For more than 500 years some European mints have issued small quantities of double thickness “piedfort” coins for nobility, dignitaries and VIP collectors. This new 2016 $25 pure silver coin continues this tradition with a double thick format coin featuring a highly detailed image of the Coat of Arms of Canada. Mintage is extremely limited at just 6,000. As a pure silver item this coin is HST/GST exempt.
The word "piedfort" literally means "strong foot" in French and appeared centuries ago to mean "heavy measure" in minting. Today, "piedfort" indicates that a coin is thicker than usual.
Canada’s Coat of Arms features extensive symbolism about Canada’s history and what is important to our country. At the base of the Coat of Arms, a scroll displays the motto of Canada “A MARI USQUE AD MARE” (from sea to sea) with a garland of floral emblems - The English rose, the Scottish thistle, the Irish shamrock and the French lily. The shield features three royal lions of England, the royal lion of Scotland, the royal Irish harp of Tara and the royal fleur-di-lis of France in the upper quadrants. In the lower quadrants a sprig of three maple leaves represents Canadians of all origins. To the left of the shield is a lion holding a lance with the Union Jack, and at the right is a unicorn (a royal symbol of Scotland) holding the royal flag of France. Behind the shield is a ribbon that reads “DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM” (they desire a better country), while above the shield is a royal helmet draped with a mantle of maple leaves. Atop the royal helmet is the crest set on a wreath of twisted cloth and is comprised of a crowned lion holding a maple leaf in its paw. The imperial crown is above the crest representing the monarch as Canada’s Head of State.
The reverse also features the date “2016”, and engraved word “CANADA”, and the denomination “25 Dollars”. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.