First gold, silver collector coins struck in Winnipeg among final RCM issues of 2019

The Royal Canadian Mint’s Winnipeg facility, which has historically produced circulation coins, recently struck gold and silver numismatic coins for the first time since it opened its doors 43 years ago.

The new collectibles – launched today – are the product of “a unique marriage of expertise” between the Mint’s Winnipeg and Ottawa employees, who joined forces to create made-in-Manitoba tributes to the “Maple Leaf” series of bullion coins, according to a recent statement from the Crown corporation.

The 2020 $5 “Silver Maple Leaf” (SML) coin and 2020 $50 “Gold Maple Leaf” (GML) coin, both with a “W” mintmark, are available as of Dec. 3 as part of the Mint’s final numismatic offering of 2019. Featuring the iconic Walter Ott-designed sugar maple leaf on their reverses plus a burnished finish offering a matte appearance, these 2020-dated coins are limited to mintages of 10,000 (silver) and 400 (gold).

SILVER MAPLE LEAF

The SML, which was introduced in 1988, is minted with one troy ounce (31.11 grams) of 99.99 per cent Fine silver and has a face value of $5.

Its enhanced security features include radial lines, a micro-engraved maple leaf, “Bullion DNA” anti-counterfeiting technology and “MintShield” surface protection, which is “the world’s first proven approach to reducing the occurrence of white spots discolorations on silver bullion coins,” according to the Mint.

Within the micro-engraved, textured maple leaf is the numeral “20,” which is visible under magnification and denotes the coin’s year of issue.

“The radial lines on 2020 Silver Maple Leaf bullion coins are machined precisely to within microns on the master tooling for maximum reproducibility from die to die and coin to coin,” reads a statement issued by the Mint today. “The line width and pitch give Silver Maple Leaf coins a characteristic look and create a distinctive, light-diffracting pattern that is specific to this coin.”

This coin has a diameter of 38 millimetres.

GOLD MAPLE LEAF

Introduced in 1979, the GML is one of the world’s most popular pure gold coins with more than 25 million troy ounces sold in its 40-year existence.

The GML was also the first bullion coin to achieve the heightened standard of .9999 per cent purity—also known as “Four Nines.”

The one-ounce 2020 GML coins will have three unique features for enhanced security—radial lines, a micro-engraved maple leaf and “Bullion DNA.”

This coin has a weight of 31.11 grams and a diameter of 30 millimetres.

BIRTHSTONE SERIES

Among the new issues is the first coin of the 2020 “Birthstone” series. Like in the previous Birthstone series, each of the 12 Fine silver coins in this year’s set will include a large gem-toned Swarovski crystal representing its respective birth month.

From garnet (January) to tanzanite (December), the crystals on the coins are framed by a Celtic-inspired pattern as well as three smaller crystals.

The reverse of the January coin – designed by artist Pandora Young – is an intersection of art and mathematics and features a stylized pattern arranged according to the base-six system. Inspired by the Celtic triskele, the engraved art incorporates three clear Swarovski crystals alongside one representing garnet, which comes from the word “granatum” (or “seed”).

The obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

Each 2020 birthstone coin has a weight of 7.96 grams, a diameter of 27 millimetres and a mintage of 5,000 pieces.

CANADIAN FUN, FESTIVITIES

On the other end of the spectrum, the 12-coin “Celebrating Canadian Fun and Festivities” series was completed by the Mint this December with its release of a $3 Fine silver “Christmas Tree” coin.

By artist Steve Hepburn, the coin’s reverse design celebrates a fun holiday tradition in Canada: on a cold December day, a father has ventured outdoors with his two kids to choose and cut down their Christmas tree. The chosen tree is placed on the sleigh as the trio happily makes its way home accompanied by a pet dog.

The image is framed by stylized icons representing other popular outdoor activities and sights commemorated in the series. These include Niagara Falls, a Christmas tree, a rodeo, wine tasting, dogsledding, folk music, cherry blossoms, maple syrup tasting, whale watching, tulips, coastal drives and the aurora borealis.

The obverse of each coin features the 2019 year-date, face value of “3 DOLLARS” and the framed effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Blunt.

With a mintage of 4,000 pieces, the Christmas Tree coin – like the rest of the series – has a weight of 7.96 grams and a diameter of 27 millimetres.

GOLDEN REFLECTIONS

Rounding out another series, “Golden Reflections: Predator and Prey,” is a two-ounce pure silver gold-plated coin featuring a snowy owl and greater white-fronted goose.

Designed by Canadian wildlife artist W. Allan Hancock, the coin’s reverse depicts the owl hunting for a pair of greater white-fronted geese set against the backdrop of snowy peaks in Canada’s Arctic region.

This third and final coin of the Golden Reflections series has a weight of 62.69 grams, a diameter of 50 millimetres and a mintage of 2,500 pieces.

MULTIFACETED ANIMAL HEAD

Lastly, the final coin in the Mint’s three-piece “Multifaceted Animal Head” series, “Lynx,” was also issued Dec. 3.

Designed by Traian Georgescu, it has a 2020 year-date and a mintage of 2,500 coins.

For more information, visit mint.ca.

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