There are more than 20 new releases in the Royal Canadian Mint’s April numismatic catalogue, which was unveiled today.
Among the new releases is a $3 Fine silver coin, “Caribou,” which presents a contemporary portrait of the caribou in the Canadian wilderness.
With its formidable rack of antlers, the caribou stands tall as a timeless emblem of Canada’s wildlife heritage. The classic icon commands attention on this Fine silver coin, where clean lines give the design a modern edge while placing the focus squarely on a culturally important species.
Designed by Steve McPhee, the reverse depicts a caribou slightly left-of-centre, where it strikes a majestic pose as it turns its head and looks towards the right side of the coin. Viewed in side profile, the caribou’s rack of antlers adds to its imposing stature with the main beam rising skyward while the brow-tines point forward above its muzzle.
This coin has a weight of 7.96 grams, a 27-mm diameter and will be available while supplies last.
The 13 Teachings from Grandmother Moon series will continue this month with a $3 Fine silver coin, “Sucker Moon,” which is the fourth teaching from Grandmother Moon, who makes 13 appearances throughout the year.
Sucker Moon brings the sucker fish back to the stream and teaches us how to become healed healers. In April, the sucker fish returns to spawn after travelling to the spirit realm. As it swims through the water, it purifies a path for the spirits and cleanses the water beings. As life bursts within the stream and along its banks, we are reminded we are partners in this experience called life—and that the harmony within the stream can also exist within ourselves. Once we are healed, we can bring healing to others through our peaceful presence and actions.
Algonquin artist Frank Polson created an image of a full moon filling the sky as it sits low on the horizon behind a leafless tree. To the left, a sucker fish swims downward, away from the viewer, along the edge of the coin. A trail of bubbles forms in the wake of its tail as the fish turns towards the tree on the right.
This coin has a weight of 7.96 grams, a 27-mm diameter and mintage of 4,000 pieces.
Continuing its ongoing Birthstone series, the Mint has issued a $5 Fine silver coin featuring the birthstone for the month of May—emerald.
The reverse design by Pandora Young presents a cross-cultural celebration inspired by the ancient tradition of Indian mehndi. A symmetrical arrangement of highly ornate shapes and symbols form a 12-point radial pattern that reflects the calendar year. A prominent henna motif—the lotus—is among the finely detailed elements that emanate from the centre, where a colourful Swarovski crystal represents the May birthstone. A selective application of colour complements the stone while the contrast between soft and vivid tones highlights the layered complexity of the engraved artistry.
This coin has a weight of 7.96 grams, a 27-mm diameter and a mintage of 4,000 pieces.
STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE NX-01
Another new release is the $10 Fine silver coin, “Star Trek: Enterprise NX-01,” which commemorates one of the most famous vessels in Starfleet history, Enterprise NX-01 from Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005).
Whether exploring new worlds or encountering unusual phenomena—including an occasional temporal rift—Star Trek’s iconic starships have transported millions of imaginations deep into “the final frontier.”
With its mix of colour and engraving, the reverse celebrates Star Trek’s spirit and its vision of space travel in the future. The titular starship from Star Trek: Enterprise is set against a colourful, glow-in- the-dark nebula that infuses the scene with energy and motion. While an overhead view of the Enterprise NX-01 allows for a glimpse of its warp nacelles, the saucer hull is more prominently featured—including the navigational deflector along its front edge. This deflector is a predecessor to the two incorporated in the engraved frame, which also bears the engraved words “STAR TREK” and “CANADA” in a Star Trek font.
This coin has a weight of 15.87 grams, a 34-mm diameter and a mintage of 10,000 pieces.
TIGER & DRAGON
The April catalogue also includes a pair of $10 Fine silver coins, “Tiger and Dragon,” from the Black and White Yin and Yang series.
These yin- and yang-shaped silver coins feature two heroes of Chinese tradition—the tiger and the dragon—and fit together to form a perfect whole. The theme of balance is fully realized in the coins’ imagery, rich colour and singular design.
