Last updated on June 26th, 2020 at 03:02 am
Last Updated on June 26, 2020 Posted by Colonial Acres Coins
The New France Colony was founded in the early 17th century and endured for over 100 years. Ultimately, France yielded it to England in the Treaty of Paris that ended the Seven Years’ War in 1763. The Royal Canadian Mint now pays homage to the colony of New France and its significance to Canadian history and culture with a stunning commemorative coin depicting the struggles involved during the early days following its establishment. Crafted from 99.99% pure gold, the coin is the third in a series of pieces depicting early Canadian history.
Brief History of New France
Despite some periods of prosperity, settlers in New France faced many significant hardships throughout most of the colony’s history. France ultimately thought the return on investment it had made in establishing the colony less than the initial expense. Nevertheless, the traditions and heritage of the Canadiens of New France live on in their descendants, the Quebecois, and continue to enrich the cultural landscape of Canada to this day.
France first became interested in colonizing the New World in the early 16th century. Though the Catholic nation was interested in sending missionaries to convert the indigenous tribes, France’s primary interest in the New World was economic. The colony at New France provided an opportunity to capitalize on fur trapping and trading, which remained the primary source of income in New France for the entirety of its existence.
New France was officially established in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain. The colony’s beginnings were humble, with the Habitation built by Champlain at the site of present-day Quebec City. Champlain recruited another Frenchman, Louis Hebert, to join the colony and put his experience as an agriculturalist and apothecary to good use. Along with his wife and three children, Hebert took up residence in New France in 1617. Part of his role in New France was to help the colony become self-sufficient by planting crops. His other role was to serve as a surgeon and physician to the colony.
In 1627, ten years after first coming to New France, Hebert slipped on a patch of ice, sustaining an injury that ultimately took his life. The new commemorative coin from the Royal Canadian Mint celebrates his contribution to founding the colony.
Details of the Commemorative Coin Design
The coin honouring the New France colony was designed by Canadian artist Alan Daniel, who drew upon historical drawings of the Habitation created by Champlain himself in 1608. However, the design depicts not the founder of the colony but Louis Hebert, hard at work clearing the land so that the Habitation’s garden could be established.
However, the coin does not show Hebert alone at his labours. The contributions and sacrifices made by his family are also commemorated, as they appear alongside him. His two older children, Anne and Guillaumette, are shown hard at work, prying up the tree stump as Hebert raises his axe to cut away the roots. Hebert’s wife, Marie, appears in the background carrying water. She is accompanied by the couple’s youngest child, Guillaume, who was only three years old when the family relocated from France to the new colony.
Behind the Hebert family appears the fortifications of Champlain’s Habitation, where armed sentries are visibly standing guard. A canoe and sailboat are also visible on the Saint Lawrence River behind Hebert. The various elements of the scene have a depth of textural quality that lends them a remarkable realism. This is due to the multiple finishes used together in a complex blend.
Purchase of the Coin
Like all collector coins from the Royal Canadian Mint, the New France commemorative coin comes with a serialized certificate. This and other commemorative coins in both gold and platinum from the Royal Canadian Mint are available at Colonial Acres Coins. Browse our selection online or stop in our store today.