There are 17 new issues in the Royal Canadian Mint’s March numismatic catalogue, which was launched today.
Among the March releases is a $3 Fine silver coin, “Sugar Moon,” from the Thirteen Teachings From Grandmother Moon series. Sugar Moon is said to offer maple sap, which is a key medicine in Anishinaabe tradition. It’s the third teaching from Grandmother Moon, who makes 13 appearances throughout the year to watch over Mother Earth’s children and light their paths with gentle wisdom.
March is an important time of cleansing and renewal after a long winter, and drinking sap from the maple tree is believed to balance our blood and physically heal us; however, sugar moon also relates to the spiritual health of our lives. Do we honour and respect all our relations—the people, animals, rocks, stars and trees? Do our daily actions contribute to the well-being of everything that surrounds us? As we drink maple sap, we are reminded that all creation nurtures and sustains us.
On the reverse of the newly issued $3 coin, Algonquin artist Frank Polson created a captivating image of a full moon filling the sky as it sits low on the horizon behind a leafless tree. To the left, a woman sits at the foot of a maple tree while maple sap drips from a wooden spout into a basket below. Two more birchbark baskets are at the ready. The use of bold lines and insertion of vivid colour within black areas is a signature design element in woodland art.
This coin has a weight of 7.96 grams, a diameter of 27 mm and a 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 April—diamond.
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 April 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.
An $8 Fine silver coin, “Chinese Blessings,” celebrates one’s hopes for the year ahead. The ages-old tradition of hanging “Fai Chun” is a quintessential part of preparations for the Chinese New Year. This rectangular coin recreates the auspicious symbols, colours and images of the banners that adorn doors as an invitation for luck and fortune to enter—and remain the whole year through.
Like a door adorned with traditional Fai Chun paper decorations, the reverse design by Canadian artist Aries Cheung offers a festive greeting and a wish for luck and fortune throughout the year. Two vertical Chiuntao banners and the diamond-shaped Doufang at the centre are brought to life by a deep red colour application and the use of translucent colour, which mimics the look of traditional gold foil. Together, these rich colours magnify the symbolic meaning of the calligraphic characters for “good wishes” (right), “auspiciousness” (left) and “good luck” or “fortune” (centre). This powerful blessing is further enhanced by various symbolic images, including a jade “ru yi” (right); an “auspicious” tangerine (left); and a repeating motif of a stylized bat or fú, which is homophonous with the word it surrounds.
This coin has a weight of 47.25 grams, a diameter of 49.8 mm by 28.6 mm and a mintage of 5,888 pieces.
STAR TREK: VOYAGER
A $10 Fine silver coin, “Star Trek: Voyager,” is also among the Mint’s March releases.
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.” This glow-in-the-dark coin is a collectible tribute to one of the most famous vessels in Starfleet history: the titular vessel of the television series Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001).
The reverse features vibrant colour that captures the imaginative spirit behind Star Trek: Voyager and the entire Star Trek universe. The underside view of U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656 highlights the more pointed shape of its saucer hull and the unusual angle of its warp nacelles in flight. While a multi-coloured, glow-in-the-dark nebula and a ringed planet provide an otherworldly backdrop, a blue glow draws the eyes towards the starship’s navigational deflector; its rounded shape is similar to the two that have been incorporated in the 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.
A $10 Fine silver coin, “The Common Loon: Beauty and Grace,” celebrates the common loon (Gavia immer), which is synonymous with summer evenings spent by the lake, where its wavering call embodies the independent spirit of the Canadian wilderness.
The much-celebrated Canadian icon strikes a pre-flight pose on the reverse, where a mix of vibrant colour and engraving capture the natural beauty of the loon in its habitat. By Canadian artist Arnold Nogy, the reverse presents a portrait of a common loon on a Canadian lake, where selective colour adds vibrancy to the aquatic plants. Spreading its wings, the loon rises high up on the surface of the water with neck outstretched, which provides an unfettered view of its strikingly patterned plumage. As the loon prepares to take flight, the engraved ripples mimic the lake’s reflective surface on a sunny summer day.
This coin has a weight of 23.17 grams, a diameter of 36.07 mm and a mintage of 7,500 pieces.
The first of a three-coin series dubbed “Geometric Fauna,” the $20 Fine silver coin “Grey Wolves” celebrates a timeless symbol of strength, agility and resilience in the wild, the grey wolf. The geometric art-themed series combines two distinctive art styles (low poly art and realism) to produce one contemporary design that conveys extraordinary depth and motion.
