New Issue: Canadian nature, history highlight Mint’s March catalogue

The Royal Canadian Mint has issued its March numismatic catalogue, and it’s all things Canadian in the lead up to the country’s sesquicentennial celebration this summer.

Among the highlights of the March catalogue is the 50-cent pure gold coin, “The Silver Maple Leaf,” which highlights the beautifully varied Canadian maple species.

Each maple is defined by unique characteristics and is typically identified by the shape of its foliage—especially when it comes to the deeply cut “V” sinuses of the silver maple leaf (Acer saccharinum). This leaf’s distinctive silvery white underside shimmers on the reverse of the newly issued 50-cent coin. The coin’s reverse design, by Canadian artist Margaret Best, brings together two silver maple leaves, both of which are depicted in a downward position as they often appear naturally when attached to a branch. The view of the leaf’s upper surface dominates the field; slightly curling at the tips, it bears the deeply veined pattern that produces an intricate, almost lace-like appearance. The crossover of the two stalks adds a sense of layering as the focus transitions to the second leaf, which presents its silvery underside.

$3 FINE SILVER COIN: ARIES

This $3 Fine silver Aries coin has a weight of 7.96 grams, a 27-mm diameter and a mintage of 5,500 pieces.

The 2017 Zodiac series, which features sparkling Swarovski crystal embellishments within a coloured rendition of the zodiac, continues this month with the $3 Fine silver Aries coin.

The coin’s reverse design, by Pandora Young, features a combination of colour and engraving that offers an artistic rendition of the zodiac. Like the stars and planets in the sky, a clear Swarovski crystal embellishment is in alignment with the traditional glyph of ram’s horns, which is the zodiac symbol for Aries (March 21-April 20). At the centre is a larger Swarovski crystal embellishment. Its red colour also represents those born under the Fire sign known for courage, confidence, enthusiasm and determination.

$8 FINE SILVER COIN: LION DANCE

The Spring Festival – also known as Chun-jie – is the most important celebration in Chinese culture. It’s a critical time of rebirth in which the whole community comes together to seek the blessings of heaven for a prosperous and harmonious year, a request that is symbolically carried out by the majestic lion.

The reverse design of the $8 Fine silver coin, “Lion Dance,” was designed by Canadian artist Simon Ng. It features a traditional Chinese lion with one of the two dancers visible as he holds up the lion’s head. The dancer’s curved body, the position of his feet, and the lion’s bowed head convey a sense of movement while the lanterns and streamers enhance the festive tone of the image.

$10 FINE SILVER

AURORA BOREALIS AT MCINTYRE CREEK

This $10 Fine silver coin, ‘Aurora Borealis at McIntyre Creek,’ has a weight of 15.87 grams, a 34-mm diameter and a mintage of 25,000 pieces.

The ninth coin of the Mint’s Celebrating Canada’s 150th series travels north of the 60th parallel to offer a small glimpse of Yukon’s spectacular natural beauty.

Based on a photograph taken by Canadian wilderness photographer Peter Mather, the reverse of the “Aurora Borealis at McIntyre Creek” coin features vibrant colour over the detailed engraved image of nature’s most colourful light display in Yukon. Heavy snow lines the edges of McIntyre Creek in Whitehorse, Yukon, where the towering conifers are reflected in the still waters below. The reverse also features the engraved word “CANADA” and the dates “1867-2017” to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

BIRD AMONG NATURE: CHICKADEE

This $10 Fine silver coin, ‘Bird Among Nature: Chickadee,’ has a weight of 15.87 grams, a 34-mm diameter and a mintage of 15,000 pieces.

Flittering from branch to branch, the black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) is an enchanting sight at backyard feeders and in woodlands across much of Canada. This friendly and inquisitive little songbird is one of our beloved year-round companions. It’s one of the many species of birds that breed in Canada, and it’s showcased in this unique five-coin “Bird Among Nature’s Colour” series.

The reverse design of the Chickadee coin, by Canadian artist Jean-Charles Daumas, uses the selective application of colour to recreate the soft pink and white hues of the magnolia (Magnoliaceae) blossoms, which evoke a warm, sunny day in May.

