INCLUDES SERIALIZED CERTIFICATE! The Royal Canadian Mint certifies all of its collector coins. Most of these are serialized certifications, meaning that each certificate is given a unique number, starting at 1.
  • LOW MINTAGE! A very low mintage of just 1,500 coins worldwide makes it a highly sought-after collectible!


Designed by Canadian artist Jamie Desrochers, your coin recreates two symbolic elements that are synonymous with the Halifax Explosion of 1917: SS Mont-Blanc, whose cargo was the source of the tragic explosion; and an explosion-damaged clock that was retrieved from the rubble. In the foreground is a partial portside view of SS Mont-Blanc, which was struck in her bow by the Imo on the morning of December 6, 1917. Finely detailed engraving presents an outstanding amount of detail, including the ship's mast and railing. In the background, multiple finishes enhance the engraved clock's appearance while conveying the extent of the damage: the metal is beaten, warped and twisted; its face, hands and numbers have melted from the intense heat, yet they still retained their form. The clock stands as a permanent reminder a moment frozen in time, its hands forever marking the moment of the explosion: 9:04 a.m. Your coin also features the commemorative dates "1917-2017" along with the face value of "100 DOLLARS".

Did you know…
  • In 1917, Halifax was a bustling international port and the hub of Canada's transatlantic shipping. The demands of the war in Europe had heightened activity in its harbour and in Bedford Basin, which had become a departure point for convoys of troops, food and munitions bound for Europe.
  • During the pre-war era, ships carrying explosives would have flown a red flag to warn others of its cargo. SS Mont-Blanc did not fly a red flag, so as to avoid falling prey to enemy submarine attacks.
  • The blast wave was felt as far away as Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton. The hardest hit area was within two square kilometres of Pier 6, where the burning SS Mont-Blanc came to rest before its explosion.
  • The explosion vaporized the water surrounding the ship and exposed the ocean floor. Water rushed in to fill this void, causing a tsunami that swept across the shoreline and over three city blocks. On the Dartmouth shore, the surging wave ran SS Imo aground, where the ship remained until the spring.
  • The blast wave shattered glass across the area, causing numerous eye injuries. Broken windows only added to the hardships, as a blizzard descended upon the city that night and raged throughout the next day.
  • Fears initially led to rumours that the explosion had been a wartime act perpetrated by enemy spies, or caused by enemy bombs.
  • The U.S. state of Massachusetts was quick to offer assistance by sending medical teams, relief contributions, and supplies. To give thanks for their support, Nova Scotia donated a large Christmas tree to the city of Boston in 1918—and has done so every year since 1971.

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

The Mint gratefully acknowledges the reference materials provided by the Nova Scotia‎ Museum.

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  • No.157388
  • Mintage1,500
  • Composition14-karat gold
  • Finishproof
  • Weight (g) 12
  • Diameter (mm) 27
  • Edgeserrated
  • Certificateserialized
  • Face value100 dollars
  • ArtistJamie Desrochers (reverse), Susanna Blunt (obverse)

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