The royal cypher of Queen Elizabeth has been preserved for posterity on a one-ounce black rhodium-plated silver coin, which is now available as part of the Royal Canadian Mint’s August releases.
The RCM says the black rhodium-plated coin is to symbolize mourning.
“The only glimpse of silver is on the obverse, where the contrast between the silver effigies and the black rhodium plating keeps the focus on Queen Elizabeth II, as we remember her life and reign,” states a description on the 38 mm coin that has a $20 face value.
With a mintage of 15,000, the royal cipher is framed by shapes resembling the beads and clusters of stones that adorn St. Edward’s Crown. Marked by a small Tudor rose, the obverse combines the four different effigies that have graced Canadian coins since Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953. This obverse is only available in the mint’s Queen Elizabeth II’s reign collection.
The August releases also include the mint’s popular lunar year series. Four coins are available the celebrate the Year of the Dragon in 2024. First is a $8 quarter-ounce silver coin. At 27 mm, the obverse features “the indomitable dragon,” which in the Chinese zodiac represents “great power and good fortune, of success and strength.” The coin comes in a red folder with a removable capsule and a ready-to-mail red envelope as part of the Chinese New Year custom of gifting “lucky money.”
New for 2024, the mint is offering a “highly exclusive” silver kilo version of the 2024 Lunar Year of the Dragon pure gold coin. Crafted in one kilogram of silver, the $250 silver coin shares the same design as the $100 gold kilo coin. Artist Aries Cheung created all three coins in the 2024 lunar series.
Packaged in a red lacquered wooden case, only 588 of the 102.1 mm silver coins are available. Meanwhile, only 75 of the 102 mm gold coins are available. It also comes packaged in a red lacquered wooden case. A $100 gold coin is also available in the Year of the Dragon series. Artist Simon Ng created the dragon design on the 29 mm gold coin. This coin, which also comes in a red wood case, has a mintage of 1,888.
Other releases this August include:
The Monarch and the Bloom a $50 silver coin featuring two 3D elements cast in sterling silver: an aster flower (plated in rose gold) and a monarch butterfly (plated in yellow gold). The description says this is the monarch’s “first appearance on a movement coin” from the RCM. With a mintage of 1,250, the mint says collectors can experience “one of nature’s delicate moments, as a monarch butterfly approaches a flower. Tilt the coin and watch as the gravity-activated monarch circles around the aster bloom”. The large 62.5 mm coin is crafted in five ounces of silver.
- The third coin in the RCM’s annual Generations series is a $20 one-ounce silver coin celebrating the Mi’kmaq Creation Story. The description states: “To the Mi’kmaq people, whose homeland (Mi’kma’ki) encompasses much of present-day Atlantic Canada, the Creation Story involves seven levels of creation, in the seven sacred directions. The first level is Kisu’lk, the Giver of Life (above), and continued with Niskam (Grandfather Sun, spirit within) and Wsitkamu (Mother Earth, under), all represented in the centre portion of the coin’s reverse. Moving east to the fourth level of creation, the Mi’kmaq Creation Story unfolds across the coin’s reverse in the four cardinal directions that reflect the cyclical nature of the natural world, where everything has its own unique spirit and where all must work in harmony with one another.” With a mintage of 5,500, the silver coin’s diameter is 38 mm.
The RCM also offers a special fractional set to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Canada’s Gold Maple Leaf (GML) bullion. All four coins – a one-ounce, quarter-ounce, 1/10-ounce, and 1/20-ounce — in the set feature a maple leaf portrait and double dates (1979-2024). The largest coin in the set is enhanced with a royal blue sapphire. The description states, “Shimmering like a drop of dew in the morning light, the sapphire is a sparkling nod to the first GML issued in 1979, when the coin’s obverse featured Arnold Machin’s effigy of Queen Elizabeth II”. The same effigy appears in the anniversary set, which has a mintage of 450.