Mint expands on ‘nature’ theme with latest launch

The Royal Canadian Mint’s third product launch of the year is dominated by further additions to already established lines, many themed around nature.

The coins have a number of issues using the RCM’s paint and enamel applications.
“The Mint is continuously inspired by Canada’s rich natural, cultural and historical heritage by which our country is known around the world,” said Ian E. Bennett, master of the Royal Canadian Mint. “We are delighted that these themes not only allow us to tell new stories of Canada through beautiful new coins, but also showcase our craftsmanship and innovation.”
After launching many popular bird-themed coins, including a new series of duck-inspired coins started in 2013, the Mint is introducing new $10 silver and 25-cent cupro-nickel coloured coins featuring the distinctive blue-billed pintail duck.
Both coins are designed by Trevor Tennant. The 25-cent coin shows a mated pair swimming in a lake. It has a mintage of 17,500 and is struck in Specimen finish. With a diameter of 35 mm, it is slightly larger than a regular 25-cent piece.
The silver coin shows the same pair in early spring, with a dusting of snow on the ground as they survey a location to nest. The half-ounce coin is struck in .9999 silver, with a mintage of 10,000 coins. It is in Proof finish, with a diameter of 34 mm.
Building on that theme is a new pure gold 50-cent coin featuring the osprey, as well as other wildlife species.

Birds of prey 
on tiny gold
The osprey appears on a tiny .9999 gold 50-cent Proof piece.
It is the second coin in a gold bird of prey series. The first coin showing a bald eagle and designed by Tennant, was issued earlier this year.
The second coin was designed by Arnold Nogy, the 1/25-ounce coin has a diameter of 13.92 mm, and a mintage limit of 7,500. It shows a close-up of the bird’s head, with details on the feather and beak.

Wolverines end series
The final coins in the Untamed Canada series are a gold and silver pair depicting a wolverine.
The coins share a common design, by Tivadar Bote, of a wolverine standing on a rock. In the background is a sunburst pattern. As with other coins in the series, the art has a woodblock appearance.
The $25 gold coin has a diameter of 20 mm, mintage limit of 1,500 and weighs a quarter-ounce. The $20 silver coin is larger, with a diameter of 40 mm, mintage limit of 8,500, and weight of one-ounce.
Both coins have a purity of .9999.

Bison to follow 
the eagle
Following the success of the four-coin bald eagle series, the RCM has introduced a new series on the bison.
The one-ounce silver coin was designed by Tennant and shows a bull and his mate standing on the prairies. It is struck in Proof with the weight and composition inscribed on the edge of the coin. The diameter is 38 mm and the purity is .9999. The $20 coin has a mintage limit of 7,500.

Chipmunk romps on new coin
Even smaller than the birds of prey series, is a tiny, 11 mm gold chipmunk coin weighing just half a gram. The 25-cent offering, created by Tony Bianco, has a simple design of a chipmunk with an acorn. Struck in Proof, the stripes on the animal’s back are highlighted with contrasting lines. Struck in .9999 gold with a mintage limit of 10,000, the coin is being touted by the Mint as an affordable way to start a gold coin collection.

Lake Ontario in colour
More than a quarter of Canada’s population lives within the Lake Ontario watershed.
One of the five Great Lakes, it is bounded by the province of Ontario and state of New York.
The lake is also featured on the second coin in the blue-enamelled Great Lakes $20 .9999 silver series. The coin, which is an interpretation of data from the Canadian Hydrographic Service, uses relief and frosting to reflect the varying depths of the lake, which is then filled with translucent blue enamel. Around the edge of the reverse is a compass design, with an arrow indicating north. No designer is credited on the coin. The one-ounce coin has a mintage limit of 10,000 coins.
The first coin in the series showed Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes.

Downhill skiing 
gets silver
The O Canada series has been expanded by $10 and $25 .9999 silver coins celebrating the great outdoor sport of downhill skiing.
First issued last year, the series is a collection of gold and silver coins of varying denominations which celebrate iconic Canadian images.
The $10 coin is a half-ounce offering showing a traditional image of a skier on a tree-lined slope. Designed by Kendra Dixon, it is based on an original watercolour painting. With a mintage of 40,000 and diameter of 34 mm, it is the third $10 silver coin in the 2014 O Canada series. The $25 coin is again based on a watercolour design by Dixon. This time the skier is shown from behind, with mountains in the background. The second silver coin of this denomination in the series weighs one ounce and has a mintage of 8,500. Both coins are struck in Proof finish.

Tradition continues
The third coin in the tradition of hunting series shows Inuit hunters waiting at an air hole for a seal.
The .9999 silver $5 coin was designed by Coast Saltish artist Darlene Gait and is struck in Proof, with a mintage limit of 10,000.
Introduced last year, the series shows First Nations’ traditions of hunting. The first two coins in the series, issued in 2013 showed hunting bison and deer.

Rolls of halves
Collectors looking for an elusive 50-cent piece can order rolls directly from the RCM.
Although still a legal tender coin, and part of RCM Uncirculated sets, the coin almost never appears in circulation anymore and is rarely ordered by banks. As a result collectors wishing to build a collection often face challenges.
For several years now, the RCM has offered rolls of the coin in special wraps with the Canadian coat of arms and RCM logo. For 2014, the Mint has produced 20,000 rolls of 25 coins. They are struck in circulation finish on plated-steel blanks. Of course, the convenience comes with a price, the $12.50 worth of ‘halves’ is listed at $24.95.

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