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Canada 2012 Great Explorers #1 - Vikings Norsemen and Longboat $200 1/2 Ounce .9999 Pure Gold Proof GX

Price: $1,399.95 $1,099.95
(You save $300.00)

Product Description

Viking explorers in longboats discovered North America 500 years before Columbus - now discover these fierce Norsemen on this pure gold proof!

Sold out at the Mint! Canada launches a new series - The Great Explorers - just as the Vikings launched their longboats from Greenland's icy shores a thousand years ago, hoping to find greener lands further west! And find them they did, establishing a settlement on the northern tip of Newfoundland, right here in North America! A trio of Norse warriors (look for the one hidden in the ship's bow) wade ashore, armed with axes to fend off the skraelings, Investment Opportunity!or Native Americans, as they called them. On this gold gem, deft artistry and cutting-edge craftsmanship bring ultra-crisp definition to the ever-popular Norseman theme! The new purity of 99.99%, the half troy ounce weight, the high $200 face value, and being the first of a new series make this low-mintage gold proof a must-have work of art!

Please read on for articles about the Vikings in North America; Seafaring Warriors; and Viking Arms and Armor.

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Viking longships under sail, leaving the fjord, with shields on the gunwales.New This Year! More gold and purer gold! The Royal Canadian Mint has increased the weight of the $200 Gold Proof to a full 1/2 troy ounce, and increased the purity from 22 karat to 99.99% pure gold! Combined with the popular Viking theme and being the first of a new series, we heartily recommend this as a buy-and-hold investment, and predict a fast sell-out!

The Vikings in North America
The first Europeans to explore the New World were known most infamously as brutal warriors, and only more recently as great explorers. The Vikings were seafaring Norse explorers whose great expansion spanned the eighth through the eleventh centuries. Over the course of three hundred years, they would explore and build settlements across northern Europe, Great Britain, Ireland, Greenland, Iceland, and the East Coast of North America.

The Vikings’ characterization as brutal warriors probably has its roots in early attacks on the British and Irish coasts. The Norsemen’s nimble longships - seafaring war galleys oared by dozens of warriors - were ideal for performing lightning-fast raids on unsuspecting vessels and coastal villages. The Norsemen who went to Iceland, Greenland, and North America, however, were generally farmers, tradespeople, and explorers traveling by knarr (merchant ship) and seeking natural resources.

Vikings fighting a battle in winter. Oh no - axe to the groin! Ouch! That's gotta hurt! (Do not attempt this at home.)Contemporary accounts suggest that it was a Norse explorer and ship captain named Bjarni Herjolfsson who first spotted the shores of the New World in the late tenth century, when a storm forced him off course between Iceland and Greenland. He told his compatriots in Greenland about a great forested shore; fifteen years later, Leif Eriksson, son of Eric the Red, used Bjarni’s description to find this land once again. Leif called it Vinland, Wineland - a land where grapes grew wild. Eriksson’s discovery triggered many more years of exploration in the region.

Scholars today believe that Vinland probably referred to a broad region encompassing Newfoundland, Labrador, and the eastern seaboard south to at least Maine. L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland is the earliest known European settlement in the New World. The small Viking camp of fewer than ten buildings was likely a base camp for summer explorations farther afield. Today, four of the Norse buildings at the L’Anse aux Meadows site have been reconstructed. Special exhibits showcase the many artifacts discovered there, highlighting the lifestyle of these intrepid early explorers. The site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
                                                                                                                                       Image courtesy of:
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Investment Note
This year marks important changes to the Annual $200 Gold Proof - the purity has been increased to .9999 fine gold, and the net weight of gold increased to a full one half troy ounce. Please note that the Viking Norsemen marks the start of a new series, the Great Explorers, and the first of a series is nearly always the most sought-after down the line. Combined with its extremely popular Viking and nautical themes, its low mintage, and its relative affordability, we heartily recommend that any savvy collector or investor add this to his or her numismatic portfolio today!

