By Jesse Robitaille
After a close competition between six contestants who submitted a dozen designs, CCN’s COVID-19 medal is now ready to order.
Anthony Wait, 57, of Edmonton, Alta., submitted the winning design featured on the reverse of the medal, which will be available in three compositions, including silver, with a limited mintage of 100, plus cupronickel and bronze, both with low mintages. Commemorating the pandemic in a creative yet positive manner, Wait’s design depicts an older face-masked father placing another mask on his daughter. The words “STRONG,” “SAFE,” “UNITED” and “CANADA” surround the design, with each word separated by a maple leaf. The 2020 year-date also appears above “CANADA” at the bottom of the medal.
“I am still in a bit of shock as in my 57 years, I have never won anything, but to win this contest meant more to me than you could ever know,” said Wait, who added he was “honoured” to have his design chosen “for this extremely prestigious and important medal.”
The one-ounce medals were engraved and struck at the Mississauga Mint, a private mint based in southern Ontario. They’re struck with a proof-like finish and 3D design elements offering a cameo (frosted) appearance against mirror-like fields. Measuring 38 millimetres, the medal also includes a CCN-themed obverse design.
“I feel that the final implementation executed by Master Engraver Larry Colburn, of the Mississauga Mint, is an excellent representation of the artwork submitted,” said Henry Nienhuis, past president of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA). “I think it will be an excellent keepsake.”
Nienhuis, who has been involved with many medal designs at the local, provincial and national club levels, worked with CCN on the COVID-19 design contest committee. His past experience includes serving as the chair of the RCNA’s Canada 150 medal program and the Ontario Numismatic Association’s medal committee. He’s also the current chair of the RCNA’s convention medal committee.
“I served as an active member on medal design and implementation committees for many years,” said Nienhuis, who worked “very closely with all participating clubs” in the Canada 150 medal program, which included 30 medals altogether.
“I also successfully co-ordinated production over the two mints chosen by the clubs.”
A long-time collector, he’s also the first vice-president and secretary of the North York Coin Club, which recently unveiled a medal marking its 60th anniversary. Nienhuis was involved in this medal design plus another one for the club’s 50th anniversary in 2010.