THE SUGAR SHACK

For young and old, the sugar shack experience is the earliest rite of spring in eastern and central Canada, and is embedded in our nation’s cultural fabric. This old-time ambiance is captured on the colourful reverse of the $10 Fine silver coin, “The Sugar Shack.”

This $10 Fine silver coin, ‘The Sugar Shack,’ has a weight of 15.87 grams, a 34-mm diameter, and a mintage of 15,000 pieces.

The coin’s reverse design, by Canadian artist Tony Bianco, captures the wonder of a quintessentially Canadian tradition. The engraved scene is set in early spring, when the temperatures slowly climb during the day but fall again after sunset. The application of vibrant colour on the coin adds several focal points along the leafless landscape, which is otherwise dominated by silver and white. A sleigh pulled by a team of horses adds a timeless quality to the setting. A bright red sugarhouse is also nestled in the maple grove, where the sap is boiled to produce pure maple syrup. In the foreground, there’s the bright winter clothing of a young child, who wondrously peers into a bucket and curiously studies the collected sap during their visit to the sugar shack.

$20 FINE SILVER

This $20 Fine silver coin, ‘Consolidated Canso,’ has a weight of 31.83 grams, a 40-mm diameter, and a mintage of 7,500 pieces.

CONSOLIDATED CANSO

The flying boats of the Second World War were prized for their long-range flight capabilities, but it was an amphibious version of the Consolidated PBY Catalina seaplane that caught the eye of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Re-designated as the Consolidated Canso and manufactured here in Canada, this legendary anti-submarine patrol bomber is brought to life once more on this third and final coin of the Aircraft of the Second World War series.

The reverse design, by Canadian artist David Oram, features an engraved depiction of the amphibious Consolidated Canso in action in the Atlantic theatre of war. Selective colour re-creates the camouflage colours and markings of RCAF No. 162 Squadron, specifically the white-grey fuselage, as well as the blue and green camouflage pattern along the upper wing and tail surfaces. The obverse features the effigy of King George VI by T. H. Paget.

ORNITHOMIMUS

Millions of years ago, the Canadian landscape was teeming with pre-historic species whose remains lie in the rocks that bridge our era with theirs. Through unique striking techniques and an antique finish, this splash-struck $20 Fine silver coin, “Ancient Canada: Ornithomimus,” takes a closer look at life that preceded us: its depiction of the fossilized remains of Ornithomimus is shown as it was found in rocks of the Alberta badlands.

This $20 Fine silver coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a roughly 38-mm diameter, and a mintage of 5,500 pieces.

The reverse design is based on fossil specimen TMP 1995.110.1 curated at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alta. The rimless coin’s unusual contour is the product of an old coin-making technique that allows the silver to spill out, which produces an irregular shape reminiscent of an ancient Roman coin. In contrast, cutting-edge technology and finishing techniques add a smooth appearance to the engraved fossils of the feathered dinosaur Ornithomimus, which shines bright in comparison to the textured appearance of the “sandstone” encasing throughout the reverse. The entire design has an unmistakably ancient look and feel, thanks to a patina finish that gives the coin its aged look, coupled with the prehistoric-looking font used on both the reverse and obverse.

Because of its irregular shape, the coin is packaged in a ready-to-display floating frame that measures 80 mm by 80 mm by 34 mm.

This $20 Fine silver coin, ‘Canadiana Kaleidoscope: Maple Leaf,’ has a weight of 31.85 grams, a 60-mm diameter, and a mintage of 7,500 pieces.

CANADIANA KALEIDOSCOPE: MAPLE LEAF

Tumbled glass and coloured shapes create amazing patterns inside a kaleidoscope, and the new Canadiana Kaleidoscope series explores the incredible designs that can be achieved when great Canadian icons become the focus of the kaleidoscope’s reflective magic.

Canadian artist Calder Moore has created a full-sized kaleidoscope design for large surface of the $20 Fine silver coin, “Canadiana Kaleidoscope: Maple Leaf.” Countless maple leaves in myriad sizes come together in a complex pattern. Fiery leaves lead the eye towards the centre while countless more fill the still-green canopy above. Rendered with translucent colour, it has the added effect of light streaming through the design.

