Another bumper month of silver and gold coins from the Royal Canadian Mint
We say this most months, but it’s another Royal Canadian Mint flood of new releases, cementing their status as the most prolific mint around. A good mix, we’ve shown most of them below. The Geometry in Art coin is a striking one, the Grotesque Green Horned Man quite strange. Everything else is between those extremes; we like the Somme and Bald Eagle coins.
Many of these are new additions to ongoing subscription series, and there are others not here that we’ve covered previously. These include the next coins in the Star Trek, Big Coin, and Landscape Illusions series. Plenty of choice, as usual, but the highlight for the month remains the superb domed basketball coin from last week.
All are available to order now with prices ranging from under $50 to over $2,500.
BATTLE OF THE SOMME
We like this series as we’ve said before, and while this is a good design it doesn’t really convey the Somme particularly. A good representation of the heat of battle and going ‘over the top’ that is synonymous with this horrific conflict, however.
DESIGN: The powerful reverse design by Canadian artist Glen Loates recreates a soldier’s viewpoint in battle during the Somme Offensive of 1916. With bayonets fixed on their rifles, a Canadian battalion braves a constant barrage of artillery fire after going “over the top” of the trenches, as the soldiers valiantly charge across the chalky terrain towards enemy lines. To the left, a sergeant turns to face the viewer as he shouts encouragement and urges his men forward – including the viewer, who is pulled into the scene to gain a sense of the overwhelming uncertainty and danger that hung over these courageous soldiers who valiantly pressed on. Above, a ghostly image of a young Canadian soldier looks down upon the scene and serves as a moving reminder of the heavy casualties suffered in the Somme Offensive.
In the centre, selective gold plating showcases the winged figure of “Victory,” as it appeared on the Victory Medal that was awarded to the allied soldiers of the First World War. Adding to the historical accuracy of the coin, the obverse highlights the reigning monarch during the First World War with the effigy of King George V by sir E. B. MacKennal.
PRICE: $109.95 CND
150 YEARS OF PASSION: THE MAPLE LEAF
Canada has seen a world of change since Confederation in 1867—and from its prominent place on Canada’s coins, the proud maple leaf has borne silent witness to it all! In preparation for Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Royal Canadian Mint pays homage to a well-loved symbol of national pride, identity and spirit, by revisiting the maple leaf’s depiction on a young nation’s first circulation coins.
DESIGN: The reverse pays tribute to the original design that graced Canada’s early circulation coins. Bound together by a bow at the bottom of the reverse, two crossed maple boughs gently curve upwards along the coin’s perimeter. Cutting-edge sculpting and finishing techniques recreate each of the 21 maple leaves in breathtaking detail, as they lead the eye towards a current creation of the Royal Crown (St. Edward’s Crown) at the very top. The reverse’s text elements offer added authenticity to this nostalgic nod to Canada’s past, with the face value “200 DOLLARS,” the word “CANADA” and the commemorative dates “1867-2017” all engraved in a similar font and layout as the original Confederation-era coin designs.
MAJESTIC ANIMALS: BARONIAL BALD EAGLE
The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is the lord of its realm as it swiftly glides high in the skies above the forest. This superb fine silver coin pays tribute to Canada’s largest bird of prey, whose hunting and scavenging ways leave little doubt of its regal authority in the wild.
DESIGN: The reverse design by Canadian artist Glen Loates features a powerful and highly intricate depiction of a majestic bald eagle landing on a bare treetop. Viewed from the right, the bird of prey’s enormous wingspan is magnificently displayed as the eagle slows its approach. Its head is curved forward, its hooked beak partially open to release a cry as it flexes its sharp talons and grips the branch that will serve as its perch.
Selective colour captures the remarkable contrasts between the eagle’s dark brown body, the bright white feathers of its head and tail, and the vivid yellow of its eyes, beak and legs. Its gaze is intense, almost stern, which adds to the eagle’s commanding presence and the sense of its regal authority in this setting. To the left, an intricately engraved bald eagle is perched on a separate branch of the same tree, its head turned to observe its companion’s arrival. Towering clouds and soaring mountain peaks provide a fitting majestic backdrop to this scene, easily dwarfing the trees that line the tranquil waters of the lake below.