The coins are designed to fit together to form a single circle. Shaped in the traditional Chinese yin form, the first coin features a stylized painted tiger set against a black painted field decorated with traditional auspicious cloud motifs from Chinese art. The tiger stalks across the white dot that traditionally appears in the black yin form to connote balance. The eastern portion of the reverse features an engraved border completed on the other coin, forming a full decorative outer circle when the two coins are fitted together.
The second coin is shaped in the traditional yang form and features a vividly coloured dragon. The dragon, like the tiger, is set against a coloured background—in this case, the traditional white background of the yang form. As on the yin coin, a balancing black dot appears in the image wrapped in the sinewy coils of the dragon’s tail. The background is decorated with stylized auspicious clouds.
The unique obverses of both coins feature the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
The remaining design elements on the obverse are drawn from imagery found in traditional Chinese ceramics art, including beautifully engraved flowers and branches against a background of stylized auspicious clouds.
These coins have a weight of 15.87 grams each, a combined diameter of 39 mm and a mintage of 6,000 pieces.
MAGNIFICENT BALD EAGLES
A $15 Fine silver coin, “Magnificent Bald Eagles,” celebrates Canada’s largest bird of prey, which has a commanding presence wherever it appears, whether in solitary flight or perched in the tallest trees.
The classic wildlife portrait on the reverse is imbued with a sense of reverence for this imposing hunter and spiritual animal, which has long symbolized power and wisdom in the wild. Produced by Tony Bianco, the design offers a life-like representation of a convocation of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at a communal roost site. A profile view allows for a close examination of the eagle’s distinctive features and famous plumage with all three raptors fixing their piercing gazes on something that lies just beyond the reverse. In a show of authority, two of the stately birds have turned their heads to glare at the possible intruder, while the sharp, hooked beak of the uppermost eagle is open to suggest a high-pitched warning has been issued. The reverse also includes the engraved word “CANADA” and the year “2018.”
This coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a diameter of 38 mm and a mintage of 5,500 pieces.
Among the new releases is a $20 Fine silver coin, “Woolly Mammoth,” from the Frozen in Ice series.
This coin captures a herd of Mammuthus primigenius—the iconic woolly mammoth—in detailed engraving and selective colour under a frosted chunk of “ice.” The reverse design by Canadian artist Glen Loates portrays a snowy Ice Age landscape with a herd of mammoth traversing a frozen plain. The image centres on a single mammoth who faces the viewer, its massive tusks rising high into the sky. The image is overlain with a frosted ice-like dome. The portion of the portrait under the ice is coloured while the remainder of the image is struck only. The reverse includes the text “CANADA” and the date “2018.”
This coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a 38-mm diameter and a mintage of 5,000 pieces.
FALCON LAKE INCIDENT
Another new release is the $20 Fine silver coin, “The Falcon Lake Incident,” from a series dubbed Canada’s Unexplained Phenomena.
The Falcon Lake Incident is one of Canada’s most well known unexplained encounters. With an unusually shaped contour that hints at an otherworldly theme, this ovoid coin recounts the incident in vivid colour with black- light activated features that add a preternatural glow to the unknown craft.
Designed by artist Joel Kimmel, the reverse is based on Stefan Michalak’s account of what transpired on May 20, 1967, near Falcon Lake, Man. A full application of colour re-creates the springtime colours of the place where Michalak saw two objects appear in the midday sky. Based on the witness’s descriptions and sketches, the oval-shaped UFO on the reverse has a steel-like appearance as it hovers above him. Blacklight-activated features complete the story by mimicking the distinctive red glow described by Michalak while adding a yellow hue to the blast of hot air or gas that knocked the amateur prospector on his back and left him with mysterious burn marks.
This coin has a weight of 31.82 grams, a diameter of 45 mm (long) by 33 mm wide and a mintage of 4,000 pieces.
