This 2020 O Canada! series $10 fine silver coin is a special tribute to an animal ambassador, the beaver. The beaver is synonymous with Canada’s wilderness and the waterways that vein our landscape. It is a community-minded creature that is well adapted to its environment—qualities that exemplify the Canadian spirit. This industrious builder also played a major role in our nation’s past. In fact, no other creature has shaped our nation’s history like the busy beaver, whose pelt fueled the economic and social development of modern Canada. Mintage is limited to 10,000. HST/GST exempt.
Designed by Canadian artist June Steube, the reverse captures the majesty of an official emblem that embodies the history, landscape and wild spirit of Canada. The busy beaver is shown peacefully standing on a pile of gnawed branches near the water’s edge in one of Canada’s many lakes and streams. The reverse includes the curve text “CANADA” above a maple flourish and the year “2020”. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
The beaver became an official symbol of the sovereignty of Canada on March 24, 1975. Beavers are found throughout Canada, with a range that extends through every province and territory.
At the height of the fur trade in Canada, an estimated 100,000 pelts were shipped annually to Europe. Beavers were already at risk of becoming extinct when beaver hats fell out of fashion in the 19th century. In the late 1930s, conservationist Grey Owl raised awareness of the plight of this iconic Canadian species, which has since made a comeback.
Want to see the world’s longest beaver dam? You’ll need to trek deep into Alberta’s Wood Buffalo National Park, where the record-setting animal-made structure measures 850 metres long and can even be seen from space.