September sees modified ‘gimmick’ coins aplenty from the Royal Canadian Mint

September sees another big launch from the Royal Canadian Mint and our first look at this month’s releases encompasses something the RCM is increasingly doing of late; adornments. The Murano glass animal series was a popular one and it seems popular enough to warrant another dabble into the world of glass on numismatics.

The first in a three coin subscription called Under the Sea, the subject this time is the seahorse. Unlike the Stargazing coin in which the borosilicate glass was embedded in the face, this one takes the form of a ‘blob’ attached to the face. I’m not sure it works for me personally, even as clever as the way the glass is formed is. More one for the gift market than a full-on coin collector perhaps. As a subscription it’s a tough one to call as well. The second of the three coins doesn’t ship until next June, with the third next September, which are long gaps between each release, unusual for the RCM. Prices are $151.95 each, reflecting slightly higher prices all round because of movement in the spot price.

Second out of the gate is a new series featuring a metal closely associated with the Austrian Mint, Niobium. Whereas that famous series has a bimetallic look, the niobium in this case is in the form of an adornment. Called Natures Adornment: Dragonfly, a Niobium insect is attached to the coin face. A very stylistic look, the clean-struck background is well done and the whole has appeal. This one is at $148.95.

Last up this post is a more traditional coin for the RCM, a base metal coin with a lenticular design on the front, the third and last in the Haunted Canada range. These seem to have been popular and they are well implemented. The idea behind lenticular is that moving the coin in hand makes the design flick between two different images; a crude form of animation. Other mints have done this as well, most notably the Perth Mint with a pretty cool Charlie Chaplin tribute. At $31.95 it’s one of the more affordable coins this month, although obviously contains no precious metal.



Bursting with a dizzying array of colours, the natural world boasts an unparalleled beauty that seemingly stuns and dazzles at every turn! Human ingenuity strives to recreate this sparkle of life in art; in a celebration of nature’s spectrum of colours, your pure silver coin features a handcrafted, uniquely shaped niobium embellishment that artfully represents a

Canadian darner dragonfly (Aeshna canadensis) basking in the sunlight. Our first one-ounce pure silver coin with a niobium embellishment!

DESIGN: Handcrafted by jewellery artist Karen Hunter of Caledon, Ontario, a dragonfly-shaped niobium embellishment catches the eye with its blue and violet hues, which artfully mimic the dragonfly’s iridescent appearance in the sunlight. The reverse design by Canadian artist Emily Damstra captures the beauty of a tranquil aquatic setting on a bright summer day.

The dragonfly’s graceful landing has set off gentle ripples in the mirror-like surface of the water, whose shine provides a beautiful backdrop for the frosted lily pad. This floating leaf is dotted with droplets of water that seem to glisten in the light, further adding to the life-like look and feel of the dragonfly’s serene natural environment.

$20 CAD 0.9999 SILVER 31.39 g 38.0 mm PROOF 6,000 YES / YES


Ocean and land are eternally intertwined, yet much of the sea remains a world of unknown wonders. This underwater paradise is teeming with life and colour, home to mystifying residents that captivate us with their otherworldly beauty and behaviour.

Only those who brave the depths can hope to uncover the secrets of the sea. This enchanting new series showcases three ocean residents we’ve already come to know and love, beautifully portrayed as a stunning murrini element encased in borosilicate glass.

To create each coin’s handmade murrini element, the artist first layers various rods of coloured borosilicate glass in a tube. All the air is then drawn from the tube using a vacuum pump, while melting the glass assembly. This produces a single fine cane that, once sliced, reveals the image on each cross-section of the glass. A fine layer of the murrini cane is applied onto the glass, with more colour swept across the back before being embedded on the coin. The result: a stunning, one-of-a-kind seahorse for the first coin of this exciting series!

DESIGN: Designed by Canadian artist Maurice Gervais, the first coin in your 3-coin subscription offers a glimpse of the hidden underwater world off Canada’s Atlantic coast, thanks to its depiction of a shallow sea grass habitat. The application of vivid coloured enamel over the detailed engraving recreates the textured rocks, seashells and swaying green grasses that line the sandy ocean floor.

To the right, a handcrafted glass embellishment by Canadian glass artist Loïc Beaumont-Tremblay contains a striking seahorse-shaped mosaic murrini element. The mosaic-based approach to this glass art technique lends itself well to recreating the seahorse’s speckled colouring, while other features such as its bony armour, pointed snout and curled tail are equally captured in extraordinary detail. The murrini piece has its own protection thanks to its resilient glass enclosure sculpted from borosilicate glass.

$20 CAD 0.9999 SILVER 31.39 g 38.0 mm PROOF  7,500 YES / YES




[himage]2016-RCM-Ghost-Stories-3-REV2 2016-RCM-Ghost-Stories-3-REV1[/himage]

On Newfoundland and Labrador’s Bell Island, a restless female spirit is said to haunt the marshes near Dobbin’s Garden. She appears in two forms: one, as a beautiful woman dressed in white; the other, as a frightening old woman. Men who have dared to walk through the area have gone missing for days, only to emerge unaware of any passage of time. But what they do remember is the sudden apparition of a grotesque old woman moving toward them, pushing them to the ground, while the smell of death hangs in the air.

DESIGN: Your coin uses lenticular technology to masterful effect, recreating an eerie encounter on a dark night. The glow of a hand-held lantern provides the only light for one anxious young man, who is making his way through the marshes near Dobbin’s Gardens. The first image finds the young man nervously looking over his shoulder, as behind him, an ethereal female figure dressed in white appears to hover over him.

Tilting the coin to the other side reveals a frightening transformation: the ghost’s youthful appearance has suddenly aged while the facial features and hands are twisted in a terrifying manner! The young man’s expression is one of sheer terror as both he and the ghost look out from the coin and directly at the viewer. Framing the reverse is an outer rim in which the word “CANADA” the face value “25 CENTS” and the year “2016” are engraved.