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Other Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

Canada Issues $200 Gold Coin Featuring the Amazon

Canada Issues $200 Gold Coin Featuring the Amazon

“… the derelict Marie Celeste …”

– J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement

2106 Canada $200 OBV2016 Canada $200 Amazon

Almost four years before the name Sherlock Holmes was seen in print, Arthur Conan Doyle had published J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement in the January 1884 issue of The Cornhill Magazine. Doyle was one of the first to publish a fictionalized version of the mystery of the ship Mary Celeste, which was found abandoned off the Azore Islands in December 1872. Doyle relied heavily on the real facts of the mystery, but made a few mistakes in his version of tale, i.e. calling the ship Marie rather than the correct Mary. So convincing was Doyle’s work of fiction, many readers believed the account to be a factual account of the mystery. You can read his entire story by clicking HERE.

The ship that we know today as the Mary Celeste was first known as Amazon when it was built in Nova Scotia in 1861. The Amazon was damaged and abandoned in a storm off Newfoundland in October 1867. She was claimed as a derelict a month later and sold to American investors. At this time, the ship was renamed as Mary Celeste. The ship would be refitted in 1872 to increase capacity and then set off on November 7th for her fateful voyage.

In 2016, Canada is issuing a 4 gold coin series honoring tall ships that were built in Canada. The coins have a face value of $200 and sell for just under $2,700 CAD each. From the Royal Canadian Mint’s press release:

It was Canada’s Golden Age of Sail. In the late 19th century, shipyards along Nova Scotia’s coastline flourished as Atlantic Canada built some of the era’s most famous wooden sailing ships. Launched on May 18, 1861 in the Bay of Fundy, the Amazon was one of the first vessels built in the shipyard at Spencer’s Island, Nova Scotia. For six years, this brigantine generated profit for her local owners as she hauled cargo across the Atlantic and in the West Indies; and yet, history would remember the two-masted sailing ship under new ownership and a different name—one that is now synonymous with inexplicable desertion and mystery on the high seas: the Mary Celeste.

Celebrate Canada’s famous tall ships with the Amazon! Order today!

Special Features:
  • THIRD COIN IN SERIES! Third coin in an outstanding four-coin series that proudly celebrates Canada’s famous tall ships and our rich maritime heritage.
  • A CELEBRATION OF NOVA SCOTIA’S RICH SHIPBUILDING HISTORY! And a commemoration of the 155th anniversary of the launch of the Amazon.
  • MULTIPLE FINISHES! Expertly engraved with multiple finishes that bring the design to life in stunning detail, which stands as a testament to our craftsmanship.
  • ONE OUNCE OF PURE GOLD! Your coin is GST/HST exempt!

Design:

Designed by Canadian artist Neil Hamelin, your coin features a starboard view of the Nova Scotia-built brigantine known as the Amazon. The 184-ton vessel is heeled over as the wind fills her canvas sails and drives her forward through the choppy waters of the Atlantic. Beautifully intricate engraving recreates the ship in extraordinary detail, from the rigging of her headsails to the wooden planks of her hull, and even captures the anchor attached to her bow. A pennant bearing the ship’s name flies atop the mainmast, while the British ensign flown from the gaff is depicted flapping in the strong wind. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

Did you know…
  • The Amazon measured 30.3 metres in length, 7.8 metres across, and a depth of 3.6 metres.
  • After running aground in 1867, she was sold for $1,750 and was repaired at a cost of roughly $8,825; another refit in 1872 enlarged the ship at a cost of $10,000.
  • Sailing as the Mary Celeste, her cargo on that fateful voyage in November 1872 was 1,701 barrels of denatured alcohol that was destined for Genoa, Italy, to fortify wine.
  • Another Nova Scotia-built brigantine, the Dei Gratia, came upon Mary Celeste on December 4, 1872 and found the ship under full sail, without a trace of her crew or lifeboat, nor any evidence of fire or foul play.
  • The last record in her log bore the date November 25—nine days before she was found—and recorded her position nearly 740 kilometres from where Dei Gratia spotted her.
  • Theories about the crew’s disappearance have ranged from a seaquake to a giant squid, or a hasty escape due to the alcoholic fumes leaking from the ship’s cargo.
  • Mary Celeste’s story has been immortalized and fictionalized in television shows, plays, songs, films and novels—including the short story Marie Celeste by Arthur Conan Doyle, who would later be known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes.
  • The ship was deliberately wrecked and partially burned in a failed insurance-fraud scheme in 1885; she finally came to rest beneath the waves off the coast of Haiti, where her wreck was identified in 2001.

