On today’s date in 2014, Parks Canada announced the wreckage of one of Sir John Franklin’s ships was found the previous day using a recently acquired remotely operated underwater vehicle.
In 2015 – 170 years after Franklin and his crew set sail from England aboard HMS Terror and HMS Erebus on a journey from which they would never return – the Royal Canadian Mint issued a silver collector coin commemorating the unforgettable story of the famed Franklin Expedition, whose tragic loss of all men and their ships in Arctic waters have left an indelible mark on Canadian and maritime history.
“The Franklin Expedition is a very important event in Canadian history which laid the foundations of Canada’s Arctic sovereignty nearly two centuries ago,” said Peter MacKay, then-minister of justice and attorney general.
Designed by noted Canadian maritime artist John Horton, the second coin in the $20 Fine silver “Lost Ships in Canadian Waters” series depicts an illustration of both the Terror and Erebus navigating the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean. This coloured coin shows the Erebus, whose 2014 discovery by Canada’s Victoria Strait Expedition is one of the century’s greatest achievements in maritime archeology, in the foreground while the Terror appears to starboard. The words “H.M.S. Erebus” and “H.M.S. Terror” are also engraved along the coin’s edge.
The coin has a mintage of 7,000, a weight of 31.39 grams and a 38-mm diameter.
The remains of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror are designated a National Historic Site of Canada.