2023 Canada Kathleen "Kit" Coleman: Pioneer Journalist Special Edition Silver Dollar Proof Set
Known to her many readers as “Kit,” Kathleen Blake Coleman (1856-1915) made history by becoming North America’s first accredited woman war correspondent, the first president of the Canadian Women’s Press Club, and the first syndicated woman columnist. In 2023, the journalism pioneer is honoured on Canada’s Proof Dollar, which is included in this seven-piece set.
Kit first joined the Toronto Daily Mail as a women’s editor in 1889 in order to support herself and her two young children. Her weekly, seven-column “Woman’s Kingdom” page featured a mix of observations and advice, thought-provoking articles and travel writings. Coleman was known to go undercover in other cities, such as London and San Francisco, in order to write about social issues and the plight of the poor. Though her travel writings were curtailed after the Mail merged with the Empire in 1895, Kit was dispatched to London in 1897 to cover Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee; while there, she spent time with Sir Wilfrid Laurier, then the prime minister of Canada (and reportedly, an avid reader of Coleman’s column).
In 1898, during the Spanish-American War, Coleman became North America’s first accredited woman war correspondent. While she was authorized to accompany American troops in Cuba, her male colleagues and the army commanders on the ground were opposed to the idea of having a woman in their midst, and they prevented her travel. Stranded in Florida, she eventually landed in Cuba in July 1898; while she had missed the main battles, her accounts of the war’s aftermath made her internationally famous.
Designed by Canadian artist Pandora Young, the Proof Dollar coin’s reverse features a silhouette of journalist Kathleen “Kit” Blake Coleman (1856-1915) holding an open notebook and pen. Within that silhouette are various elements that represent her life and career (from top to bottom): The Mail and Empire building in Toronto, Ont.; SS Circassian, the passenger ship that brought the Irish-born writer to Canada in 1884; a partial map of the Atlantic Ocean, to represent Coleman’s travels and dispatches; a view of Coleman writing at her desk; and a vintage typewriter that symbolizes her legacy and impact on Canadian journalism. The obverse features 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.
Item Number: 206410
Artist: Pandora Young, Susanna Blunt (obverse)
||99.99% Pure Silver
||Outer Ring: Nickel-plated steel
Inner Core: Brass-plated aluminum bronze
• A journalism pioneer! One of Canada’s most successful early presswomen and a woman of many firsts, journalist Kathleen “Kit” Blake Coleman is honoured on Canada’s Proof Dollar in 2023, which marks the 125th anniversary of her becoming North America’s first accredited woman war correspondent.
• The proof dollar for 2023! Crafted in 99.99% pure silver, the annual Fine Silver Proof Dollar is the Royal Canadian Mint's flagship collector coin and one of the year’s most anticipated collectibles.
• A design within a design! The silhouette collage on the coin’s reverse captures key moments in the journalist’s life—from the office of the Toronto newspapers that published her columns from 1889 to 1911, to the vintage typewriter that represents her legacy and impact on journalism.
• Limited supply! Only 12,500 sets available worldwide.
• Also available: A selectively gold-plated version of the 2023 Fine Silver Proof Dollar honouring Kathleen “Kit” Blake Coleman is available as part of the 2023 Fine Silver Proof Set.
The Special Edition Proof Set is presented in Royal Canadian Mint-branded, book-style packaging with a removable lens for easy viewing.