While regular 2021 ten cent coins issued for circulation continue to feature the usual Bluenose Schooner design and the single date “2021”, three additional special commemorative coins have been issued this year to mark the centennial of Canada’s most iconic ship. This collection includes brilliant uncirculated special wrapped mint rolls of 50 coins of each of the three different designs, for a total of 150 beautiful special commemorative issue coins.
The first coin roll features the classic Bluenose design with a double date “1921 / 2021” which has not been issued for circulation. The second and third rolls both feature a new and dynamic image of the Bluenose under full sail and heeled to port on the open ocean as created by marine artist Yves Bérubé. One of these rolls features coins with a classic engraved finish, while the second adds realistic colour to the water around the schooner. The obverse of all three coin types features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
The story behind the Bluenose can be traced back to 1919, when the hearty fishermen of the Canadian Maritimes scoffed at the America’s Cup race being cancelled because of “strong winds”. While the America’s cup was a race of “recreational yachts”, the fishermen sought to establish their own contest. In 1920, the International Fishermen’s Trophy was established as a prize for “the fastest ship in the North Atlantic fishing fleet”, with a requirement that any ship entered had to be a true working fishing vessel.
Canada faced a great challenge with this new race, as the American fishing vessels were usually smaller and faster. In 1920, the inaugural race was won by a ship from Gloucester, Massachusetts, and the Canadians vowed to defeat their rivals the following year. It was this challenge that inspired Halifax businessmen and Captain Angus Walters to commission W.J. Roué to design a sleek new ship that could beat the New England rivals.
The new Bluenose schooner was completed in early 1921 and was designed both as a working fishing vessel and a racing craft. With Angus Walters at the helm, the Bluenose triumphed in its first race, and the ship remained undefeated through an 18 year career. By 1937. The Bluenose had become such a strong symbol of Canadian pride and excellence that it was chosen as the primary design for Canada’s ten cent coin.