LITTLE CREATURES: DOGBANE BEETLE

Nature is a source of endless fascination, and the $20 Fine silver coloured coin, “Little Creatures: Dogbane Beetle,” celebrates one of its tiniest creations with a Murano glass beetle poised on a coloured design of a dogbane plant.

Murano glass is famous for its bright, fluid colours, and this coin’s dogbane beetle (Chrysochusauratus) sparkles and shines with eye-catching iridescence.

This $20 Fine silver coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a 38-mm diameter and a mintage of 8,500 pieces.

The coin’s reverse design is punctuated by a shimmering Venetian glass beetle that was handcrafted by master glassmaker Giuliano Donaggio in Murano, Italy. The glass beetle is poised on a coloured design, by Canadian artist Maurice Gervais, that features the leaves and pink, bell-shaped flowers of the dogbane plant, one of the beetle’s preferred food sources.

THE BATTLE OF DIEPPE

They came by sea and by air on Aug. 19, 1942. Nearly 5,000 Canadians were at the forefront of “Operation Jubilee” when Allied forces launched a large-scale assault on the occupied French port of Dieppe. It was to be Canada’s first army offensive of the European campaign; however, against a well-fortified enemy, Canada suffered its heaviest single-day losses of the Second World War.

The $20 Fine silver coin, “The Battle of Dieppe,” honours the valorous spirit of the Canadians who fought at Dieppe, and their selfless acts of heroism against all odds.

This $20 Fine silver coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a 38-mm diameter and a mintage of 7,500 pieces.

The reverse design, by Canadian artist Alan Daniel, uses a first-person perspective to bring the viewer into the midst of the action on the fateful morning of Aug. 19, 1942. Disembarking from the landing craft, the soldiers of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry rush onto the main beach area (dubbed “White Beach”) during the frontal assault on the occupied French town of Dieppe. In the engraved background is the well-fortified casino—this becomes a focal point for the Canadians, who must struggle up the rocky beach and pass two lines of razor wire while under relentless enemy fire. In the distant sky, the bombers and fighter planes of the Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force are faintly seen as they engage enemy aircraft to support the ground assault. The intensity of the fight and the barrage of fire are visible in the explosions along the seawall, and in the tense expression on the face of the soldier in the foreground. Clutching his Lee Enfield rifle in one hand, this brave Canadian rushes into action but briefly turns his head towards the viewer, urging us to press forward and join the fray. The obverse features the effigy of King George VI by T. H. Paget.

NOCTURNAL BY NATURE: BARN OWL

Canada is home to a wide range of nocturnal animals, including the barn owl (Tyto alba), whose acute senses and secretive ways make it one of nature’s most efficient night-time hunters. The $20 Fine silver coin, “Nocturnal By Nature: Barn Owl,” captures all of the majesty and beauty of this species in the night sky, as re-created through the innovative use of black rhodium plating.

This $20 Fine silver coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a 38-mm diameter and a mintage of 7,000 pieces.

The reverse design, by Canadian artist Jamie Desrochers, features a contemporary stylized depiction of a barn owl descending upon its prey, as viewed from the ground looking up at the night sky. In the background, the creative use of black rhodium plating serves as a backdrop for this night-time scene; detailed engraving re-creates the cratered surface of the full moon, which is brought to life through the use of bold frosting peering through the dark plating. The coin’s silver surface also lends itself to evoking the luminous quality of moonlight on the engraved owl in the foreground, which seemingly shines brighter against the dark image field. Flying on outstretched wings, the owl conveys its stealthy hunting prowess through its fixed stare, as it seems to close in on the viewer.

$100 FINE SILVER

This $100 Fine silver coin has a weight of 311.54 grams, a 76.25-mm diameter and a mintage of 750 pieces.

VIMY RIDGE

Vimy ranks among Canada’s most defining moments.

For the first time in history, the four divisions of the Canadian Corps came together and fought side-by-side as one, giving way to a surging sense of national identity on the battlefield and at home.