Designed by Canadian artist Claude Thivierge, the reverse fuses the two art styles for a modern take on a classic wilderness icon. On this misty, moonlit night, Canis lupus moves swiftly and silently down a rocky outcrop in Canada’s boreal forest. Bold colour over the engraved relief brings the landscape to life through a wealth of textural details that add a realistic touch to this multi-layered design. The coin’s silver surface is visible within the two engraved wolves, which are comprised of multiple polygon shapes that define the low poly art style. In spite of the straight lines and pointed edges, each shape is carefully positioned to convey the natural curves of the grey wolf’s familiar outline while various finishing techniques mimic the effect of light and shadows. One wolf’s instinctive leap suddenly creates the illusion of movement, transformation and the “shattering” of boundaries—those of its geometric form, and the reverse image itself—as its depiction artfully transitions.
This coin has a weight of 31.83 grams, a 40-mm diameter and a mintage of 6,000 pieces.
SML 30th ANNIVERSARY
A $20 Fine silver coin, “30th Anniversary of the SML,” marks the 30th anniversary of the Mint’s iconic Silver Maple Leaf bullion coin. This very special numismatic release includes a Mint-first—incuse-struck images on both sides of the coin.
The reverse features Walter Ott’s iconic maple leaf design from the original Silver Maple Leaf bullion coin release in 1988. The realistic sugar maple leaf is incuse-struck into the surface of the coin. The reverse features the words “CANADA” and “FINE SILVER 1OZ ARGENT PUR” as well as the purity standard of “9999”. The obverse features an incuse-struck effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt. The coin also bears commemorative edge lettering with the number “30” flanked on both sides by a maple leaf.
This coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a 38-mm diameter and a mintage of 6,500 pieces.
A $20 Fine silver coin, “Marrella,” from the ongoing Ancient Canada series celebrates the “lace crab,” Marrella splendens and its curving spines. The Cambrian arthropod is the most abundant species found in Canada’s fossil-rich Burgess Shale, where hundreds of thousands of diverse specimens provide us with a window to ancient life.
The reverse design is based on fossils curated at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alta., and has been reviewed for scientific accuracy by palaeontologists at the Museum. It features a near life-sized reproduction of Marrella splendens, a marine arthropod from the Middle Cambrian period (505 million years ago), whose curving spines and wedge-shaped head are among its most distinguishing features. A carefully sculpted rock texture fills the field and surrounds the precision-engraved fossils, resulting in a more true-to-life rendering of the Marrella specimen recovered from the Burgess Shale Formation. While the rimless coin’s unique shape is the product of an old coin-making technique, the antiqued look of a patina finish adds to the design’s “ancient” look and feel, which extends to the prehistoric-looking font on the reverse and obverse.
Because the coin’s irregular shape won’t fit within a typical capsule, the Mint packages this piece in a ready-to-display floating frame measuring 80 mm by 80 mm by 34 mm. The coin’s antique finish is sealed in lacquer to minimize the appearance of fingerprints.
This coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, an approximate diameter of 38 mm and a mintage of 5,500 pieces.
The third and final issue of the Little Creatures series is the $20 Fine silver coin “Caterpillar,” which features a Murano glass monarch caterpillar. Caterpillars are an essential part of the natural world. Without them, there can be no butterflies; and without milkweed plants, there can be no monarchs. They are the only plants monarch larvae feed upon.
This coin’s reverse design is punctuated by the Murano glass figure that was handcrafted by master glassmakers Bernardino and Giorgio Vio, in Murano, Italy; its yellow, black and white stripes are the tell-tale sign it is a monarch larva. The glass monarch caterpillar is poised on the leaf of a swamp milkweed plant designed by Canadian artist Maurice Gervais that has been selectively coloured to showcase the plant’s long leaves and its clusters of pink flowers to best effect.
This coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a 38-mm diameter and a mintage of 5,000 pieces.
The second coin in the three-coin Majestic Wildlife series, “Wandering White-Tailed Deer,” is a $20 Fine silver piece.
A white-tailed deer stands tall and alert between field and forest in this wildlife portrait by Canadian artist Maurade Baynton. Foliage in a nearby bush has turned to vibrant shades of red and gold, and subtle grey tones on the buck’s muscular body reveal that its coat is thickening and changing colour for winter. Its antlers have been rubbed clean of their velvet for the annual rut—yet another breathtaking aspect of this glorious season of transition.
This coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a 38-mm diameter and a mintage of 6,000 pieces.
The third instalment of the “Nocturnal by Nature” series is the $20 Fine silver coin “The Howling Wolf.” Swiftly travelling across Canada’s wild landscapes, the wolf (Canis lupus) makes its presence known when it releases its unmistakable howl into the night.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Claude Thivierge travels deep into one of Canada’s forests to catch a glimpse of a species whose haunting cry defines the call of the wild. Black rhodium plating sets the tone for a nighttime encounter in a clearing, where, viewed in three-quarter profile, Canis lupus raises its head to the sky and releases its howl into the winter night. Behind the wolf, the coin’s polished silver surface is left unplated to mimic the light of the engraved full moon, which faintly illuminates the landscape below, and the wolf from behind.
This coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a 38-mm diameter and a mintage of 7,000 pieces.
A $20 pure silver coin, “Viking Voyage,” is the third and final coin of the Norse Figureheads series. In their time, the Vikings dared to do what many others would not: they sailed into open waters, beyond any sight of land, and they did so by relying on their senses, intuition and knowledge.
The reverse design by Neil Hamlin presents an artistic representation of a Viking ship at sea. An overhead view helps convey the dauntless spirit of the Norse mariners and captures the majesty of a dragon ship (dreki or drakkar) as the wind fills the striped sail. This unique perspective places extra emphasis on the elaborately carved figurehead at the prow, which gave the ship its name and was intended to ward off evil spirits. Selective colour draws the eye to the frame, which bears a Norse art-inspired motif of intertwined serpents in the Jellinge art style circa AD 1000, or in the time of Leif Eriksson’s voyage from Greenland to Vinland (Newfoundland). Also included within the frame are four runic letters that represent the cardinal points (north, east, south and west), a tribute to the seafaring nature and exploratory spirit of the Vikings.
This coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a 38-mm diameter and a mintage of 6,000 pieces.
A $20 Fine silver coin, “Royal Portrait,” is also among the Mint’s March releases. It was 70 years ago that Queen Elizabeth II, then Princess Elizabeth, took on the noble, lifelong role of motherhood.
The reverse features a reproduction of a touching Royal portrait of motherhood, one that was taken 70 years ago at Buckingham Palace. The original black-and-white photograph (by Cecil Beaton/Victoria and the Albert Museum of London) is recreated with a colour application over engraved elements, which add textural relief to the image of the Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) gazing down at her first-born son, the Prince of Wales, when he was five weeks old (December 1948).
Designed by Canadian artist Maurice Gervais, the gold-coloured border consists of maple leaves that represent the connection between Canada and the Crown. A scroll banner at the top features a stylized version of St. Edward’s Crown placed between the double dates “1948” and “2018” to commemorate a Royal birth and 70 years of the dual role of the Queen as monarch and matriarch. The reverse also includes the engraved word “CANADA.”
This coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a 38-mm diameter and a mintage of 7,500 pieces.
A $25 Fine silver coin “180th Anniversary of Canadian Baseball,” celebrates the first detailed record of a baseball game played in Canada on June 4, 1838. An open pasture, a hand-hewn “club,” and a ball made of yarn and calfskin were all that was necessary to stage a match that made sports history.
The reverse design by artist Steve Hepburn deftly combines art and technology to re-create a historic sports moment. Paired with engraved stitchwork, the coin’s curvature transforms the reverse into a baseball-shaped canvas fit for commemorating the most detailed earliest documented game played in Canada. The image provides a prime view of the action during the match, which took place on June 4, 1838, in Beachville, Ont. As seen from behind the “knocker’s stone” (home plate today), the participants from Beachville and Zorra are all in position: one team stands in the open field, ready to catch the ball; a “knocker” (batter) from the opposing team grips the “club” (bat) as he keeps his focus on the ball tossed by the “thrower” (pitcher); to the right of him, an “umpire” leans in to rule whether the ball is “fair” or “unfair.” At their feet, the denomiation “25 Dollars” is engraved in a vintage-looking font; in the arched banner above, the double commemorative dates “1838” and “2018” flank a rendering of the equipment used in that era: two clubs (crossed) and a yarn ball covered by stitched calfskin.
This coin has a weight of 30.75 grams, a 36.07-mm diameter and a mintage of 5,000 pieces.
A $200 pure gold coin, “Bighorn Sheep,” is also among the Mint’s March releases. At home in the rangelands of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the bighorn sheep is the embodiment of the rugged alpine wilderness it inhabits. The ram’s formidable curved horns endow it with dignified nobility on this .99999 pure gold coin, where its ability to ascend to seemingly impossible heights is the essence of true conquest.
