Canada Week: Innovative glass insert heads up a fine selection of natural world coins
Onwards with our round-up of the Royal Canadian Mints’ releases from June and July continues with coins featuring the natural environment, with the three issues here all looking at different aspects of it. First up and the most innovative of the three, is the first in a new three-coin subscription looking at Star Gazing called The Universe. The mix of colour with some glow paint is pretty clever, but the borosilicate glass insert is a very cool way to depict a spiral galaxy. Like the various Murano glass insert coins, including the RCM’s very own range, each of the glass inserts is completley unique. We haven’t seen one in the hand yet and would like to hear some comments from people that have. Potentially a sleeper hit perhaps.
The other two coins are very nice strikes, although far more traditional. The latest Forest of Canada coin features the Colombian Yew Tree, and like the Mint of Polands award-winning Oldest Trees in the World series, carries a clean-struck close-up of the tree with a colour highlighted image of the fruits. The other coin is one of the clean-struck $200 for $200 releases. Large at 50mm in diameter and with a great circular design, these seem to be popular coins and for good reason. It’s the second of Ellen Cowie’s Landscapes of the North trilogy, and follows last years Towering Boreal Forests.
All are available now for $149.95, $99.95 and $200 CAD respectively.
STAR GAZING: THE UNIVERSE
Pondering the universe is as old as the ages. It’s the common thread that connects us to every civilization that has come before. And while today’s high-tech world has brought greater understanding, new questions always arise, eyes still gaze upwards on starry nights, and we still wonder, “Who are we? Why are we here?” There are numerous observatories around the world probing the universe to find answers to humanity’s ageless questions. Among them is the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic, Québec.
World’s FIRST coin featuring a combination of colour and glow paint along with a specially selected borosilicate fine art coloured glass. Each glass piece is a unique piece of art, crafted with a swirl of silver dust to create an image of the universe that is one-of-a-kind. Added luminescence in the colored sky captures the faint glow of the galaxy—a stunning effect that also shines from some of the stars. A unique celebration of Canada’s status as the first nation to possess an officially recognized dark sky reserve, a distinction that is a source of pride for Quebecers, particularly those living in the blackout region of Mont-Mégantic.
DESIGN: Canadian artist Loïc Beaumont-Tremblay has re-created the forested setting of the Mont-Mégantic Observatory beneath a clear, star-filled sky. A globule of borosilicate glass shines with a stunning image of the universe. The round, crystal-clear qualities of the glass are similar to peering through a telescope lens, and its luminescence further enhances the viewer’s experience of gazing into the galaxy
BOX / COA
YES / YES
FORESTS OF CANADA: COLOMBIAN YEW TREE
The third of four coins in a series entitled Forests of Canada, this one follows the Carolinian Tulip-tree and the Coast Shore Pine. To come in September is the final entrant, Boreal Balsam Poplar.
The Columbia forest is found in a series of mountain ranges located roughly 600 kilometres from the Pacific coast in southeastern British Columbia. It is the world’s only inland temperate rainforest and the only temperate rainforest where the majority of its moisture falls as snow instead of rain. The Western Yew, an highly-adaptive, slow-growing and long-lived tree is also one of the few coniferae species that does not have cones. Instead, the Western Yew produces individual seeds that are protected by fleshy, berry-like
casings that look like red rubies sitting atop its slender twigs.
DESIGN: Canadian artist Julius Csotonyi has created a stunning reverse design that celebrates the beauty of the Columbian forest by portraying one of its most captivating trees; the Western Yew. The design’s foreground features a gently sloping twig that has been painstakingly enhanced in colour to immediately draw the eye to its ruby red fruit and slender, vibrant green needles. In the background, massive tree trunks and lush growth fill the remainder of the design.
BOX / COA
YES / YES
$200 FOR $200: COASTAL WATERS
Intricate detail masterfully engraved that evokes the longest coastline in the world.
DESIGN: The design by Canadian wildlife artist Ellen Cowie features a circular collage of flora and fauna associated with Canada’s coastline. There are around tewenty different species depicted which can be seen clearly as the coin is rotated.
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