Starting in February 1973, the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) engaged in a very ambitious program. At the behest of the federal government, led by then-Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, it was agreed that these coins would help finance and commemorate the 1976 Summer Olympics.
The plan was to have thirty coins, twenty-eight silver coins with face values of $5 and $10, and two gold coins. This would signify the first time that the RCM issued coins with face values of $5 and $10. These coins would be categorised into seven series with each series configured into four coin sets (two five dollar coins and two ten dollar coins).
The finishes consisted of two different styles that had never been used on Canadian coinage. The first finish was a satin or frosted effect which adorned the coin. The second finish was a proof finish, which consisted of frosted lettering and a design set off against a brilliant mirror field. The RCM had to obtain special equipment to achieve the desired finish. The coin is are encapsulated and measure 39 mm across.