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Canada 2012 Viking Explorers $200 Gold in display boxObverse
A finely engraved and dynamic depiction Norse Viking explorers, armed with Dane axes, coming ashore at L’Anse aux Meadows, with their longboat on the shore. The date and denomination are also indicated.

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A frosted cameo portrait of her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England, in profile facing right. This portrait, the fourth effigy of the queen to appear on Canadian coinage, was executed by the artist Susanna Blunt. The legend ELIZABETH II D. G. REGINA ("Elizabeth II, Queen by the Grace of God") and mint mark also appear.

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The coin is encapsulated inside a burgundy leatherette, clamshell-style presentation case, lined with black velvet and protected by a black outer box. An individually-numbered certificate of authenticity is included.

SpecificationsFully equipped and heavily armed and armored Vikings - a chieftain and his bodyguard.
Country Canada
Year of Issue 2012
Face Value 200 Dollars
Weight 15.43 g
Diameter 29.00 mm
Mintage Limit     3,000
Finish Proof
Composition .9999 Fine (24-Karat Pure) Gold
Edge Serrated (milled, reeded)
Artist Yves Bérubé
Certificate Individually Numbered

Seafaring Warriors
The Vikings are the Norse (Scandinavian) explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided and settled in wide areas of Europe from the late eighth to the early eleventh century. They burst out of Scandinavia in the late 700s, seeking both wealth and lands to colonize. These Norsemen used their famed longships to travel as far east as Constantinople and the Volga River in Russia, and as far west as Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland, and as far south as Al Andalus. This period of Viking expansion – known as the Viking Age – forms a major part of the medieval history of Scandinavia, Britain, Ireland and the rest of Europe in general.

The Vikings sailed most of the North Atlantic, reaching south to North Africa and east to Russia, Constantinople and the Middle East, as looters, traders, colonists, and mercenaries. Vikings under Leif Ericson, heir to Erik the Red, reached North America, and set up a short-lived settlement in present-day L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

Once seen by the classical mindset as northern barbarians, the historical image of the Vikings now views them as aspirational, adventurous people, with ingenuity in ship and town construction, and a proficiency as exploring seafarers and traders to match. And of course, they were the greatest warriors of their age!

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Viking Arms and Armor
A Dane Axe or Danish Axe, with a decorated or engraved head or blade, denoting the owner's wealth and social status.According to custom, all free Norse men were required to own weapons, as well as permitted to carry them at all times. These arms were also indicative of a Viking's social status: a wealthy Viking would have a complete ensemble of a helmet, shield, chainmail shirt, and sword. A typical bondi (freeman) was more likely to fight with a spear and shield, and most also carried a seax as a utility knife and side-arm. Bows were used in the opening stages of land battles, and at sea, but tended to be considered less "honorable" than a hand weapon. Vikings were relatively unusual for the time in their use of axes as a main battle weapon. The Húscarls, the elite guard of King Cnut (and later King Harold II) were armed with two-handed axes which could split shields or metal helmets with ease.

The Dane Axe is a type of polearm, primarily used during the transition between the European Viking Age and early Middle Ages. Other names for the weapon include Danish Axe, English Long Axe, and Hafted Axe. The blade itself was reasonably light and forged very thin, making it superb for cutting. The thickness of the body above the edge is as thin as 2 mm. Many of these axes were constructed with a reinforced bit, typically of a higher carbon steel to facilitate a harder, sharper edge. Average weight of an axe this size is between 2 and 4 pounds (1 and 2 kg). This complex construction results in a lively and quick weapon with devastating cutting ability.

All of this calls to mind that most famous paean to the Norse, Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song:

    We come from the land of the ice and snow,
    From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
    The hammer of the gods, we'll drive our ships to new lands,
    To fight the horde, singing and crying: "Valhalla, I am coming!"

    On we sweep with threshing oar,
    Our only goal will be the western shore.
    How soft your fields so green, can whisper tales of gore,
    Of how we calmed the tides of war. We are your overlords.

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