Saturday, May 12, 2007

2007 $20 Silver Coin—Brigantine Tall ships

The Canadian Mint have recently introduced the fascinating 2007 Brigantine Tall ships $20 Silver Coin.

With the start of this new collection of tall ships, innovation and tradition come together in this eternally captivating collection of 99.99% pure silver coins featuring tall ships enhanced with selective holograms. The third issue celebrates the brigantine and sets itself apart with a design of two ships sailing into the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In sailing, a brigantine is a vessel with two masts, at least one of which is square rigged. Originally the brigantine was a small ship carrying both oars and sails. It was a favorite of Mediterranean pirates and its name comes from the Italian word "brigantino" which meant brigand's ship.

In modern parlance, a brigantine is a principally fore-and-aft rig with a square rigged foremast, as opposed to a brig which is square rigged on both masts.
In the late 17th century, the Royal Navy used the term brigantine (often contracted to brig) to refer to small two-masted vessels designed to be rowed as well as to sail, rigged with square sails on both masts.

This is, incidentally, also where the term Brig, or prison cell on a ship originated.
The coin specifications are:

Mintage: 16,000
Composition: 99.99% pure silver
Finish: proof (with selective hologram on the reverse)
Weight (g): 31.39
Diameter (mm): 38
Edge: serrated
Certificate: serialized
Face value: $20
Artist: Bonnie Ross
Reverse: The majestic sails of two historic brigantines sail in front of Purdy’s Wharf.
Obverse: Effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

For those interested in the tall ships of the line this would be an excellent collection to have and the 2007 $20 Silver Coin—Brigantine Tall ships would be a very good start.

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