Packaging:

Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with a black beauty box.

2016 Canada Amazon in case

The 275 coins have sold out. If interested in purchasing one of these coins, your best option is to search one of the online auction services.

OBVERSE: ELIZABETH II D • G • REGINA / (Susanna Blunt’s right facing portrait of Queen Elizabeth II) / 200 DOLLARS

REVERSE: CANADA / (sailing ship Amazon in full sail) / 2016 / AMAZON

30mm, Round, .999 Gold, reeded edge

Isle of Man Fairy Coins of 1996-1998

Isle of Man Fairy Coins of 1996-1998

“‘Do you find it interesting?’ ‘To a collector of fairy-tales.’” – The Hound of The Baskervilles (HOUN) Arthur Conan Doyle’s interest in spiritualism has been well documented. In 1917, two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright, were photographed with “fairies,” near Cottingley, England. These photographs were shared with a few family members who then… Continue Reading

Fairies Finally Get Their Due With Gold Coin (1996)

Fairies Finally Get Their Due With Gold Coin (1996)

  Arthur Conan Doyle created the world’s the most believable fictitious character. On any given day, polls conducted on the streets of London will show that fully 70 percent of the population interviewed believe that Sherlock Holmes lived or still lives. Ask the same question about fairies and few, if any, would admit to believing… Continue Reading

2015 Coins & Medals Commemorating The Battle Of Waterloo

2015 Coins & Medals Commemorating The Battle Of Waterloo

“We have not yet met our Waterloo, Watson…” – The Adventure Of The Abbey Grange (ABBE) This week marks the bicentennial of the pivotal Battle of Waterloo, where Napoleon’s troops were defeated by combined troops from Great Britain and Prussia. In the stories of the Canon, there are numerous references to Waterloo Bridge and Waterloo… Continue Reading

Arthur Conan Doyle and The Chunnel

Arthur Conan Doyle and The Chunnel

“The very next train roared from the tunnel…” – The Adventure of the Bruce Partington Plans (BRUC) Wednesday, May 6th will mark the 21st anniversary of the Channel Tunnel or “Chunnel.” Why are we mentioning this on a website that celebrates Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle? Turns out that Doyle was a major proponent… Continue Reading

British Campaign Medals of the Second Boer War

British Campaign Medals of the Second Boer War

“…was the latter end of June, 1902, shortly after the conclusion of the South African War.” – The Adventure of the Three Garridebs (3GAR) In the spring and early summer of 1900, the Literary Agent, Arthur Conan Doyle was volunteering at a field hospital in South Africa during the Second Boer War. Serving as a volunteer, Doyle… Continue Reading

Numismatic Remembrances of the Boer War 1899 – 1902

Numismatic Remembrances of the Boer War 1899 – 1902

…was the latter end of June, 1902, shortly after the conclusion of the South African War. – The Adventure of the Three Garridebs (3GAR)  By the seventh sentence of The Three Garridebs, Dr. Watson references the end of the Boer War to date the story.  The Literary Agent, Arthur Conan Doyle, had written two works about the conflict… Continue Reading

The French Legion of Honour

The French Legion of Honour

“…an exploit which won for Holmes an autograph letter of thanks from the French President and the Order of the Legion of Honour.” – The Adventure of The Golden Prince-Nez (GOLD) Early in the opening of The Golden Prince-Nez, Watson briefly mentions the undocumented 1894 case of Huret, the Boulevard Assassin, and how it earned Holmes his… Continue Reading

How the Brigadier Won His Medals – 1954 Schlitz Playhouse

How the Brigadier Won His Medals – 1954 Schlitz Playhouse

In 1954, the Schlitz Playhouse was in its third season on CBS and aired a version of How the Brigadier Won His Medal that was very faithful to the original Arthur Conan Doyle story. Claude Dauphin played the role of Gerard to near perfection.  At the end of the teleplay, check out the Legion of Honour… Continue Reading