© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Premier Robert Ghiz, left, Marc Brule, chief financial officer for the Royal Canadian Mint and Gail Shea, minister of fisheries and oceans and Egmont MP, unveil the new coin minted to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences. The coin was unveiled on the steps of Province House Tuesday.
The meetings in Charlottetown and Quebec City that led to the creation of Canada are now memorialized with a new gold collector coin, released today by the Royal Canadian Mint.
The coin commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown and Quebec City Conferences, where the idea of forming a nation was first broached by the Fathers of Confederation in 1864.
“The mint is committed to telling Canada’s story one coin at a time,” said Marc Brûlé, chief financial officer for the Royal Canadian Mint during an unveiling ceremony in Charlottetown Tuesday morning.
“In a way, our beginnings are inside the walls of Province House and it’s heartwarming for the mint to have captured that piece of our early history inside of a gold coin.”
The 1/25th ounce gold coin is a 50-cent piece. It is a reinterpretation of Canada’s 1964 silver dollar, created 50 years ago to celebrate the centennial of the Charlottetown and Quebec City Conferences.
It features the floral symbols of the major European settler groups living in the Canadian provinces in 1864 – the French fleur-de-lis, the English rose, the Irish shamrock and the Scottish thistle.
P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz said he was honoured to have this anniversary commemorated with a keepsake he described as stunning.
“We are truly pleased and proud that the mint has chosen to recognize and celebrate the 150th anniversary of these two historic conferences in this manner,” Ghiz said.
“I’m sure that the gold coin will serve as an enduring reminder of the significance of those events of 1864, which charted to course of a great nation.”
Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea, who was representing the federal government at the unveiling, said her government is proud the mint is paying tribute to the important role the Fathers of Confederation played in the creation of Canada.
"As we build the path toward Canada's 150th anniversary in 2017, it is importatn to pause and reflect on such pivotal moments in our nation's history," Shea said.
The coin, which is 99.99 per cent pure gold, has a limited mintage of 7,500 and will be available to collectors and the public at a retail cost of $129.95.
“Our hope will be that it will be a sell-out,” Brule Brûlé told reporters.