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Discover the story of one of western Canada’s largest all-Black settlements.

They headed north to Canada, lured by the promise of land and guided by the hope of a better life free from racial violence. Arriving in Amber Valley (formerly Pine Creek), Alberta, the Black settlers worked hard to establish a thriving community, some 300 people strong, blazing a trail as they went and building a rich legacy through their achievements.

The 2024 Commemorating Black History coin brings to life an often-overlooked story from Canada’s immigration history. Its finely engraved reverse captures the spirit of Amber Valley—one of the largest Black settlements in western Canada during the early 20th century—and honours the Black pioneers who persevered through hardships and hostility, facing down discrimination and building up a foundation for future generations.

Honouring Amber Valley’s place in Canadian history.

REMEMBERING AMBER VALLEY

Most of those who settled in Amber Valley sought to escape escalating racial violence and segregation in the southern United States. Seizing on the Canadian government’s promises of cheap land, founding families made the trek north in 1910, crossing the border and boarding a train bound for Edmonton, then travelling by wagon train to Pine Creek, where they set out to convert the land and build a community from the ground up.

The first wave of Black settlers endured harsh weather, long days of clearing land that had been rejected by European homesteaders, and racial hostilities that led to the active discouragement of Black immigration to Canada by 1912. Still, the residents of Pine Creek—re-named Amber Valley in 1931—persevered and Canada’s northernmost all-Black community thrived, its population peaking at 300 residents.

The bustling community gradually went into decline after the Second World War, as residents moved to larger urban centres to find work. Its school closed in the 1950s and the post office was shut down in 1968; today, only a few weathered buildings remain, but the memory and spirit of Amber Valley endure.

COIN HIGHLIGHTS

  • Commemorating Black history. This is the sixth coin in the Royal Canadian Mint's annual Commemorating Black History series, which honours the enormous contributions that Black Canadians have made—and continue to make—to Canada’s story. It is a celebration of resilience, innovation and determination.
  • Celebrating the spirit of Amber Valley. Crafted in 1 oz. of 99.99% pure silver, this coin pays tribute to the community of Amber Valley, one of the largest all-Black settlements in western Canada in the early 20th century.
  • An important story. This is the first time Amber Valley has been highlighted on a Mint coin, and its reverse design combines different engraved images to create a compelling snapshot in time and a glimpse of Amber Valley’s past.
  • Low mintage. Only 5,500 coins are available to collectors worldwide.
  • Includes serialized certificate. The Royal Canadian Mint certifies all of its collector coins.
  • No GST/HST.

PACKAGING

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

HIGHLY INTRICATE DESIGN

From the ornamental flourishes to the representation of some of Amber Valley’s earliest buildings, every engraved detail has historical meaning.

THE FOCUS IS ON HISTORY

To keep the focus on the Amber Valley community, the only word engraved on the reverse is “CANADA”—the date and face value are inscribed on the obverse.

MAPLE LEAFE PATTERN

As with previous Commemorating Black History coins, the 2024 edition features a symbol of Canada on its obverse, where the maple leaf forms a repeating pattern that fills the field.

DID YOU KNOW?

Between 1905 and 1912, up to 1,500 Black Americans migrated to western Canada, where they primarily settled in Campsie, Junkins (now Wildwood), Keystone (now Breton) and Pine Creek (Amber Valley) in Alberta, and Maidstone in Saskatchewan.

Designed by Canadian artist Valentine De Landro, your coin’s reverse highlights the rich history of Amber Valley, one of the largest all-Black settlements in western Canada in the early 20th century. The design is centred on a family portrait that represents the spiritual heart of the story: the Black homesteaders who founded Amber Valley (formerly Pine Creek) in 1909 and built a thriving community. Enhanced with flourishes inspired by ads promoting western settlement, the map outline of the province of Alberta provides geographical context, while beneath the settlers, the buildings form an artistic representation of Amber Valley. Along the bottom of the coin design is a depiction of a wagon train making its way across the rugged terrain of northern Alberta—a representation of the settlers’ pioneering spirit and resilience, and of their long journey north. The obverse features a maple leaf pattern and the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt. The obverse also bears a special marking that includes four pearls symbolizing the four effigies that have graced Canadian coins and the double date of her reign.

ABOUT THE ROYAL CANADIAN MINT

The Royal Canadian Mint is known as one of the most reputable mints in the world. The Ottawa Branch of the Royal Mint opened in 1908 and was renamed The Royal Canadian Mint in 1931 when control was transferred to the Canadian government. The Royal Canadian Mint is renowned for producing some of the highest quality and purity of gold and silver bullion coins and bars in the world. Their high standards for excellence and quality allowed them to be the first refinery to manufacture 9999 fine gold bullion coins in 1982, as well as the first to reach 99999 fine gold purity in 1999.

9928
2024
Proof
New
9999
Canada
Royal Canadian Mint
CAD 20
5500
Valentine De Landro
1 oz
38

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