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Canada 2013 Native American Inuit Art - Owl Shaman and Goose Sculpture - Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913 Centennial 100th Anniversary 50 Cents 1/25 Ounce .9999 Pure Gold Proof

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04355
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Product Description

The world’s smallest, purest gold proof celebrates the culture of the Arctic Inuit with Owl Shaman with Goose, an original work of art by Native American sculptor Joanasie Nowkawalk!

The Royal Canadian Mint is releasing a multi-coin program to commemorate the centennial of the landmark Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-1916. The Canadian Arctic Expedition was a landmark event in the exploration of the uncharted polar regions; among other achievements, it brought a much deeper understanding of the native Inuit, who have lived harmoniously in the frozen north for thousands of years. The year 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the Expedition and its connection with the peoples of the Arctic, so this extremely low mintage yet affordable pure gold proof allows all collectors to own an intricately detailed reproduction of Native American artist Joanasie Nowkawalk's powerful, mysterious and highly symbolic Owl Shaman with Goose sculpture!

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Owl_Shaman_with_Goose_by_Native_American_Inuit_Artist_Jonassie_Nowkawalk_Stone_SculptureNew This Year! Lowest mintage limit ever for the annual 1/25 Ounce Gold Proof - only 10,000 - that's 5,000 less than 2012!) Every single year the annual 1/25 Ounce Gold Proof from Canada sells out, and every year it then goes up in value. With such a popular theme this year, Native Americana, our recommendation is not to wait!

This .9999 fine gold proof features an intricate reproduction of Inuit artist Joanassie Nowkawalk’s original sculpture Owl Shaman with Goose, carved out of solid serpentinite in 1962. As carving material, this stone is more difficult for Inuit carvers to work than soapstone. Serpentinite comes in a variety of different colors, including green, brown, black and a range of in-between shades.

The owl’s round, compact shape conveys its solid physique, an adaptation and strength that is essential to surviving in the frigid, harsh Arctic, while the captured goose reveals the owl’s prowess as a hunter.

A dog sled and explorers of the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913. The Owl Shaman with Goose 1/25 Ounce Pure Gold Proof is the tenth in the ongoing smallest gold coins series from the Royal Canadian Mint.

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The Mint has released an outstanding program of coins in honor of the centennial of the Canadian Arctic Expedition, including several numismatic silver dollars. All feature a minutely detailed design depicting explores and their team of sled dogs. This silver dollar design is available in 3 different varieties, included among these program options:

    • Silver Dollar #1 - A Brilliant Uncirculated Pure Silver Dollar in presentation case
    • Silver Dollar #2 - A Proof Pure Silver Dollar in presentation case
    • Pure Silver Proof Set - Very low-mintage 7-Coin Pure Silver Proof Set with gold-plated silver dollar (in this set only!)
    • Gold Proof #1 - The affordable Inuit Native American Owl Shaman 1/25 Ounce Pure Gold Proof
    • Gold Proof #2 - The mintage of 2,500 Arctic Expedition Dog Sled $100 Gold Proof
    • Silver Kilogram - Ultra-rare, mintage of 750 Canada's Arctic Landscape 1 Kilogram Ultra High Relief Silver Proof

...and don't forget the Australian Antarctic Territories Pure Silver Dollar Program!

Click here for all coins in the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913 program!

A sailing ship and explorers of the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913, with Native American Inuit snow dwelling.The Canadian Arctic Expedition
The Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913–1916 was a scientific expedition inside the Arctic Circle organized and led by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. The expedition was originally to be sponsored by the National Geographic Society of the United States and the American Museum of Natural History. However, Canada took over the sponsorship because of the potential for discovery of new land and because Stefansson, who though born in Canada was now an American, re-established his Canadian citizenship. The Canadian Arctic Expedition was divided into a Northern Party (led by Stefansson), and a Southern Party led by Rudolph M. Anderson.

The objective of the Northern Party was to explore for new land north and west of the known land of the Canadian Arctic. At this time the possible existence of large, undiscovered land masses, comparable to the Canadian Arctic islands or even a small continent, was (correctly) thought scientifically plausible. The approach of the Northern Party, besides searching for new land, was a program of through-ice depth soundings to map the edge of the continental shelf. Meteorological, magnetic, and marine biological investigations were also planned.

