The Royal Canadian Mint released 19 new issues today to begin another year in numismatics.
Among the new issues is a 13-piece series of $3 Fine silver coins dubbed “Grandmother Moon,” which will include 13 original woodland designs throughout 2018.
The first coin is entitled “The Thirteen Teachings from Grandmother Moon: Spirit Moon.” It highlights the “new teaching” brought by each moon and illustrates how “Spirit Moon” offers an opportunity to honour the stillness and reflect upon our place within creation. Our thoughts turn to the eagle, the messenger that carries our prayers to the creator. As our spirituality grows, so does our respect for this powerful bird. Those who have earned the honour may wear a headdress as they pray, and we give thanks whenever the eagle shows itself.
Algonquin artist Frank Polson created an image of a full moon filling the sky as it sits low on the horizon behind a leafless tree. To the left, a man wears an eagle headdress as he honours the majestic messenger and calls upon it to carry his prayers to the creator. The use of bold lines and 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.
Canada’s Indigenous people view every aspect of nature as a living relation that plays an active role in their lives. Although variations do exist due to geography and climate, Grandmother Moon is a central figure: her kind and gentle ways are always a common thread.
For the Anishnabe people, the woodland cultures that extend from the eastern seaboard to the Great Lakes, and the headwaters of the Mackenzie River, Grandmother Moon is ever-present, making 13 appearances throughout the year as she watches over Mother Earth’s children and lights up their paths. Every moon brings a new teaching that is illustrated in each coin design to foster understanding and respect for all of Earth’s creatures.
Another new issue is the $8 Fine silver coin, “Dragon Luck.”
For thousands of years, the legendary dragon has been an integral part of Asian cultures. Unlike the fire-breathing villains of the West, Asian dragons are friendly and benevolent. They are powerful beings that bring life-giving rain to crops during Chinese New Year, the most important celebration in Chinese culture. Their noble strength also shines during dragon boat races, as paddlers propel their boats forward to the beat of drums. Wherever Chinese communities are found throughout the world, the benevolent dragon is sure to follow, bringing its ancient cultural celebrations to cities and towns across Canada.
Life is full of promise under the positive influence of this commanding dragon portrait by Canadian artist Simon Ng, who placed the Chinese character for good fortune on the right. The dragon’s face dominates the design, its snake-like body flows along the lower edge and beyond the field of the coin.
This coin has a weight of 7.96 grams, a diameter of 27 mm and a mintage of 20,000 pieces.
A $20 Fine silver coin dubbed “Ancient Canada: Gorgosaurus” highlights a faster relative of
Tyrannosaurus rex, the carnivorous Gorgosaurus, who is well represented among the tyrannosaurid fossils of Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park.
The Mint’s Ancient Canada series of antiqued, splash-struck coins continues its exploration of Canada’s prehistoric past with an illustrated rendering of the most complete Gorgosaurus skeleton ever recovered.
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. Reproduced on a smaller scale, the articulated skeleton of a juvenile Gorgosaurus libratus fills most of the reverse; it is depicted in a classic death pose, with legs folded beneath the torso and the neck bent back towards the tail while the jaw is lined with a fearsome set of sharp teeth.
The rimless coin’s unusual contour is the result of an old coin-minting technique, which allows the fine silver to “spill” out and form an irregular shape reminiscent of an ancient Roman coin. The patina finish and a prehistoric-looking font further add to the coin’s antique appearance. The obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
The coin is packaged in a ready-to-display floating frame measuring 80 mm by 80 mm by 34 mm. The coin itself has a weight of 31.39 grams, a diameter of about 38 mm and a mintage of 5,500 pieces.
GUIDING THE WAY
Another new issue is the $20 Fine silver coin, “Canada’s Iconic Inukshuk: Guiding the Way,” which celebrates the inukshuk, whose open arms makes it a beautiful representation of Canada’s northern spirit. This reverse gold-plated coin celebrates a revered cultural icon that carries special meaning for the Inuit, and is cherished by all Canadians coast to coast to coast.
