By Jesse Robitaille
A low-mintage “prototype” coin marking the worldwide debut of a new technology created by the Royal Canadian Mint’s research and design lab is among the Crown corporation’s March numismatic catalogue.
The 2019-dated $2 Fine silver coin, “Multilayered Polar Bear,” is the latest issue from the Mint’s “R&D Lab” and features multilayered engraving, something its researchers call “an innovative first.”
The 3.5-ounce coin has “two distinctly separate layers of engraving on the reverse side of the coin,” according to the Mint, which adds the issue is “a world first.”
“The interior of the coin provides fresh new design space for the engraving while the exterior retains the appearance of a piedfort coin.”
Designed by artist Brent Townsend and issued nationwide on March 3, this coin has a weight of 110 grams, a diameter of 55 millimetres and a mintage of 279. It’s packaged in an exclusive R&D Lab wooden box with a custom certificate explaining the technology behind its design.
The 350th anniversary of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) is marked on a $10 Fine silver “token replica coin” issued as part of the March catalogue.
Describing the HBC as “one of Canada’s most recognizable icons,” the Mint issued this replica token to represent “the story of a company, a nation and its currency.”
“Our passion and dedication to historical accuracy knows no bounds,” adds the Mint’s promotional materials. “We’ve engraved this modern coin in the same style as the original token to ensure a period-authentic look.”
Packaged in a custom HBC-branded “beauty box,” this coin has a weight of 15.86 grams, a diameter of 34 millimetres and a mintage of 10,000.
A coin marking the 350th anniversary of New France’s Louis XIV 15-sol piece – issued by the French colony located across much of present-day eastern Canada and parts of what later became the United States, namely “French Louisiana” – was also issued this March.
The $10 gold coin, “Relics of New France: Louis XIV 15 Sol,” recreates the historic silver coin in 99.99 per cent pure gold.
“The reverse is a faithful reproduction of one of the rarest pieces from Canada’s colonial and numismatic past: the Louis XIV 15-sol coin issued in 1670,” explains the Mint’s promotional materials.
It’s the first time this design has been featured on a coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint.
This piece has a weight of 7.8 grams, a diameter of 20 millimetres and a mintage of 1,000.
A BIRD’S EYE VIEW
A $50 Fine silver coin, “Courageous Bald Eagle,” is also part of the March catalogue.
Described by the Mint as a “must-have point of view,” the coin is the first from Crown corporation to honour the bald eagle with a bird’s eye view, which it adds is “a fresh perspective that showcases its majesty and power as it soars high above the coast in search of a meal.”
“It’s an iconic view of Canada and our rich natural heritage.”
Engraving and frosting add layers of texture to the coin, which highlights the eagle’s soft feathers in the bottom half, the rocky coastline to the top and the glassy water below.
“This coin pushes the art of engraving to new heights to create a masterpiece worthy of the most distinguished collections,” adds the Mint’s promotional materials.
Designed by artist Steve Hepburn, this coin has a weight of 157.6 grams, a diameter of 65.25 millimetres and a mintage of 750.
OTHER MARCH COINS
Other coins issued as part of the Mint’s March catalogue include:
- a $3 Fine silver coin, “White Trillium,” which is the first of 13 coins from the “Provincial and Territorial Flowers of Canada” series;
- the fourth of 12 $5 Fine silver coins from the Zodiac series, this for April;
- a $10 Fine silver coin, “Congratulations on Your Graduation,” which is designed by artist Jori van der Linde and features a special full-colour certificate with space to add a personalized message for a new graduate;
- a $20 Fine silver coin, “Ladybug,” which is the third issue from the “Bejeweled Bugs” series featuring an insect-shaped jewellery piece mounted on a one-ounce silver coin;
- a $20 Fine silver coin, “Mother Earth: Our Home,” which is designed by artist Jamie Desrochers featuring an Earth made of recycled borosilicate glass on the reverse and blacklight-activated technology on the surrounding Milky Way;
- the fourth of six $50 Fine silver coins from the “Real Shapes” series, this featuring the beaver in selective 24-karat gold plating on the reverse;
- a $50 Fine silver diamond-shaped coin, “Forevermark Diamond,” which is the same shape and patented cut (square) as the 0.2-carat Forevermark “Black Label Square” diamond embedded on one of the coin’s engraved facets; and
- a $125 Fine silver coin, “75th Anniversary of UNESCO,” which honours the history uncovered at Canada’s L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, the first UNESCO World Heritage Site, designated in 1978.
SET & COLLECTION
Rounding out the March catalogue is a three-coin set and special wrap roll collection.
The “Connecting Canada” set features Canada and its vast coastline across three special-edition 25-cent coins, complete with GPS coordinates.
“All designs include the engraved latitude and longitude coordinates for points on Canada’s Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic coasts,” adds the Mint’s promotional materials.
The maple leaf’s red colour has also been added to parts of each coin, which – when viewed as one design – connect the country from coast to coast.
Each of the three coins has a weight of 4.4 grams and a diameter of 23.88 millimetres, and there’s a mintage of 50,000 sets.
Lastly, the special wrap roll collection, “First Strikes,” features the first 2020-dated circulation coins struck at the Mint’s Winnipeg facility. Each of the five rolls of first strikes is wrapped in premium paper bearing an illustration of the reverse design and sealed with a holographic label. They’re all enclosed together in a presentation case.
The coins’ specifications are the same as their circulation counterparts, and there’s a mintage of 5,000 sets.
For more information, visit mint.ca.