It was the largest man-made explosion of the pre-nuclear era. On the morning of December 6, 1917, the Norwegian ship SS Imo and the French munitions ship SS Mont-Blanc collided as they made their way through Halifax’s busy harbour. The impact ignited Mont-Blanc’s explosive cargo, resulting in an explosive blast that instantly levelled an entire district and triggered a tsunami. This 14-karat gold coin commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion of 1917 through two powerfully symbolic elements that are associated with this maritime disaster, which remains one of the worst Canadian tragedies of all time.
Composition: 14-Karat gold
Weight (g)*: 12
Diameter (mm): 27
Face Value: $100
Artist: Jamie Desrochers
Packaging: Maroon clamshell with black beauty box
- A PRESTIGIOUS TRADITION! Our annual $100 gold coin commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.
- A POWERFUL DESIGN FROM A NEW ARTIST! The symbolic imagery featured on the reverse stands in lasting remembrance of one of the nation’s most tragic moments.
- SUPERB PROOF FINISH: The frosted elements are simply exquisite against the coin’s mirror background, which infuses the overall design with a sense of layered depth and dimension.
- LOW MINTAGE: A very low mintage of just 1,500 coins worldwide makes it a highly sought-after collectible.
- A POIGNANT WAY TO remember those who were tragically injured or killed during this devastating maritime disaster.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Jamie Desrochers recreates two symbolic elements that are synonymous with the Halifax Explosion of 1917: SS Mont-Blanc, whose cargo was the source of the tragic explosion; and an explosion-damaged clock that was retrieved from the rubble. In the foreground is a partial portside view of SS Mont-Blanc—specifically her bow, which was struck by the Imo on the morning of December 6, 1917. Finely detailed engraving presents an outstanding amount of detail, including the ship’s mast and railing. In the background, multiple finishes enhance the engraved clock’s appearance while conveying the extent of the damage: the metal is beaten, warped and twisted; its face, hands and numbers have melted from the intense heat, yet they still retained their form. The clock stands as a permanent reminder a moment frozen in time, its hands forever marking the moment of the explosion: 9:04 a.m.