The objective of the Southern party was scientific documentation of the geography, geology, resources, wildlife, and people of the Mackenzie River delta and adjacent regions of Canada between Cape Parry and the Kent Peninsula, for about 100 mi (160 km) inland, and southern and eastern Victoria Island. Copper deposits and trade routes were of particular interest.

A dog sled and explorers of the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913.1913 was a particularly bad year for Arctic navigation. All of the expedition ships were frozen in before they could reach their initial destination of Herschel Island. The principal ship of the expedition, the Karluk, was carried off and eventually crushed by the ice, leading to loss of eleven lives before a famous rescue. Most of the Southern Party had traveled in other ships of the expedition, and Stefansson left the Karluk with a party of five before the ship was carried off. Stefansson promptly purchased a small schooner, the North Star, reconstituted the Northern Party with local hires and resumed exploring. Only one of the fourteen Karluk survivors rejoined the expedition.

The expedition purchased another ship, the Polar Bear, in 1915. The Southern Party remained in the North through the summer of 1916, exploring and mapping as far east as Bathurst Inlet. Some members of the Northern Party continued exploring through 1918. The expedition discovered land previously unknown even to the Inuit (including Brock, Mackenzie King, Borden, Meighen, and Lougheed Islands), produced valuable data, and launched the careers of several explorers and scientists. The controversies it engendered persisted for decades.

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Investment Note
The previous 1/25 ounce pure gold coins (2004 Moose, 2005 Voyageurs, 2006 Cowboy, 2007 Wolf, 2008 de Havilland Beaver Float Plane, 2009 Red Maple, 2010 RCMP Royal Canadian Mounted Police Mountie Officer, 2011 Canada Geese and 2012 Bluenose II Schooner) all sold out at the mint and are hard to find. Recently, small gold coins have become particularly desirable because of their affordability and collectibility. Best of all, this year's reduced mintage limit of only 10,000 is the lowest ever for this series, so get yours now!

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Technology Note
The marvelous minting technology of the Royal Canadian Mint has brought us the world’s smallest pure gold coin, in a purity (99.99%) that puts other, larger gold coins to shame!

Pure Gold Owl Shaman Proof In BoxClick here for other great gold coins!

Obverse
The obverse features an artistic and minutely detailed reproduction of Inuit artist Joanassie Nowkawalk’s original sculpture Owl Shaman with Goose. The date and denomination are also indicated.

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Reverse
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") also appears.

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

Specifications
Country Canada
Year of Issue 2013
   
Face Value 50 Cents
Weight 1.270 g
Diameter 13.92 mm
Mintage Limit      10,000
   
Finish Proof
Composition .9999 Fine (Pure) Gold
Edge Serrated (milled, reeded)
   
Certificate Individually Numbered
Artist Joanasie Nowkawalk

Complete Certificate Text

Sculpting a mysterious world

Ever since the first European explorers began returning home with stories of the frigid and inhospitable Arctic, western society has been mystified by the ancient culture that has managed to survive in that remote and impenetrable place. The skill of the Inuit, their understanding of the land; their connection to worlds and beings unseen, and their many art forms remain just as captivating today.

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The Inuit created intricate designs on their clothing and everyday tools. And while they may have carved and etched images on walrus ivory to trade with Arctic visitors, the stone sculptures now known throughout the world began appearing in the early 1950s. The fur trade was in decline, and when some Inuit noticed that collectors were interested in their carvings, they saw the potential to create a new source of income.

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Suddenly, the geological formations that defined the land became potential sources of carving stone and artistic cooperatives began springing up throughout the Arctic. One of the early full-time sculptors was Joanassie Nowkawalk (1924-1990) of Inukjuak in the northernmost reaches of Quebec.

And don't forget the southern polar region, the frozen continent of Antarctica!

The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG), Canada’s first civic art gallery, was quick to notice the emergence of this exciting new art form and began collecting Inuit sculptures. Today, as the WAG celebrates its centennial, this world-renowned gallery is home to the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art anywhere with over 11,000 works. Among them are three of Nowkawalk’s sculptures, including Owl Shaman holding Goose that he carved in 1962.

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This sculpture reveals the mystical connection the Inuit people share with nature and the spirit world. Inuit shamans have the ability to transform into animals in order to access their wisdom and strengths. In this case, the shaman has shape-shifted into an owl and captured a goose—a powerful image carved from an ancient and enduring culture.

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