The reverse design by Curtis Atwater captures the majestic nature of both a wildlife icon and its spectacular alpine habitat. The design conveys the splendour of the peaks, forest valleys and rocky slopes of the Canadian Rockies. However, the focal point is the frontal depiction of a bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis)—specifically the ram, whose distinctive horns are instantly associated with this agile species. Viewed from a slightly lower perspective, these defining features add to the muscular ram’s already imposing stature, even in the midst of such a spellbinding landscape. Also engraved on the reverse is the word “CANADA” and the year “2018”.
This coin has a weight of 31.16 grams, a 30-mm diameter and a mintage of 400 pieces.
FIVE-CENT BIG COIN
A pure silver five-cent piece has been issued as part of the Mint’s seven-coin series featuring current and historical Canadian circulation coins with selective rose gold-plating. This 99.99 per cent silver coin has a diameter of 65 mm and a metal weight of 157.6 grams.
The reverse features British artist G.E. Kruger-Gray’s iconic design featuring the profile of a beaver standing on a rock surrounded by water. The engraved beaver, log, mossy rock, water and maple leaves flanking the denomination are selectively rose gold-plated. The reverse is also engraved with the text “CANADA” the face value of “5 CENTS” and the date “2018.” The obverse features the rose gold-plated effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
There is a mintage of 1,500 pieces.
10 CENTS LEGACY
Rounding out the March numismatic catalogue is a five-coin set dubbed “Legacy of the Dime,” which offers a unique retrospective look at Canada’s 10-cent circulation coin through the years. More than twice the size of the original issue, these selectively gold-plated pieces are an enduring tribute to the five designs that have graced the diminutive-sized canvas, upon which history itself has been etched.
All five coins in this set are crafted in 99.99 per cent pure silver while selective gold plating highlights the engraved relief on both the obverse and reverse.
Reproduced as a two-ounce Fine silver coin, the exceptionally rare 1936 dot 10-cent coin features W. H. J. Blakemore’s modified version of an original design by L.C. Wyon. Topped by St. Edward’s Crown, the crossed maple bough is a fixture on all Canadian 10-cent coins issued between 1858 and 1936. A small dot beneath the tied ribbon is the identifying mark of a coin struck with the old obverse during the transition from the reign of King George V to King George VI. The obverse features the effigy of King George V by Sir E. B. Mackennal.
Also reproduced as a two-ounce Fine silver coin is the 1947 maple leaf 10-cent coin. The reverse features Emanuel Hahn’s depiction of the famous Nova Scotia schooner, Bluenose, under sail. On the obverse, the effigy of King George VI by T. H. Paget includes the Royal Title GEORGIVS VI D:G:REX ET IND:IMP, which became outdated once India gained its independence on Aug. 15, 1947. Included in this modern-day tribute is the small maple leaf that was added next to the year to denote coins struck with the old obverse while the Mint awaited new master tooling.
The one-ounce Fine silver version of the 1967 centennial 10-cent coin features the beloved reverse design by Alex Colville. Designed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Confederation, the image of a mackerel pays tribute to Canada’s coast and represents the idea of continuity. Instead of the denticles seen on the two-ounce coins, round beads encircle the reverse and obverse, which features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin.
As created by Mint engravers, the reverse of the 2001 Year of the Volunteer 10-cent coin is brought to life once more in one ounce of Fine silver. A curving legend “YEAR OF VOLUNTEERS ANNÉE DES BÉNÉVOLES” separates the side-profile view of marching mothers and the sun below, whose rays symbolize a volunteer’s enlightening effect on their community. The obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Dora de Pédery-Hunt.
The 2017 Wings of Peace is the most recent commemorative issue of the 10-cent coin. As part of the My Canada, My Inspiration collection commemorating Canada 150, it features a reverse design by Amy Choi of Calgary, Alta., and highlights Canada’s reputation as a peacekeeping nation. Instead of a traditional olive branch, the stylized dove clutches a maple leaf that stands as a symbol of hope, peace and good faith. The obverse features the Canada 150 logo and the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
The 1936 dot and 1947 maple leaf coins have a weight of 62.67 grams and a 54-mm diameter while the remaining three coins have a weight of 31.39 grams and a 38-mm diameter. There’s a mintage of 3,000 sets.
For more information, visit mint.ca.