The Royal Canadian Mint has taken home two Coin of the Year (COTY) awards in the long-running international competition recognizing excellence and ingenuity in coin design and production.
Across 10 categories, dozens of mints, central banks and other coin-related contractors from about 40 countries competed with 100 coins nominated in the 40th annual competition, which focused on coins issued in 2021. After whittling a list of roughly 2,300 coins produced that year, the COTY nominating committee named two coins issued by Canada’s national mint as the winner of the “Best Crown Coin” and “Best Circulation Coin” categories.
“The Mint is passionate about finding new ways to showcase Canada on coins that represent the highest levels of craftsmanship, design and innovation,” said Mint Master Marie Lemay, the Crown corporation’s president and CEO. “To win not only one but two Coin of the Year Awards in the same year is an amazing recognition that our coins are indeed best-in-class and admired by collectors around the world.”
The Canadian winners include the $20 Fine silver coin, “Black and Gold: The Grey Wolf,” named as the best crown, plus the Mint’s first coloured 10-cent circulation coin, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Bluenose schooner and earned the title of the best circulation issue.
On the Grey Wolf coin, artist Claude Thivierge “captures the feared and admired personality of a top Canadian predator in a yin and yang portrayal, rendered in contrasting gold and black rhodium plating,” according to a statement issued by the Mint.
“Though human encroachment has reduced its habitat, the majestic grey wolf still thrives in hierarchical packs of six or eight animals in less settled parts of Canada, from Labrador to British Columbia, as well as Yukon and the Northwest Territories.”
With the Bluenose centennial, the Mint had an “opportunity to celebrate in style.”
“We re-imagined the Bluenose design with the help of Nova Scotia marine artist Yves Bérubé and added colour to our smallest circulating coin for the very first time,” added the Mint statement. “A peerless maritime icon built in Lunenburg, N.S., Bluenose was a hard-working fishing schooner whose racing proficiency in the International Fishermen’s Race was unrivalled for nearly two decades. It remains, to this day, a testament to the ingenuity, craftsmanship and exceptional skill of the Canadians who designed, built and crewed it.”
The annual competition receives nominations from an international consortium of mint representatives and numismatists with the judging conducted by a panel of the world’s leading mint officials, medallists, journalists plus central bank and museum officials.
The U.S.-based magazine World Coin News presents the annual competition, which the Journal of East Asian Numismatics, a quarterly academic journal, has sponsored since 2017.