Canadian domed coin trio showcases football and the Planet Earth

After an unusual early mid-month release last week, the Royal Canadian Mint ploughs on through yet another bumper release schedule. It appears that the gimmicky type of coin is in the ascendant there, so we’re seeing plenty of new ideas and technical innovation. The first five coins we looked at including adornments, inserts in wood and resin, and even external accessories. Our first look at the rest is a little more mainstream – domed coins.

Domed coins are, along with ancient mythology and meteorite coins, riding a wave of popularity in modern numismatics, so it’s no surprise to see the RCM get further involved in the market after their earlier basketball and Library of Parliament releases. There are two new designs here, one available in two metals.

First up is by far the most interesting of the pair. In what is a cool first for the format, the RCM has applied photo-luminescence to a domed coin. Even the idea it’s been applied to is a good one. Depicting a view of Canada from space, when the lights go out it changes to a view of Canada taken at night, with the classic pattern of artificial lights marking out the inhabited areas. Applied to the convex side of the coin, it makes a fine job of representing a part of the globe. The coin is issued as a tribute to Canadian astronaut, Roberta Bondar. The hidden obverse is the usual Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. An ounce in weight, it sells for $159.95.

The second is an equally well implemented design, but a less impressive one regardless. The Monnaie de Paris has already covered this format with its highly successful Rugby World Cup release last year, and sporting ball designs are hardly rare. This seems more a case of filling in a blank in the market rather than pushing the genre forward, something of which we know the RCM is eminently capable. Nevertheless, this will find plenty of fans, even at £161.95 for the one-ounce silver, and $2899.95 for the one-ounce gold. Packaging on all these coins is the standard maroon snapper case in a themed shipper box, all with an enclosed Certificate of Authenticity. The are available to buy now.


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Few can lay claim to seeing our planet from space; but for Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first woman astronaut and the world’s first neurologist in space, the experience represents the fulfillment of a long-cherished dream. Throughout the mission she used her expertise to conduct over 40 advanced scientific experiments, helping to understand the body’s ability to recover from exposure to space—a great contribution to the future of space travel!

DESIGN: Designed by Canadian artist Alexandra Lefort, your coin combines colour with glow-in-the-dark effects to recreate a breathtaking view of Earth from space. The partial view of the Western Hemisphere places the focus on North America—specifically Canada—while the application of colour captures the nuances that characterize the different regions, and the different blues that mark the ocean depth. Within the outer band that frames the field, the 25th anniversary of Dr. Roberta Bondar’s historic space mission is commemorated by the number “25” and a miniature depiction of the space shuttle Discovery, as it appeared on Dr. Bondar’s personal mission crest.

EXTRA: Did you know…

Dr. Roberta Bondar has the honour of being Canada’s first woman astronaut in space, and only the second Canadian.

When the formation of a Canadian space program was announced in 1983, Dr. Bondar quickly applied to become an astronaut. She was one of the six Canadians selected from over 4,300 applicants!

The purpose of Dr. Bondar’s flight, Space Shuttle mission STS-42, was to study the effects of weightlessness on different materials and life.

Dr. Bondar’s role in the mission contributed significantly to the Canadian Space Program, but the experiments were not solely on behalf of our nation—they were on behalf of 16 different countries!

In honour of her achievements, several schools across Canada have adopted her name. It’s not uncommon to see “Roberta Bondar School” in many Canadian cities!

$25 CANADIAN 0.9999 SILVER 30.75 g 36.07 mm PROOF 8,500 YES / YES





Score big with this football inspired coin! It’s curved and convex as if inflated and ready for play, complete with all the texture and standardized features of a modern Canadian football: leather panels, “night stripes” and laces that were once part of the manufacturing process but are now used to maximize grip. It’s a touchdown!

DESIGN: Royal Canadian Mint engravers have meticulously crafted a football that comes alive in your coin’s unique shape and convex reverse. While there are minor differences in the specifications for the footballs used by the various football leagues in North America, this design showcases all the standardized features of a modern Canadian football: the leather panels, “night stripes,” and laces that were once part of the manufacturing process but are now used to maximize grip.

Theories abound how the football got its distinctive shape, but one thing’s for sure, it’s not the result of deliberate design, it just evolved that way. One theory suggests the first footballs some 170 years ago simply took on the shape of the pig’s bladder from which they were made. Even when the switch was made to cowhide and rubber, early footballs were difficult to inflate and were consistently lopsided. This warped shape proved to be a lot easier to carry and throw, and when players began using the forward pass in the early 1900’s, the football was deliberately designed into the elongated shape we see today.

$25 CANADIAN 0.9999 SILVER 31.66 g 48 x 30.33 mm PROOF 8,500 YES / YES
$200 CANADIAN 0.9999 GOLD 31.32 g 44 x 26.40 mm PROOF 550 YES / YES