As a newly arrived family of giant pandas became the star attraction of the Calgary Zoo, the Royal Canadian Mint launched an $8 Fine silver collector coin celebrating the beloved animal and long-standing symbol of friendship in Chinese culture.
The colourful coin—featuring an adorable panda in coloured relief with a “lucky” $8 face value—was unveiled today at the Calgary Zoo’s new Panda Passage exhibit. Panda adults Er Shun and Da Mao were originally loaned to the Toronto Zoo in 2013 as part of a 10-year agreement between Canada and China. Twin cubs Jia Panpan (Canadian Hope) and Jia Yueyue (Canadian Joy) were born in Toronto during the first half of their decade-long visit.
“The Mint is delighted to celebrate the irresistible giant pandas who will call Calgary home for the next five years,” said Sandra Hanington, outgoing Mint president and CEO, who recently announced her plans to step down as the leader of the Crown corporation after only three years of a five-year term.
“This is a great opportunity to showcase precious wildlife while creating a coin which, like Calgary’s newly-adopted giant panda family, is a genuine gift of friendship.”
The reverse of the coin features a photo of a seated giant panda rendered in vibrant colour over a three-dimensional relief. To its left are the engraved words “Friendship,” “Amitié” and the Mandarin translation of the word. The elements stand out against the paper-line texture of a specimen finish. In keeping with Chinese tradition, an $8 denomination was chosen for good luck.
The coin is enclosed in a folder-style package that displays this collectible as a miniature work of art.
For more information, visit mint.ca.