In their time, the Vikings dared to do what many others would not: they sailed into open waters, beyond any sight of land, and they did so by relying on their senses, intuition and knowledge. This 2018 final coin in the Norse Figureheads series presents a final view of the dragon-fronted ships of these seafaring Norsemen, whose navigational skills and instincts enabled them to sail across the North Atlantic, onto our easternmost shores, and into the annals of Canadian history. This one ounce pure silver coin features captivating art with a $20 denomination and a low limited mintage of just 6,000. HST/GST exempt.
The reverse design by Neil Hamlin presents an artistic representation of a Viking ship at sea. An overhead view helps convey the dauntless spirit of the Norse mariners and captures the majesty of a dragon ship (dreki or drakkar) as the wind fills the striped sail. This unique perspective places extra emphasis on the elaborately carved figurehead at the prow, which gave the ship its name and was intended to ward off evil spirits. Selective colour draws the eye to the frame, which bears a Norse art-inspired motif of intertwined serpents in the Jellinge art style circa AD 1000, or in the time of Leif Eriksson’s voyage from Greenland to Vinland (Newfoundland). Also included within the frame are four runic letters that represent the cardinal points (north, east, south and west), a tribute to the seafaring nature and exploratory spirit of the Vikings. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.