Struck in “extraordinarily” high relief, rising six millimetres from the coin’s field, a $25 Fine silver piece featuring a wolf’s head is among the highlights of the Royal Canadian Mint’s August numismatic catalogue, which includes 20 new issues.
Entitled “Multifaceted Animal Head: Wolf,” the Claude Thivierge-designed coin is composed of 435 individual polygons.
The Mint’s research and design team, engravers and die manufacturing experts worked together to successfully strike a complex array of tiny mirror-like surfaces, which sculpt the face of the Canadian wildlife icon.
This coin has a weight of 31.30 grams, a diameter of 36 millimetres and a mintage of 2,500 pieces.
‘NORTHERN LIGHTS’ SHOW
With “never-before-seen technology,” a $20 Fine silver coin celebrating Parliament Hill’s popular “Northern Lights” sound and light show was also issued this August.
Attracting more than 200,000 visitors a year – including more than 300,000 during the Canada 150 celebrations in 2017 – this year’s Northern Lights season began July 9 and runs until Sept. 3 with performances every night.
“Parliament Hill is the ideal setting for this unique show, thanks to its history and what it represents,” said Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly earlier this year.
Dubbed “Lights of Parliament Hill,” the one-ounce silver coin features on its reverse the audience’s perspective of the Peace Tower based on a photograph taken by one of the Mint’s product managers. The reverse can also be visually ignited with an ultraviolet (UV) flashlight – included with each coin – thanks to the Mint’s “Colour Reveal” technology.
This coin has a weight of 31.39 grams, a diameter of 38 millimetres and a mintage of 4,500 pieces.
Yet another UV-generated effect is found on the Tony Bianco-designed $20 Fine silver coin, the second from the three-part “Sky Wonders” series.
Named “Steve” – after “Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement” – the coin’s atmospheric phenomenon intensifies under UV light to reveal an unusual phenomenon first observed in Canadian skies in 2016. A fleeting, thin arc of green and violet light is seen next to an aurora borealis, which is produced by a “sub-auroral ion drift” of charged particles flowing in the atmosphere at extreme speeds.
Again, a flashlight is included with each of these coins, which have a weight of 31.39 grams, a diameter of 38-millimetres and a mintage of 5,000 pieces.
The series’ final coin, entitled “Light Pillars,” will be issued this October.
CN RAILWAY CENTENNIAL
A new oval-shaped $250 Fine silver coin celebrates the 100th anniversary of Canadian National (CN), which is Canada’s largest railway in terms of rail-network size and revenue and the country’s only transcontinental railway company with nearly 33,000 kilometres of track.
The coin’s oblong shape allows for a larger portrait of a bygone era while its concave design pulls the viewer deeper into the scene. The extra-wide dimension, measuring 161.8 millimetres by 100 millimetres, also allows for a panoramic view hinting at the grandeur of the Canadian landscape and the surrounding communities’ connection via the train.
“Ultra-high relief” engraving adds four millimetres of relief while an antique finish imparts a sense of nostalgia to this design by Mint engraver Matt Bowen.
This coin has a weight of 1,010 grams and a mintage of 400 pieces.
LAST GOLD SOVEREIGN
Also released this August is a $10 pure gold coin marking the 100th anniversary of the last gold sovereign coin – the 1919 British gold sovereign – issued by what was then the Ottawa branch of Britain’s Royal Mint.
Below the iconic reverse design of “Saint George and the Dragon,” the last Canadian sovereign’s 100th anniversary is commemorated with the dates “1919-2019” in a type similar to the original design. The “B.P.” initials of the original artist Benedetto Pistrucci are also included beneath the reverse design.
The right-facing effigy of Queen Elizabeth II is featured on the coin’s obverse.
This piece has a weight of 7.8 grams, a diameter of 20 millimetres and a mintage of 1,000 pieces.
CONTINUED & FINISHED SERIES
In addition to the “Sky Wonders” series, the Mint also continued five other ongoing series this August.
The eighth $3 Fine silver coin, “Folk Music,” of the 12-coin “Celebrating Canadian Fun and Festivities” series highlights the many music festivals hosted in cities and towns across the country.
Continuing the 2019 “Zodiac” series, a $5 Fine silver coin celebrating Virgo was issued as the ninth of 12 pieces, the last of which is slated for release this November.
Designed by Thunder Bay, Ont.’s Mary McPherson, the eighth $20 Fine silver coin of the 10-piece “Second World War: Battlefront” series, this honouring the Battle of the Scheldt, was also issued. This series is set to conclude with its final two coins – with themes to be announced – in 2020.
The seventh final and final piece from the “Big Coin” series, which began last October, was also issued as part of the recent catalogue. The selectively gold-plated five-ounce coin features G.E. Kruger-Gray’s maple leaf twig design introduced in 1937. It has a weight of 157.6 grams, a diameter of 65.25 millimetres and a mintage of 1,250 pieces – down from 1,500 for the series’ 2018 releases.
Rounding out the continued series is the third and final $20 Fine silver coin, “Frigg,” of the “Norse Gods” series, which began this February. The Frigg coin features Odin’s “beloved,” the goddess of family and fertility.
OTHER AUGUST COINS
The remaining coins in the Mint’s August catalogue include:
- the $30 Fine silver coin, “Golden Reflections: Predator and Prey – Orca and Sea Lions,” which is a fully gold-plated coin designed by wildlife artist W. Allan Hancock;
- the $350 pure gold coin, “Canadian Wildlife Portraits: The Cougar,” which has a mintage of 400 pieces and was designed by artist Denis Mayer Jr.;
- the 2019-dated “Canadian Circulation Set – Everlasting Icons,” which is aimed at young collectors and includes all of Canada’s current circulation coins plus a specially designed 50-cent piece that glows in the dark;
- the 2019-dated Fine silver “Classic Canadian Coin and Medallion Set,” a new collection of circulation coins reproduced in pure silver with colour enhancing their reverse designs;
- two new lotus-shaped creations by Three Degrees Creative Group celebrating the Year of the Rat on a 2020-dated $2,500 pure gold coin and a 2020-dated $15 Fine silver coin;
- three new 2020-dated Year of the Rat designs by artist Aries Cheung on a $150 gold coin, a $15 Fine silver coin and a $10 Fine silver coin; and
- the 2020-dated pure gold fractional set, which is the Mint’s first such set to feature four 99.999 per cent gold coins, each featuring a hologram enhancing artist Luc Normandin’s maple leaf design.
For more information, visit mint.ca.