The Royal Canadian Mint started circulating 25 million quarters this week with images of the Arctic.

Half of the coins feature a design by Tim Pitsiulak of Cape Dorset, showing a bowhead whale and two belugas.

The other 12.5 million quarters commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1913 First Canadian Arctic Expedition led by Vilhjalmur Stefansson and Rudolph Anderson‚Äč. It shows three explorers with a fully-packed dog sled.

"Canadians have to understand all the stories behind their countries, what makes up our Canadian identity, and for the Royal Canadian Mint we have a unique opportunity to reach million of Canadians at a time," said Alex Reeves, senior manager of communications for the mint.

Pitsiulak's design is also on a limited edition silver coin.