The second of three coins from the Geometric Fauna series, a $20 Fine silver coin dubbed “Snowy Owls,” has also been released by the Mint.
With its snow-white plumage, the snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus) is a hauntingly beautiful ambassador for our northerly climate. The reverse design by Claude Thivierge combines two different art styles for a unique take on an enigmatic avian species. A colourful sunset provides the only hint of warmth in this colour-over-engraved winter scene, where the sky is ablaze with orange and yellow hues. The open field conveys a sense of stillness as the landscape slumbers beneath its snow cover, where engraved relief adds textural details that mimic rolling drifts and mounds. The only sense of movement comes from two enigmatic snowy owls, which are comprised of polygon shapes that define the low poly art style. Suddenly, one of the owls takes flight; flying close to the ground, the owl’s outstretched wings create the illusion of movement as it seemingly “shatters” the boundaries of the image and its geometric form and smoothly transitions from abstract to realism. The word “CANADA”, the face value “20 DOLLARS” and the year “2018” are engraved along the rim that frames much of the reverse image.
This coin has a weight of 31.83 grams, a 40-mm diameter and a mintage of 6,000 pieces.
METTLESOME MOUNTAIN GOAT
Another new release is the $20 Fine silver coin, “Mettlesome Mountain Goat,” from the Majestic Wildlife series.
An incredibly agile member of the antelope family, the mountain goat spends 75 per cent of its time on steep rocky ledges to stay out of reach of predators such as bears, wolves and cougars. In a reverse design by Canadian artist Pierre Leduc, a mountain goat is shown stepping its hooves onto the steep rocky ledge. In the background, one of countless Canadian mountains rises above an alpine valley where a river flows. Selective colour brings added dimension to the alpine trees, rocky ledge and mountain goat in the foreground.
This coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a 38-mm diameter and a mintage of 6,000 pieces.
QEII’s MAPLE LEAVES BROOCH
A $20 Fine silver coin, “Queen Elizabeth II’s Maple Leaves Brooch with Pearl,” was also released today.
To Queen Elizabeth II, Canada is her “home away from home,” which she has visited 22 times during her reign—more than any other Commonwealth nation. During her most recent visit in 2010, she displayed her affection for Canada by wearing a maple leaves brooch that was originally presented to her grandmother, Queen Mary (then duchess) during a royal tour in 1901.
It’s unknown how long the brooch was hidden away in the royal vault, but one thing is certain; it evoked a sense of home so poignant that the Queen was inspired to wear it as an outward expression of the warmth she feels for her second home—the home of the maple leaf.
On the reverse design by Maurade Baynton, Mint engravers replicated the Queen’s maple leaves brooch with exacting detail—six enamel maple leaves in autumn colours and edged with brilliants, all twined together with a single pearl at the end. An engraved floral garland follows the curve of the coin while the Queen’s Royal Cypher shines above.
This coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a 38-mm diameter and a mintage of 5,500 pieces.
One of the most powerful spirits in Northwest Coast mythology, the Thunderbird is commemorated on a $25 Fine silver coin.
A legendary mythological creature, the Thunderbird is a supernatural force of nature in this reverse design by Northwest Coast artist Andy Everson. Ultra high relief engraving mimics the deeply sculpted nature of traditional Kwakwaka’wakw carvings and gives the Thunderbird the appearance of emerging from the coin’s silver surface. In keeping with the expressive art style of the Kwakwaka’wakw, a selective application of colours add to the visual storytelling by drawing attention to the Thunderbird’s features and heightening the dramatic intensity of the lightning bolts.
This coin has a weight of 30.76 grams, a diameter of 36.15 mm and a mintage of 5,000 pieces.
Another new issue is the $30 Fine silver coin, “Snowy Owl,” from the Arctic Animals and Northern Lights series.