PRICE: $99.95 CND
$1 CELEBRATING CANADIAN ATHLETES
As the world turns its attention to Brazil for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, you can cheer on Canada’s athletes in a unique way with this very collectible coin. In 2004, the Mint began issuing Lucky Loonie coins to celebrate every summer and winter Games, and is proud to issue this limited edition coin for Rio 2016.
DESIGN: The reverse design by Three Degrees Creative Group is an energizing montage showcasing the diversity of exciting events that will propel athletes to new heights as they compete for gold at Rio 2016. The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Team logos punctuate the design with colour.
PRICE: $79.95 CND
$1 LUCKY LOONIE
As the world turns its attention to Brazil for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, our famous loonie is at it again, sporting a special design to express pride in Canada’s athletes and to cheer them on.
DESIGN: The reverse image by Canadian artist Derek Wicks has created an energizing design of a common loon on the water, its arched body and outstretched wings poised for take-off. It’s a symbolic salute to Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes as they soar to new heights at Rio 2016.
Canada’s pride is further expressed through the stylized maple leaf in the background, while the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Team logos and LUCKY LOONIE line the bottom edge of the coin.
PRICE: $39.95 CND
Sparkling in a dizzying array of colours, gemstones are believed to have heightened attributes during the month they represent. This monthly series offers a cross-cultural celebration of the powerful, symbolic beauty of birthstones, which are each as distinct and unique as those who cherish them!
DESIGN: The reverse design by Three Degrees Creative Group is both visually compelling and richly symbolic, with a thoughtful melding of traditional and contemporary design elements. In the background, a beautifully engraved lotus pattern fills the reverse in a modern take on the blooms that traditionally symbolize purity of the heart and mind. A majestic, mid-relief dragon is brought to life through intricate engraving that recreates it in extraordinary detail; its presence also carries a strong meaning, as the dragon is a time-honoured symbol of power, strength and good luck in Asian mythology. Above it, a traditional circular motif bears a Swarovski crystal embellishment that represents peridot, the birthstone for August, which is said to bring felicity and protection to those born in the month. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
PRICE: $49.95 CND
GEOMETRY IN ART: THE MAPLE LEAF
As digital artists seek to recreate the physical world through dimensional images, modelling techniques based on geometric shapes have spawned an innovative new visual style: low poly art. This outstanding five-coin series utilizes the low poly art style to present a contemporary reinterpretation of Canada’s most famous icons—including the proud maple leaf that has come to represent this land and its people.
DESIGN: The reverse design by Canadian artist Calder Moore features an artistic representation of a Canadian forest in autumn, which provides a natural setting for Canada’s most famous emblem: the maple leaf. Geometry, technology and art intersect as the entirety of the image is presented in a low poly art style, with multiple polygon shapes coming together to form the mix of coniferous and deciduous trees on both sides of the river. A rich colour gradient in the background recreates the fading sunset as it casts a golden glow on the fall foliage, while the use of rich colour variants throughout the landscape alters our perception of shadow and light.
The eye is naturally drawn to the two engraved maple leaves in the foreground, where extraordinary sculpting, cutting-edge technology and advanced finishing techniques showcase the individual polygons within each form. The geometric lines and corners lend themselves beautifully to recreating the maple leaf’s stem and serrated edges, as a gentle breeze brings both leaves tumbling onto the water’s surface to float above the rocky riverbed.
PRICE: $99.95 CND
SCULPTURAL ART OF PARLIAMENT: GROTESQUE HORNED GREEN MAN
In the heart of our nation’s capital, the hallowed walls of Parliament are home to thousands of carved and sculpted artworks of exceptional beauty. The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to showcase one of the many delights that grace these spaces with the third coin in its series featuring carvings inspired by the sculptural art of Parliament.
DESIGN: Engraved in ultra-high relief, the reverse features an original depiction by Dominion Sculptor Phil White of a Gothic-style grotesque interpreted from a carving found on the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings. The humorous, slightly unsettling horned Green Man sticks out his tongue, his grimacing mouth topped with a jaunty moustache. His face is encircled by stylized foliage and his deep-set eyes peer from below heavy brows. Two small goat-like horns curl out from his forehead.
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