In launching its fourth wave of 2016 collector coins, the Royal Canadian Mint explores the vital importance of water here on planet Earth with its first-ever coin featuring “a unique 3D dome effect in the shape of a water droplet.”
“Mother Earth” – the $20 Fine silver coin displaying a three-dimensional impression of a real drop of water – also features engravings of Canadian fauna and flora designed by artist Alexandra Lefort.
Surrounding the 3D droplet and an inset image of Earth are the diverse fauna and flora that live across Canada, including in its waters and skies as well as on its land. The coin’s lower-left section represents the country’s terrestrial environment with a Red Fox gazing at the water droplet. Above the fox is a red-headed Woodpecker on a western flowering Dogwood tree that flows upwards and around the top of the coin to an American kestrel that represents an aerial environment. Below, an Orca breaches over the waves with mountains in the background.
The 99.99 per cent pure silver coin has a diameter of 38 millimetres, a weight of 31.39 grams and a limited mintage of 8,000 coins.
According to Alex Reeves, Mint media relations manager, the coin has a “stunning design that speaks to today’s growing environmental consciousness,” adding that it serves as “a unique gift and collectible that will appeal to nature and animal lovers, eco-green personalities, art enthusiasts and collectors seeking innovative coins with unique features that reflect the hottest topics of our times.”
The Mint’s April 2016 catalogue features other “striking” innovations, including a $20 Fine silver “Weather Phenomenon: Radiant Rainbow” coin, which combines diffused technology and vivid colour to create the life-like image of a rainbow emerging from a stormy landscape.
The $20 coin is 99.99 per cent pure silver, with a diameter of 38 mm and a weight of 31.39 grams.
The reverse image by Canadian artist Tony Bianco combines detailed engraving, innovative colour technology and various finishing techniques to showcase a brilliantly coloured rainbow on a stormy day. Against the rolling hills in the background, a farmhouse and barn sit atop a gentle slope where a road leads to two round bales in the foreground. The eye is naturally drawn to the multi-coloured arc that descends from the dark storm clouds above; here, the skilful combination of diffused technology and vivid paint adds a subtle transparency quality to the rainbow’s radiant colours, and a faint glow above it, as the rain tapers off. There’s a hopeful clearing above this rural landscape, with the appearance of blue sky in the break between the clouds behind the rainbow. The reverse side is engraved with the word “CANADA,” the year “2016” and the face value “20 DOLLARS.” The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
The April catalogue also includes a $10 Fine silver coin, “Iconic Canada: Inukshuk,” featuring the Mint’s first-ever reverse gold plated coin, also designed by Bianco.
An Inukshuk is an enduring Inuit tradition and a proud symbol of the Canadian North. These sculptures of unworked stone form distinctive monuments, which were traditionally used to communicate direction for hunting or navigation along difficult terrain, or to warn of potential dangers ahead; wherever there are vast, open spaces, an Inukshuk says “I was here” or “You are on the right path” to those who may be far from home. Building an Inukshuk, whether small or large, is a selfless act that leaves a sign for travellers; one that offers meaning and guidance, and ultimately mirrors the community spirit for which Canadians are renowned. As such, this timeless, spiritual symbol of the Arctic and its people has become a universal symbol for hope and friendship, with meaning and history that are a fundamental part of our Canadian values.
The reverse design features magnificent reverse gold plating, which creates a striking gold background and contrasts with the silver coin’s engraved elements. The Inukshuk on the reverse is of the Innunguaq variety, with a “human-like” shape created by stacking multiple stones of different sizes, from large flat boulders that form the arms to the rounded boulders that form the legs and head. Meticulous engraving gives the stones a remarkable life-like quality, while the silver of the coin gives it a majestic, awe-inspiring shine. The gold-plated obverse features the silver effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt, with an added “P” mark to indicate the plated nature of the coin.
Other April releases include: a special-edition silver dollar proof set, “150th Anniversary of the Transatlantic Cable,” featuring a coloured illustration of S.S. Great Eastern by Yves Bérubé; a 2016 circulation roll of 50-cent coins packaged in a special wrap; a $25 Fine silver coin (the second in a three-coin series), “Sculptural Art of Parliament: Foliated Green Man,” by Dominion Sculptor Phil White; a $500 pure gold coin (also available in five-ounce Fine silver), “Mythical Realms of the Haida: The Bear,” featuring red and black enamel artwork by artist April White; a half-kilogram $1,250 pure gold coin and $125 Fine silver coin, “Roaring Grizzly Bear,” designed by artist Pierre Leduc; a $10 Fine silver coin, “Canadian Maple Leaves,” featuring a specimen finish design by artist Donna Kriekle; a $10 Fine silver coin (the second in a three-coin series), “Day of the Dinosaurs: The Spiked Lizard,” with a coloured illustration of an armoured Styracosaurus by Julius Csotonyi; a $10 Fine silver coin (the second in a four-coin series), “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice – Superman;” and lastly, the fifth release of the 12-coin Birthstone series, a “crystal-enhanced” $5 Fine silver coin commemorating the month of May.
For more information, visit mint.ca.