Canadian artist Trevor Tennant has created an immersive design that takes the viewer to ground level within feet of a snowy owl surveying the tundra from a snow-covered mound. The subtleties of the owl’s feathers, its beak and eyes are executed in exceptional detail and rich colour that also infuses the design with the warm glow of the rising sun that lights the Arctic sky and the mirror-like surface of the ice. A different scene appears when the coin is exposed to black light. Morning turns to night, and northern lights fill the sky with flowing ribbons of vibrant purple and yellow-green.
This coin has a weight of 62.69 grams, a 50-mm diameter and a mintage of 4,000 pieces.
The Mint also marked the 100th anniversary of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind with a $30 Fine silver coin and bronze medallion set.
In the wake of the First World War and the Halifax Explosion, which left hundreds blind or partially sighted, seven visionaries saw beyond the tragedy and held fast to their ideal that those injured could lead productive lives, nurture their talents, and ultimately fulfill their dreams. As the Mint’s first coin designed by a visually impaired artist—and the first to feature braille—this keepsake is testament to the power of the CNIB’s vision.
Canadian artist Meghan Sims created an intriguing design featuring an abstract eye superimposed over a mountain scene representing the institution that CNIB has built during its first century, with “100” in braille. The passage of time is conveyed by the sun and moon at the centre, where selective green colour transforms the sun into an iris with the moon as its pupil. Variations in colour, detail and texture symbolize the range of conditions and abilities experienced with sight loss. The curved horizon doubles as an eyelid, its lashes standing as trees in honour of the seven founders of the CNIB while the jack pine embodies the strength and resilience of people living with sight loss.
The $30 Fine silver coin has a weight of 62.69 grams and a 50-mm diameter while the bronze medallion has a weight of 77.17 grams and a 52-mm diameter. There is a mintage of 3,000 sets.
FROG REVEALS A GIFT
A $100 14-karat gold coin, “Frog Reveals a Gift,” is also among the new releases.
Various stories have emerged over the centuries, and one of the most popular is the Kwakwaka’wakw legend of a man who ventured into the forest where he came across a magical frog as large as a man. Copper shone from its mouth, and despite its ability to suddenly disappear, the frog allowed the man to vanquish it. With great effort, the man rolled the frog over and found a stack of copper shields underneath—a luxury reserved for the highest-ranking chiefs who would display them at potlatches and use them to settle disputes. This coin is a brilliantly executed work of art that portrays the frog in the distinctive formline style of the Pacific Northwest, complete with a copper shield engraved on its tongue—a gift of wealth.
Canadian K’ómoks and Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw artist Andy Everson provides a modern interpretation of the ancient form-line art in this graphic portrait of the frog with a copper shield engraved on its tongue.
This coin has a weight of 12 grams, a 27-mm diameter and a mintage of 1,500 pieces.
ANGEL OF VICTORY
A $100 Fine silver coin, “Angel of Victory,” has also been struck to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War armistice.
Signed in 1918 “on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleven month,” the Armistice of Compiègne put an end to hostilities during the First World War. Sadly, more than 66,000 men and women from Canada and Newfoundland lost their lives in the war; to honour their memory, this 10 oz. fine silver coin commemorates the centennial of the Armistice with a powerful reverse that speaks of a nation’s pride and grief, and reminds us of the cost of this “war to end all wars.”
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of Compiègne (Nov. 11, 1918), the reverse image by Pandora Young brings together several design elements that are rooted in history. The design’s focal point is a rarely seen overhead view of the Angel of Victory statue, one of three identical bronze memorials created by Montreal-based sculptor Coeur de Lion MacCarthy. Here, the statue is a powerful reminder of the human cost of the war, embodied by the fallen Canadian combatant held by an ascending angel, who also holds a laurel wreath in her left hand. The two figures overlap the frame, which was inspired by Canada’s one-cent circulation coin at the time of the First World War (1914 -1918); a wreath of 16 maple leaves represents a contemporary twist on the maple vine design seen on all Canadian pennies between 1858 and 1920, while two rings of dots – one with 100 dots, the other with 140 – are kept intact from W.H.J. Blakemore’s classic design. The reverse includes the word “CANADA”, the double commemorative dates “1918 – 2018” and the face value “100 DOLLARS.” The obverse features the effigy of King George V by Sir E. B. MacKennal.
