Police seek rightful owner of pysanka coins found ‘in a bag on the street’

A pair of pysanka coins issued by the Royal Canadian Mint was turned in to a Saskatoon bank earlier this month, and now the city’s police are working to return the pure silver pieces to their rightful owner.

The Saskatoon Police Service posted an image of the two egg-shaped coins – one issued earlier this year and the other released in 2017 – to its Twitter account last week.

“We are looking to return these unique Pysanka coins to their rightful owner after a man attempted to sell them to a bank downtown,” reads the tweet, which adds the man “found them in a bag on the street.”

Retailing at about $130 each, the collector coins celebrate a long-running Ukrainian-Canadian tradition.

WHAT IS A PYSANKA?

Pysankas are Easter eggs decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs. The tradition – and its meaningful symbolism highlighting the rebirth of nature and the resurrection of Jesus Christ – was continued by immigrants who came to Canada from the late 19th century through the present day.

Today, Canada has the world’s third-largest Ukrainian population behind Ukraine and Russia. What’s more, the world’s second-largest pysanka was erected in Vegreville, Alta., in 1975 to mark the centennial of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the largest pysanka can be found in Ukraine).

In their tweet, police also noted the coins “could be related” to a break and enter or a theft file.

Both coins contain one ounce of pure silver and have a mintage of only 5,000 pieces. They’re also both sold out on the Mint’s website.

Anyone with information about these coins is asked to contact Saskatoon police or Crime Stoppers.

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