The third coin in the Royal Canadian Mint's stunning $200 gold Canadian Explorer Series features the Father of New France, Samuel de Champlain. Mintage is limited to 2,000. HST/GST exempt.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Glen Green depicts Samuel de Champlain and a First Nations guide disembarking from birch bark canoes on a rugged shoreline in Ontario. In the centre of the image, a full-body profile portrait of Champlain presents the explorer from his left side. Though there is no known confirmed portrait of Champlain, this image presents him as he is frequently portrayed in artistic depictions, with long dark hair, long moustache and trimmed beard, sporting a feathered cap and the jacket, hose, and pantaloons of the era. In his right hand, Champlain carries his astrolabe, famously thought to have been lost on a portage through the Calumet rapids near Cobden, Ontario—though this story has been largely discredited. In his left, he holds a notebook, which is believed to have held his maps and drawings. He looks toward the left of the image as he steps forward, his back turned to the waterway and distant tree-lined shore behind him. Just behind this portrait and to the left is Champlain's birch-bark canoe, replete with supplies and paddles. The textures of the bark exterior and binding and internal wood ribbing are lent stunning detail through expert engraving and the use of multiple finishes. On the left side of the image, a First Nations guide stands before his own canoe. His long hair sports two feathers and he wears a buckskin loincloth, footwear, and arm straps, and holds a paddle in his right hand. His canoe, like Champlain's, is filled with supplies.