Initially there were four individuals involved: George and Kate Carmack, Skookum Jim
and Tagish "Dawson" Charlie. News of this claim precipitated the phenomenon of the Klondike
Gold Rush. Seeing the Klondike as glowing opportunity in what had been a bleak decade,
over 100,000 men and women set out for the Yukon. The gold rush only lasted until 1899,
but its legacy changed the Yukon forever. Fascination with the discovery lives on in the
imagination of every person possessing the spirit of adventure.
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The 1996 $100 Gold Coin commemorates the 100th anniversary of the first major discovery of gold
in the Klondike. The reverse of the coin designed by Canadian artist John Mantha invites you to
imagine the power and romance of gold. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen
Elizabeth II, by Dora de Pédery-Hunt.
This $100 gold coin contains 58.33% fine gold and 41.67% fine silver. It has a diameter of 27 mm and
weighs 13.338 grams, of which 7.775 grams (¼ Troy ounce) are fine gold.
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When Majorique Bordeleau (1869-1954) heard about the Klondike gold discovery, he dreamt of only one thing: going
there! His ambitions far outweighed his meagre means, and he had to borrow $500 from his cousin Gédéon Jacob
to be able to buy all that he needed. Together with other men from St-Stanislas, including his cousin Léopold
Jacob, they left in the Fall of 1897 for the long journey to the Yukon. First, by train up to Edmonton, Alberta;
then, they built rafts, canoes and paddles to resume their trip. They managed in the forest by hunting and fishing
along the way. Caught unaware by an early winter, they had to hastily build a log cabin to withstand the harsh
climate. When they arrived in Alaska in June 1898, they were suffering heavily from scurvy. They bought some oranges
which cost them $10 a piece, but it was already too late; they lost all their teeth. They worked hard in the gold
mines and managed to put aside a good sum of money. Majorique returned in 1902 and was able with this money to have
his son Jean-Albert educated at the Trois-Rivières seminary. He brought several unforgettable memories from this trip,
as well as a beautiful gold watch which he wore proudly for more than 50 years.