Royal Canadian Mint goes fully dimensional for its 2020 Remembrance Day poppy silver coin

Lots of the world’s big national mints, as well as a few of the independents, issue a coin to martk Remembrance Day. Over the last few years, we’ve seen so super designs, sometimes focusing on the poignance of the event, other times on the symbol that has come to represent it – the poppy flower. You all know the event by now, so lets look at the coin.

The Royal Canadian Mint’s latest effort is very much one designed around the symbol. A beautifully realised and quite realistic (given the medium) depiction, the coin doesn’t just take on an image of the flower, but is shaped like one as well. They’ve done a great job replicating the texture and detail, especially of the pistil in the centre. The detail continues unbroken on the obverse, enhancing the sense of coherence the designer was obviously going for. The usual Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II is confined to a small central area of the obverse.

All told, this is a great looking piece. We’d maybe like to have seen a subtle red tinted antique wash to give it a bit more of a link to Remembrance Day, but that’s a minor point. Presented in a box with a COA, this 28.5 gram 0.9999 silver coin, it has a mintage capped at 7,000 units and retails for $149.95 (CAD). Available to buy now, with shipping in a couple of weeks time.


Designed by Canadian artist/engraver Alex Tirabasso, the inward-rounding reverse features four overlapping flower petals that give this coin a realistic poppy shape. Each petal is carefully sculpted to closely resemble its real-life counterpart, from the outward curving edges to its softly crinkled texture, which is enhanced with an antique finish. The petals surround the centre stigma disk that forms a radiating pattern inside the poppy. The obverse’s coin-shaped base features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt with an engraved legend that includes the words “CANADA”, “2020” and “20 DOLLARS”.

“This may be the most realistic flower we’ve ever struck as a coin. It has never been done before, so modeling and engraving this coin was both technically and artistically rewarding. I was enthusiastic to dive into this project because of its nature, but also because it would commemorate our lost soldiers. Modeling a realistic poppy with the inner pod, petal details and form was interesting because it involved a full 3D model from front to back. We’ve done concave and convex coins in the past, so we borrowed this knowledge to help produce the concavity of this coin and make sure it strikes. The antiqued finish was a beautiful way to give it character.” Alex Tirabasso, 3D Artist – Engraver, Royal Canadian Mint: Artist and Engraver

COMPOSITION 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 28.5 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, shaped
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes