RCM opens 2023 with annual issues

By Jesse Robitaille

The Royal Canadian Mint has released its first numismatic catalogue of the year with 12 new issues, including five single coins, four bullion issues plus three sets, all available beginning on Jan. 10.

Several issues, including all five single coins and each of the three sets, are annual issues regularly tapped to open the Mint’s numismatic program. Each coin in the January catalogue features an obverse portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Sept. 8, with the double dates “1952-2022” appearing aside from the 2023 year-date.

“Familiar core products are mostly here to begin with, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is shown on these first offerings of the new year,” said dealer Mark Drake, the owner of Toronto’s Coin Market and an official Mint distributor. “King Charles III is likely to appear later for items such as uncirculated sets and other products not yet offered.”

Among the yearly issues are the Mint’s annual $100 gold coin and silver proof dollar, both of which honour early female journalist Kit Coleman, born as Catherine Ferguson in 19th-century Ireland before immigrating to Canada at age 28. After becoming the world’s first accredited female war correspondent, covering the Spanish-American War for the Toronto Mail 125 years ago, Coleman then served as the inaugural president of the Canadian Women’s Press Club, an organization of women journalists. Later, she became Canada’s first syndicated female columnist.

“In a time when women journalists were limited to writing about the female perspective and women’s issues, Kathleen ‘Kit’ Blake Coleman paved the way for better representation in newsrooms and a more equal standing for Canadian women in other aspects of life,” according to a statement from the Mint.

Canadian artist Pandora Young designed the reverse of both the $100 gold coin and silver proof dollar, the latter of which features a silhouette collage capturing key moments in Coleman’s life – the ship that brought her to Canada, the office of the Toronto newspapers that published her columns from 1889-1911 and a typewriter symbolizing her impact on Canadian journalism.

The annual issue is the Mint’s “flagship collector coin and one of the year’s most anticipated collectibles,” according to a statement from the Crown corporation. This year’s coin – with a mintage of 35,000, lower than in 2022 – is also available in the 2023 Fine silver proof dollar set. A selectively gold-plated version is in the 2023 special-edition proof set.

The $100 gold coin, also designed by Young, pairs Coleman’s portrait with a map tracing her journey around the world. It has a mintage of 1,500 coins.

LOW-MINTAGE GOLD COIN

Another low-mintage gold issue from the Mint’s January catalogue, the $200 “Knowledge & Interconnection” coin is the fourth release from the annual “Celebrating Canada’s Diversity” series.

The engraved reverse design features the rounded form lines plus the ovoid and U-shaped symbols characteristic of Haida art. It’s embellished with a “unique, responsibly sourced abalone shell,” according to the Mint, which added the gem symbolizes the Haida people’s “enduring connection with the sea.”

“No two abalone are alike.”

Designed by Haida artist Cori Savard, the coin forms a “powerful artistic expression of Haida culture and identity,” the Mint added.

“The interconnectedness of all living things, or gina ‘waadluxan gud ad kwaagid (everything depends on everything else), is fundamental to the Haida worldview. That guiding principle – along with the importance of intergenerational learning – is reflected on the reverse of this 99.99 per cent pure gold coin, where the engraved cedar rope symbolically binds the generations (the outer and inner rings) together, and the ocean-coloured abalone shell honours the traditional lifeways of Haida Gwaii.”

It has a mintage of 275 coins.

2023 GIFT SETS

The January catalogue also features three of the Mint’s annual gift sets – “Born in 2023,” “Happy Birthday 2023” and “O Canada 2023.”

The annual wedding-themed set is “conspicuously absent,” Drake added.

Each set includes an exclusive moose-themed $1 coin – included only in these sets – alongside four 2023-dated non-circulation coins ($2 plus 25 cents, 10 cents and five cents).

With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the Mint will forgo issuing 2023-dated circulation coins featuring both their traditional reverse designs and the late monarch’s obverse portrait.

“Instead, a collector’s edition of each denomination has been struck in limited numbers, and one of each is included in this set of non-circulation coins – coins not intended for general circulation,” according to the Mint.

Each set, held in a blister pack attached to a cardboard panel with room for a personalized message, comes with a custom-designed envelope for gifting. The three issues have a mintage of 100,000 sets each.

MORE JANUARY COINS

The Mint’s January catalogue also features:

  • an annual silver issue – “Welcome to the World!” – a $10 Fine silver coin with a mintage of 25,000;
  • another annual silver issue, the $20 Fine silver coin, “Celebrate Love,” with a mintage of 10,000;
  • a trio of one-ounce “Treasured Silver Maple Leaf” bullion coins available in “Generic,” “Congratulations” and “Year of the Rabbit” packaging; and
  • a 1/10th-ounce “Treasured Gold Maple Leaf” bullion coin, also available in “Generic” packaging.

For full details, visit mint.ca.

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