This coin has a weight of 311.54 grams, a 76.25-mm diameter and a mintage of 750 pieces.
ENCHANTING MAPLE LEAFS
A two-coin set, “Enchanting Maple Leaves,” honours one of Canada’s most beloved emblems.
Both coins in this set share the same reverse image by Nathalie Lagacé, featuring a wealth of finely engraved details that give the maple leaves a life-like appearance. Like a botanical illustration, three different sizes of maple leaves are naturally positioned along the branches that nearly stretch from the bottom rim to the top, where two double-winged fruits (samaras) extend outwards on slender stalks. While the two smallest leaves have curled outer edges, the largest, most prominent maple leaf offers an unobstructed view of its defining features: the overall shape, its toothed margins, and the deep-set veins that run through each lobe towards the pointed tip.
On one of the two coins, this large leaf is further enhanced by a selective application of platinum plating that provides contrast next to the gold.
Each coin has a weight of 31.16 grams and a 30-mm diameter, and there’s a mintage of 175 sets.
MAPLE LEAF FOREVER
A $300 pure platinum coin, “Maple Leaf Forever,” also celebrates the iconic maple.
The mighty sugar maple (Acer saccharum) has borne witness to Canada’s prehistory, its political birth, and its development as a nation committed to peace. Enhanced by a touch of gold plating, this platinum coin is a numismatic tribute to a powerful Canadian symbol that represents our history.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Pierre Leduc captures the natural beauty of the sugar maple leaf in. The smaller-sized leaf in the foreground is resplendent in platinum as it gently overlaps a larger leaf. The rim is also gold-plated on both sides, where it elegantly frames the reverse proof finish.
This coin has a weight of 31.16 grams, a 30-mm diameter and a mintage of 250 pieces.
A third piece, this a $500 pure gold coin dubbed “Maple Leaves,” captures Canada’s beloved maple in all its springtime beauty.
The reverse design by Mint engraver Stanley Witten features the distinctive five-lobed shape of the sugar maple as two leaves, engraved in careful detail, emerge from a twig. At their base is a cluster of delicate sugar maple blossoms. The proof-finished field features the text “CANADA,” the metal weight “5 OZ,” the purity standard of “9999 AU,” the face value of “500 DOLLARS” and the date “2018.”
This coin has a weight of 156.05 grams, a 60.15-mm diameter and a mintage of 99 pieces.
SPECIAL WRAP COLLECTION
Canada’s classic coin designs have returned to circulation for 2018 with iconic designs featuring the polar bear, loon, caribou, Bluenose and beaver represented in the 2018 special wrap collection, “First Strikes in 2018,” featuring the first 2018-dated coins struck in 2018.
Designed by Brent Townsend, the reverse of the bi-metallic two-dollar coin features an Arctic icon, the polar bear, standing on an ice floe.
The reverse of the one-dollar coin features Robert-Ralph Carmichael’s depiction of a solitary loon floating in a lake, where a small, tree-lined island is visible in the background.
The 25-cent coin was designed by Emanuel Hahn and features a profile view of a caribou as a symbol of Canada’s vast northern wilderness.
Another design by Emanuel Hahn is featured on the reverse of the 10-cent coin, where the Bluenose schooner is a tribute to Canada’s fishing industry and maritime history.
Designed by G. E. Kruger-Gray, the reverse of the five-cent coin features a side-profile view of a cultural icon that played a key role in Canada’s history: the beaver.
All five rolls are positioned side-by-side in a collector case, and there is a mintage 5,000 sets.
For more information, visit mint.ca.