The reverse design by Tony Bianco captures both the practical and spiritual essence of a symbol of “the True North, strong and free.” Reverse gold plating fills the field while engraving recreates the rocky northern landscape. At the centre, an Inuit stone marker rises up from a mound; the silver surface of the coin adds extra shine to this human-like landmark, which carries special significance as a communication tool and a hunting and navigational aid for the Inuit. Built from stacked stones of different sizes, this inukshuk stands like the guardian of its northern lands, its open arms pointing the way to the north as the stylized aurora borealis dances overhead.
The coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a diameter of 38 mm and a mintage of 5,000 pieces.
A $20 pure silver coin entitled “Norse Figureheads: Northern Fury” is also among the January releases. From about 800 AD to 1050 AD, they were the masters of the seas whose voyages defined trade, discovery and conquest in the Viking Age; their seafaring abilities led them to Canada’s eastern shore. Step back in time with a three-coin series that re-imagines the elaborate figureheads at the prow of legendary Viking longships, which embodied Norse craftsmanship and maritime supremacy in their time.
The reverse design by Patrick Belanger presents an artistic rendering of the dragon-headed longship (drakkar), which was regarded as a symbol of Viking power and strength. The background features a precisely engraved depiction of the wooden vessel in open waters, where the wind fills its square sail and propels it forward during a long-distance journey. A troop carrier fit for rulers and chieftains, this ornate longship is equipped with shields while its curved bow rises up towards a dragonhead prow ornament, whose purpose was to ward off evil spirits and sea monsters. Selective colour over engraving emphasizes the elaborate nature of the carved figurehead in the foreground, which offers a magnified view of this feature that gave the Norse vessel its name and added to the ship’s imposing appearance. The side view of the figurehead overlaps a green-coloured frame inspired by Norse art elements, including traditional knot work with an integrated gripping beast motif that also adorns the Norse figurehead. The obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
The coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a diameter of 38 mm and a mintage of 6,000 pieces.
Another new issue is the $25 Fine silver piedfort, “Timeless Icons: Caribou,” which celebrates two defining images of Canada—the caribou and the maple leaf. One is a national icon and a symbol of Canada’s North while the other predates the flag as an emblem of this land, its people, and our hope for the future.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Pierre Leduc pays tribute to Canada’s evolving history through the two foremost national icons. A transition marks the centre of the field, with classic depictions on the left to represent the nation’s past, and more contemporary versions on the right to represent both the present and beyond. The caribou’s back half is texturally detailed while the front portion transitions into a stylized silhouette that offers a more modern take on this Canadian icon. Behind it is the iconic maple leaf, whose serrated edges and deeply veined lobes are fixtures throughout the design. The left features a more natural and life-like appearance that evokes the reverse of the beloved Silver Maple Leaf coin while the right portion places a strong emphasis on symmetry and conveys a sense of strength. Also featured on the reverse are the engraved word “CANADA”, the face value “25 DOLLARS” and the year “2018.” The obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
The coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a diameter of 34 mm and a mintage of 7,500 pieces.
A $30 Fine silver coin, “Arctic Animals and Northern Lights: Polar Bear” was also issued this January.
Canadian artist Trevor Tennant has created an immersive design that takes the viewer within feet of a polar bear navigating the sea ice. The subtleties in the bear’s thick coat are captured alongside the warm glow of the setting sun that fills the Arctic sky and mirror-like openings in the sea ice. When the coin is exposed to black light, a different scene appears. Day turns to night as the sun sets behind the horizon, and northern lights fill the sky with a ribbon of glowing red, yellow and green.
This coin has a weight of 62.69 grams, a diameter of 50 mm and a mintage of 4,000 pieces.
BIRTH OF TECUMSEH
Another new issue is the $100 14-karat gold coin, “250th Anniversary of the Birth of Tecumseh.”
Fuelled by a desire to protect his homeland, Tecumseh (1768-1813) is remembered as one of the great military heroes of the War of 1812. On the 250th anniversary of his birth, this 14-karat gold coin is a celebration of the life and legacy of this legendary Shawnee war leader, whose beliefs, triumphs and sacrifice are woven into the complex fabric of this nation’s history.
On the reverse, artist Bonnie Ross has drawn from various visual and written sources to present an ideal portrait of the legendary Shawnee war leader. Presented in three-quarter profile, Tecumseh is depicted in his traditional Shawnee clothing (as described by one of Sir Isaac Brock’s men) with the King George III medal worn around his neck. Behind the sculpted bust, an engraved map fills the field. This illustrated representation of Upper Canada circa 1813 highlights Tecumseh’s key role as a military ally during the War of 1812, but the area above his right shoulder has added significance—it includes the sites of several major conflicts involving Tecumseh, including the Battle of the Thames where he was slain in 1813. The reverse includes the name “Tecumseh” and the commemorative dates “1768-2018” in a stylistic 1812 typography, along with the engraved word “CANADA” and the face value “100 DOLLARS”. The obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
The coin has a weight of 12 grams, a diameter of 27 mm and a mintage of 1,500 coins.
A $200 pure gold coin, “Canadian Coastal Symbols: The Pacific” was also part of the Mint’s January releases.
This new series takes you to the stunning coasts that envelope Canada on the west and the east, and across its northern extremes. Water shapes the land by smoothing rock and cutting deep crevasses, and in the same way, each coin in this series has been polished and engraved to offer a woodcut design featuring iconic elements that make each of Canada’s coasts unique, beginning with the orca, bald eagle, mountains and trees that define the Pacific Coast.
Canadian artist Cathy Bursey-Sabourin has created an original woodcut design of iconic elements that define Canada’s Pacific Coast—an orca and bald eagle, with the rainforest and mountains in the background. The orca has just surfaced to take a breath of air, its back and large dorsal fin still visible above the water. To its left, an eagle descends towards the water, its claws outstretched and ready to grab a fish just below the surface. The orca’s fin and the eagle’s wings rise upwards, echoing the towering trees and mountains behind them, and the design flows from left to right, like waves that roll in from the Pacific Ocean and crash onto Canada’s western shores.
The coin has a weight of 31.36 grams, a diameter of 30 mm and a mintage of only 400 pieces.
Another new issue is the $200 pure gold coin, “Early Canadian History: First Nations.”
The story of Canada spans millennia, and this coin takes you back in time to First Peoples that have made Canada the amazing place it is today. The Algonquian people were one of countless communities that existed in North America long before the Europeans arrived. These Indigenous people lived in perfect harmony with nature, moving in rhythm with the seasons to access new food sources and to find refuge from the treacherous weather that would settle over the Great Lakes in winter.
Canadian artist Alan Daniel has created a visual narrative of an Algonquian hunter returning to his winter camp with a rabbit and an otter. His community greets him with enthusiasm as these animals will provide precious food and materials to make clothing and tools, some of which they will be able to trade with other indigenous peoples the following spring. If game became scarce, the community could easily re-locate to new hunting grounds by dismantling their wigwams and rolling the birch bark covering for easy transport. Also incorporated into this design are two depictions of daily Algonquian life—two men ice fishing, and a woman preparing an animal hide.
The coin has a weight of 15.43 grams, a diameter of 29 mm and a mintage of 1,000 pieces.
BIG COIN SERIES
The Big Coin series returns with a five-ounce piece featuring Canada’s iconic 10-cent coin. The coin is part of the Mint’s series featuring seven current and historical Canadian circulation coins.
This 10-cent piece is certified to be 99.99 per cent pure silver with a diameter of 65 mm and a weight of 157.6 grams. The reverse features Canadian artist Emanuel Hahn’s iconic image of a stylized schooner with tall sails flying sailing on the open sea. The schooner and water are selectively rose gold-plated. The reverse is also engraved with the text “CANADA” the date “2018” and the face value of “10 CENTS”. The obverse features a rose gold effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
The series’ four remaining coins will be issued throughout 2018.
CELEBRATION OF LOVE
Another new release is the $3 Fine silver coin, “Celebration of Love,” which is described by the Mint as a gift for “the one for whom your love will never end.”
Dotted with three sparkling Swarovski crystals, this selectively coloured coin is an ode to love. Inspired in part by the “love lock” phenomenon seen in cities around the world, the reverse design by Canadian artist Anna Bucciarelli represents a stirring, artistic expression of love through an unbreakable bond—whether it’s between family, friends or romantic partners. An engraved acanthus-inspired pattern adds an ornate flourish to the heart-shaped padlock that centres the design. The key to unlocking this “heart” is positioned just behind it, and is adorned with three Swarovski crystal elements that add an uplifting, joyful sparkle. Selective colour and multiple finishes bring elegance and depth to a near-universal floral symbol of love, the rose, with two ruby-red blooms positioned on either side of the lock and key.
The coin has a weight of 7.96 grams, a diameter of 27 mm and a mintage of 15,000 pieces.
Carrying on with the theme of love is a $20 Fine silver coin, “Best Wishes on Your Wedding Day,” which will help commemorate a special moment in a couple’s love story.
Featuring selective gold plating, the reverse design by Canadian artist Sylvie Daigneault is a beautiful celebration of love and an artistic ode to marriage—an occasion when two individuals mark their commitment to one another. Fittingly, two different design elements—hearts and arabesque-style scrolls—come together in an engraved pattern that forms a large heart shape.
The coin has a weight of 31.83 grams, a diameter of 40 mm and a mintage of 10,000 pieces.
A $5 Fine silver coin from the ongoing Birthstones series, this for the month of February, was also issued in January. Like a kaleidoscope of ornate shapes and patterns, the mandala is a spellbinding representation of symmetry, harmony and unity. Art, astronomy and geometry intersect in the Mint’s monthly Birthstone series, which features a colourful henna-inspired motif and a Swarovski crystal that adds vibrant symbolism to this birthday celebration.
The coin has a weight of 7.96 grams, a diameter of 27 mm and a mintage of 4,000 pieces.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD
Another new issue is the $10 Fine silver coin, “Welcome to the World.”
The coin captures the essence of a new child with a heart-warming design of baby feet struck incuse into the coin, like footprints in the sand. It has a weight of 15.87 grams, a diameter of 34 mm and a mintage of 20,000 pieces.
CLASSIC UNCIRCULATED SET
Like collectible works of art, Canada’s circulation coins feature timeless images that come together to tell the story of a nation’s past; of its varied landscape; and of the pride of its citizens, from coast to coast to coast.
The 2018 “Classic Canadian” coin set is a powerful reflection of the nation’s legacy through the reverse designs that have become as iconic as the subjects they depict. The set includes five-, 10-, 25- and 50-cent coins as well as $1 and $2 coins, and there is a mintage of 75,000 sets.
CAPTAIN COOK AT NOOTKA SOUND
Canada’s history is rife with tales of explorers, and the seafaring Captain James Cook (1728-1779) is one of the most storied of all. From the Bering Strait to the Antarctic Circle, and many of the Pacific isles in between, the British navigator charted more terra incognita than any other in his time.
A Fine silver proof dollar set commemorates the 240th anniversary of Cook’s arrival at the summer home of the Nuu-chah-nulth people, at Nootka Sound, which drew more explorers and traders to Canada’s western shores.
Maritime artist John Horton presents an artistic rendering of Captain James Cook’s arrival at Nootka Sound in April 1778. Towering mountains and the timbered headland of Bligh Island provide a backdrop to this historical portrait, all engraved in a proof finish and framed by a nautical twisted rope. Viewed in three-quarter profile, a stern-looking Cook keeps a watchful eye on his ship and crew while holding a telescope in one hand, his Admiralty orders in the other. Behind his left shoulder is HMS Discovery, which is moored a short distance away from HMS Resolution, whose crew is unrigging the ship and removing masts and spars in preparation for repairs. In the water, a group of Nuu-chah-nulth approach the Resolution in a canoe, ready to extend a friendly greeting. The obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
The specially designed proof dollar is part of a set that also includes pure silver five-, 10-, 25- and 50-cent coins as well as a $1 coin with gold plating and a $2 coin with a gold-plated inner core. There is a mintage of 15,000 sets.
A proof silver dollar with the same design—minus the gold plating—is also available separately. The $1 coin has a weight of 23.17 grams, a diameter of 36.07 mm and a mintage of 20,000 pieces.
2018 GIFT SETS
Lastly, the Mint is also issuing four 2018-dated gift sets, including “Baby,” “O Canada,” “Wedding” and “Birthday.” Each set includes 2018-dated $2, 25-, 10-, and five-cent coins with traditional designs as well as a $1 related to the theme of the respective set. The coins are set in a blister in the inside panel of the card, with the special $1 coin placed on the upper half of the card and die-cut to highlight design and enhance merchandising appeal. The sets are available “while supplies last,” according to the Mint.
All of the aforementioned Mint products were available as of Jan. 9. For more information, visit mint.ca.