Like a puzzle with a missing piece, it’s hard to imagine Canada without many of its most iconic species, including the woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou); sadly, this majestic mammal joins other Canadian creatures that are classified as at risk, threatened or even endangered. With its uniquely shaped cutout, this pure silver coin shines the spotlight on the plight of the caribou—a national symbol whose numbers are in decline in Canada’s wilderness.
REVERSE: Designed by Canadian artist Trevor Tennant, your coin transports you to the mountainous landscape of Western Canada, where detailed engraving and multiple finishes recreate a timeless snapshot of the wild. The distant peaks provide a breathtaking backdrop to the grassy foothills, which slope down to the tree-lined river below; and while the beauty of the engraved scene is unmistakable, it is the uniquely shaped cutout that easily draws the viewer’s eye. Innovative technology has skillfully carved out the outline of a woodland caribou, smoothly recreating its distinctive profile and towering rack of antlers.
The missing caribou element is strongly symbolic: while it represents an artistic tribute to a beloved species, the overall design also offers a haunting re-imagining of the Canadian wilderness without this national icon—particularly the Southern Mountain population of caribou, which is listed as threatenedon Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA).