RCM opens 2022 with smaller catalogue of mostly annual issues

By Jesse Robitaille

The Royal Canadian Mint has released its first numismatic catalogue of the year with nine new issues, including four single coins plus five sets, all of which are available beginning today.

Among the single issues, a five-ounce Fine silver coin honouring the Bluenose launched a new six-coin series, “The Bigger Picture,” which follows in the footsteps of the Mint’s 2015-19 “Big Coin” series. Each coin in the new series measures 65.25 millimetres in diameter – the same as the earlier series – to allow for “elaborate art and complex engraving,” according to a statement issued by the Mint in early January.

“The Bigger Picture zooms in on Canada’s classic circulation coin designs and zooms out to reveal a much bigger story,” the Mint statement added.

The series’ first coin, a collectible reimagining of Canada’s 10-cent circulation coin, focuses on the Bluenose’s legacy as a working fishing vessel with a spotlight on the dorymen who were the backbone of the North Atlantic fishery. The reverse features a 2022-dated 10-cent coin as designed by German-born Canadian sculptor Emanuel Hahn in 1937 alongside an extended design by Yves Bérubé, of Nova Scotia. Bérubé’s design highlights the reality of life at sea during the Bluenose era with two dorymen in one of the schooner’s eight dories.

“The fishing crew of the ‘Bluenose’ consists of twenty-one men – sixteen ‘dorymen,’ a ‘dressing crew’ of four, and last but not least, a cook – and the actual fishing is carried on in this way,” reads a 1933 booklet published by Lunenburg Exhibitors as a fundraiser to send the schooner to that year’s Century of Progress International Exposition (also known as the Chicago World’s Fair).

“With the schooner riding at anchor a number of trawl lines, each about a mile and a half in length, are set out. The ends of the lines are attached to kegs or buoys, which serve both to support the lines and act as ‘markers.’ And four times a day, storms permitting, the lines are visited, the caught fish removed and hooks re-baited, by dorymen rowing out for this purpose, two men to a dory.”

With a face value of 10 cents, the 99.99 per cent silver coin also features an obverse effigy of Queen Elizabeth II alongside a maple leaf field pattern. The 157.6-gram coin has a mintage of 1,300 plus a proof finish and a serrated edge. It’s packaged in a black clamshell case with a black beauty box.

SMALLER ANNUAL OUTPUT?

Last year’s January numismatic catalogue featured 17 new issues, nearly double this year’s output. This January, the Mint released nine new issues while pushing back the launch of its annual silver proof dollar and silver proof set until February, when the Crown corporation will issue its second numismatic catalogue of 2022. “The small amount of products may reflect a smaller annual output from the Mint as was the case with 2021 versus 2020,” according to dealer Mark Drake, the owner of Toronto’s Coin Market and an official Mint distributor. Drake added the Crown corporation is likely focusing any extra striking capacity on bullion products, which have driven the Mint’s profits throughout the pandemic.

For its annual $100 gold coin, the Mint honoured Alexander Graham Bell.

ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL

For its annual $100 gold coin, the Mint honoured Alexander Graham Bell, the telephone’s inventor, who was born in Scotland 175 years ago.

After leaving Scotland in 1870, Bell settled in Tutela Heights, a community near Brantford, Ont., where he developed the telephone for several years. While the first telephone was manufactured and tested in 1875 in Boston, Mass., Bell made the world’s first successful long-distance telephone call a year later between Brantford and nearby Paris, Ont.

A left-facing portrait of Bell by Simon Ng, of Whitby, Ont., graces the coin’s central reverse design, which also shows an early telephone alongside laser-engraved patent drawings and blueprint illustrations for several of his inventions, including the telephone.

The 99.99 per cent gold coin, which features Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse, weighs 7.8 grams with a 20-millimetre diameter, a proof finish, a serrated edge and a mintage of 2,000. It’s packaged in a maroon clamshell case with a black beauty box.

BEST WISHES, BABY FEET COINS

The January catalogue features a $20 Fine silver coin, ‘Best Wishes on Your Wedding Day.’

In addition to the $100 gold coin, the Mint’s January catalogue also features a pair of annual silver issues.

A $20 Fine silver coin, “Best Wishes on Your Wedding Day,” is aimed at newlywed couples as “a beautiful way to commemorate an important milestone,” according to the Mint. Designed by Toronto artist Sylvie Daigneault, the reverse features an intricately patterned heart design with selective pink-gold plating, which is also used on the rim plus the obverse effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The 99.99 per cent silver coin weighs 31.39 grams with a 38-millimetre diameter, a proof finish, a serrated edge and a mintage of 10,000. It’s packaged in a themed box.

The Mint has also issued its annual $10 silver coin, ‘Welcome to the World!’

The second annual Fine silver issue – “Welcome to the World!” – features an incuse baby feet design on the reverse. With a face value of $10, the coin is designed as a “cherished heirloom” and “keepsake to welcome baby to the world,” according to the Mint. Each coin comes with a special full-colour certificate with space to add a personalized message.

The 99.99 per cent silver coin weighs 15.87 grams with a 34-millimetre diameter, a reverse proof finish, a serrated edge and a mintage of 20,000. It’s also packaged in a themed box.

CLASSIC CANADIAN UNCIRCULATED SET

The 2022 Classic Canadian Uncirculated Coin Set includes all of Canada’s current circulation denominations.

The Mint’s January catalogue includes another annual issue, the Classic Canadian Uncirculated Coin Set, which features all six of Canada’s current circulation denominations.

The $2, $1, 50-cent, 25-cent, 10-cent and five-cent coins are packaged in a custom-designed folder, which is held in an uncirculated collector binder and includes a certificate of authenticity and detailed specifications.

The 2022 set has a mintage of 75,000.

2022 GIFT SETS

Rounding out the January catalogue are the Mint’s four annual gift sets – “Born in 2022,” “Happy Birthday 2022,” “Married in 2022” and “O Canada 2022.”

Each set includes an exclusive $1 coin – included only in these sets – alongside four of this year’s circulation coins ($2 plus 25 cents, 10 cents and five cents). The coins are held in a blister pack attached to a cardboard panel with room for a personalized message, and each set also comes with a custom-designed envelope for gifting.

Each set has a mintage of 100,000.

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