There are few things in numismatics that I enjoy more than strong allegories on coins and medals. Where the allegory is unknown, I endeavor to decipher it within the historical context of the numismatic piece. Because of this love I created two NGC custom sets, “Inspirational Ladies” and “The Use of Seated Imagery in Numismatics.” Researching the coins and medals contained in these two sets has given me many hours of enjoyment!
One coin that I recently acquired illustrating a strong allegory is the 2017 Canadian .9999 Fine Silver $100 Coin, “Juventas et Patrius Vigor” (Latin for “Youth and Patriotic Strength”), 1867 Confederation Medal. This coin is 76.25 mm in diameter and weighs 10 oz. The mintage is 1000 and my coin’s serial number is 321/1000. This year Canada is celebrating their 150th anniversary of confederation. Marking the occasion, Canada is releasing a number of commemorative coins.
The obverse of this massive coin features an 1867 profile bust of Queen Victoria and a current profile of Queen Elizabeth II along with their corresponding crowned monograms. The obverse represents Queen Victoria as the British queen in power at the time of confederation in 1867 and the current queen, Queen Elizabeth II.
Faithfully reproduced, the reverse of this coin is modeled from the dies of the original 76.5 mm, 1867 Canadian Confederation Medal. Issued with Queen Victoria’s approval, this medal was minted in silver and bronze. It was awarded to persons of merit for their service to Canada. The original mintages are one gold medal presented to Queen Victoria, fifty silver medals, and five hundred bronze medals. The designers of this medal were brothers JS and AB Wyon. These medals seldom appear on the open market and are quite expensive. I found an auction record for a beautiful original silver medal selling at $2750.00 CAD + $550 buyers premium on 7/13/11 ( http://www.icollector.com/1867-Canadian-Confederation-Silver-Medal_i10734270 ). I also found the record of a bronze medal that sold for $800 USD ( https://www.emedals.com/a-rare-confederation-commemorative-table-medal-1867-c0881 ).
The reverse features Britannia representing the UK, seated and holding a scroll on which is written “Confederation.” The lion resting its head on Britannia’s lap is reminiscent of “Una and the Lion” from Spenser's “The Faerie Queene.” Around Britannia and idealizing the motto “Youth and Patriotic Strength” are four young maidens representing the four original provinces of Canada; Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick . Ontario is holding a sickle and sheaf representing agriculture. Holding a canoe paddle is Quebec representing commerce. In Nova Scotia’s hand is a shovel representing mining. Finally, New Brunswick is holding an ax to represent forestry. I gleaned much of the information for this post from the following website, http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/honours-history-awards/conf-medal.page . Here you will also find a lot of interesting facts about the original medal that I had not mentioned in this post. Until next time, happy collecting! Gary.