The year 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the launch of Bluenose, the Grand Banks fishing schooner whose racing feats and indomitable spirit earned her the title of “Queen of the North Atlantic.” This 2021 fine silver proof dollar turns back the clock to commemorate Canada’s sailing ambassador and the visionary naval architect behind her design. The dual design simultaneously celebrates Bluenose architect William J. Roué’s vision and its fulfillment with the birth of a racing champion. In keeping with the era of 1921, the obverse features the effigy of King George V by Sir E. B. MacKennal. Mintage is limited to 30,000 pieces. HST/GST exempt.
The design takes you back in time to the birth of a Canadian icon, as William J. Roué puts the finishing touches on what would be his greatest legacy. Using the original hull profile blueprint, the Royal Canadian Mint has created a mirror image that aligns with the portrait of Bluenose under full sail. The original hand-drawn blueprints contain an incredible amount of detail and, in 1963, were used to build the replica ship, Bluenose II. The blueprints remained in the Roué family and now reside at the Canadian Museum of History.
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.
‘Bluenose’ is an official mark adopted and used by the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage pursuant to the Trade-marks Act (Canada). It is used by the Royal Canadian Mint with the Department’s permission.
William James Roué Signature © jeroué. Used with permission.
Blueprints of 1921 BLUENOSE © jeroué. Used with permission.