The $100 Fine silver coin commemorates the centennial of a pivotal chapter in Canada’s history, the Battle of Vimy Ridge, through this reproduction of a battle painting by Canada’s first official war artist. The reverse features a highly detailed, magnificently engraved recreation of the large-sized oil painting The Taking of Vimy Ridge, Easter Monday, 1917. The coin’s large, 76-mm diameter is the perfect canvas for such a detailed reproduction of this unforgettable work by Canada’s first official war artist, Richard Jack. By focusing on a Canadian battery, the design captures the intensity of the heavy shelling directed towards enemy positions on Vimy Ridge, which forms the raised horizon in the background. Engraved overhead is the word “CANADA” above the commemorative dates “1917-2017” while the face value “100 DOLLARS” is engraved beneath the soldiers’ feet. The obverse features the effigy of King George V by Sir Edward B. MacKennal, as used on Canadian coins in the First World War period.

2017 PROOF SILVER DOLLAR

The 2017 Proof silver dollar reverse design is by Canadian artist Rebecca Yanovskaya and features a contemporary take on a classic female allegory that personifies Canada on its 150th anniversary. Every element in this complex design represents a different political, historic, geographic and social aspect—it represents our story as a nation, all conveyed by the intricate engraving and careful use of multiple finishes.

In the foreground, Canada rises up strong, majestic and bold; she bears a youthful appearance, given Canada’s status as a relatively young nation. Canada is the picture of grace and a vision of strength in her protective armour; and yet, she carries no weapon—a symbolic nod to Canada’s historic peacekeeping role, and our efforts to bring peace throughout the world. Her brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of poppies, much as the lyrics to O Canada affirm in French. Facing out as though looking to the future, Canada’s gaze is calm and steady while her arms are open wide, ready to embrace what challenges and triumphs lie ahead. In one hand is a symbolic representation of the British North America Act, which represents the birth of the Dominion of Canada 150 years ago; in the other hand is a single feather that pays tribute to those who helped forge our nation’s path: the First Nations peoples and the Fathers of Confederation. A fur cape is a further reminder of First Nations traditions, as well as the importance of the fur trade in Canada’s early history.

Thirteen rays of light—one for each province and territory—shine down upon Canada, while the waves at her feet represent the oceans that surround us. The Canadian banners link air, land and sea while in the background, Mount Logan (Canada’s tallest peak) represents the diversity of the land, and alludes to the ability of Canadians to “rise” to the challenges we face—yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The 2017 Proof silver dollar has a weight of 23.17 grams, a 36.07-mm diameter and a mintage of 30,000 pieces.

COLLECTIONS

CANADA 150 CIRCULATION COLLECTION

Confederation is celebrating 150 years this year—a historic anniversary that will shine forever in this unique circulation collection that celebrates Canada’s past, present and future with two sets of 2017 circulation coins.

The Canada 150 circulation set includes all five winning coin designs for 2017 including the coloured versions of the 25-cent coin as well as the $2 coin, which glows in the dark (a world first). The set is packaged in a maple leaf presentation card that includes a support flap to display the coins.

2017 FINE SILVER PROOF SET: 150th ANNIVERSARY OF CANADIAN CONFEDERATION

The 2017 Fine Silver Proof Set coins will not enter circulation. Each set includes a Proof dollar struck in pure silver with selective gold plating; a $2 coin struck in pure silver with selective gold plating; a $1 coin struck in pure silver with selective gold plating; and 50-, 25-, 10- and five-cent coins all struck in pure silver.

Strong, wise and hopeful, Canada embodies the ideals and aspirations of a nation that has proudly come into its own since its creation in 1867.

MY CANADA, MY INSPIRATION COLLECTOR CARD

The My Canada, My Inspiration Collector Card includes all five winning coin designs for 2017, including the 25-cent and $2 coins in colour.

The My Canada, My Inspiration 2017 coin collection celebrates everything it means to be Canadian —pocket change as diverse as our country and designed by Canadians for Canadians exclusively for Canada’s 150th anniversary year.

These specially designed coins reflect a deep connection to this nation’s history and how they touch the lives of every person who lives here. Each set includes all five winning coin designs for 2017, including the 25-cent and $2 coins in colour.

2017 UNCIRCULATED SET

Lastly, the 2017 uncirculated set features the unique coins issued as part of the My Canada, My Inspiration contest as well as the 50-cent piece which illustrates Heritage Canada’s Canada 150 logo. During production, every coin was carefully hand-selected to ensure this set includes the best samples of their kind—they’re all here in mint condition, including two coloured versions.

For more information, visit mint.ca.

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