It seems the Royal Canadian Mint loves producing wildlife and nature-themed coins given the sheer volume of them released every year. Fortunately, not only are they extremely good at them, but people seem to love buying them. November is another month full of wildlife themed coins and another month full of some excellent ones.

We love dinosaurs here, and bad dinosaur coins always get a hard time from me especially, but this four-coin series that’s sadly coming to an end, has had some quite exquisite artwork on them, with a strike second to none. I’d personally like to see more of them (Edmontosaurus, for example, seems to fit the series well), but it isn’t to be. More please guys, especially something on that incredibly ancient selection of fossils from one of the worlds finest sites, the Burgess Shales in the Canadian Rockies.

None of the designs here are sub-par, quite the opposite in fact, and if the RCM continues in this vein, we’ll have a lot of fine designs to look forward to next year. My only criticism would be to open up the subject matter some more. It isn’t a crime to feature non-Canadian wildlife in this ever-shrinking world, and it would certainly increase the variety of animals depicted; no bad thing in my book. Enjoy the below and don’t forget to click our affiliate link if you want to buy. Every bit helps.

CANADIAN DINOSAURS: ALBERTOSAURUS

The last coin in the mints ‘Canadian Dinosaurs’ series, these have been utterly first-class in design and implementation, and if you have any interest in the subject, a must-buy in my opinion. With Albertosaurus being the top theropod carnivore of its time, it makes an imposing piece of artwork. The lack of colouring elevates these to the next level. Previous coins have been the Bathygnathus, Scutellosaurus and Xenoceratops. $89.95

Albertosaurus sarcophagus resided in what is now western Canada during the Late Cretaceous, between 72 and 68 million years ago. Resembling a slender, long-limbed Tyrannosaurus rex (a closely related species that emerged several million years later), Albertosaurus sarcophagus bore a large head, sharp teeth, long tail, and tiny two-toed forelimbs.

DESIGN: The reverse image by Canadian artist Julius Csotonyi features an interpretation of how Albertosaurus sarcophagus may have looked. Presented from the left side in three-quarter profile, this full-body portrait showcases the ancient carnivore’s most fascinating traits. The beast’s large
head is topped with ridge-like horns above its small side-placed eyes. The massive mouth is wide open, presenting the dinosaur’s generous rows of sharp, jagged teeth and widely hinged jaw.

A short but muscular S-curved neck leads to a thick body with reduced forelimbs bearing two clawed digits and long, powerful hind legs standing on large three-toed feet. In the background, a long tail counterbalances the large head. In this depiction, Albertosaurus sarcophagus is portrayed with filamentous feathers or proto-feathers running along the back of the animal and lining the back of each forelimb. The rest of its scaly body surface is densely pebbled—an element skillfully portrayed in exceptional detail by Royal Canadian Mint engravers. The scientific accuracy of this depiction has been verified by palaeontologists at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. Designed by Julius Csotonyi.

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIAMETER QUALITY MINTAGE
$20 CND 0.9999 Ag 31.39 g 38.00 mm PROOF 8,500

WHITE TAILED DEER: THE BATTLE

Another of the few platinum coins issued each year, this one follows the same theme as the new silver, White Tailed Deer series. In fact, this design appeared on a silver coin back in September. $2,995.95

Although the white-tailed deer is common across much of southern Canada, seeing one is still a special treat for nature lovers. A symbol of the elusive yet constant presence of nature in this land, the white-tailed deer is now available for viewing year round—thanks to this exquisite new series of coins from the Royal Canadian Mint.

DESIGN: The reverse design by Canadian artist Desmond McCaffrey features an image of two mature male white-tailed deer squaring off during the autumn rut. Designed to showcase the grace and power of two fighting bucks at the height of their strength, this image renders in fine detail two males
locking their large multi-tined antler racks. With pleasing visual symmetry, the males face each other from the left and right sides of the image. They have just run at each other and now balance on their front legs in a powerful push for superiority. Their blunt-nosed muzzles are turned toward the viewer. Their variations of shading and rippling neck and back muscles are rendered in dimensional detail using advanced engraving techniques. The bucks fight in a large open field of sparse, dying grasses in late fall. Behind them is the dense and leafless autumnal boreal forest.

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIAMETER QUALITY MINTAGE
$300 CND 0.9995 Pt 31.16 g 30.00 mm PROOF 200

WHITE TAILED DEER: DOE & FAWNS

Also the fourth and final coin in a series, A Doe and her Fawns rounds out the mints White Tailed Deer series. This appeared on a gold version back in September. $99.95

Although the white-tailed deer is common across much of southern Canada, seeing one is still a special treat for nature lovers. A symbol of the elusive yet constant presence of nature in this land, the white-tailed deer is now available for viewing year round—thanks to this exquisite new series of coins from the Royal Canadian Mint.

DESIGN: The reverse design by Canadian artist Trevor Tennant features a white-tailed doe and her two young fawns in their summer habitat. In this evocative scene, the doe walks behind her two knockkneed and spotted offspring through a grassy clearing backed by young boreal forest: the deer’s preferred warm-weather habitat. In the lower left centre of the image, one young fawn glances to the left, its long ears extended back behind its head as it listens to its mother behind it.

Viewed from the front with its ungainly little body in a graceful curve, the fawn’s youthful spots are clearly displayed, along with its long slender legs. Its sibling walks beside it, on the right side of the image, looking toward the right. Its front left leg is raised as it takes an uncertain step forward. Like its sibling, it keeps at least one ear trained on its mother at all times. Behind the fawns, the large doe walks with her head bowed toward her offspring, her slim but muscular body presented in dimensional detail by Royal Canadian Mint engravers. Each blade of grass below them, each narrow tree trunk in the background, the gentle slope of a distant hillside in the forest: all are engraved with the finest care to bring out the full beauty of the scene.

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIAMETER QUALITY MINTAGE
$20 CND 0.9999 Ag 31.39 g 38.00 mm PROOF 7,500

POLAR BEAR AND CUB

Another favourite subject of the Royal Canadian Mint, the Polar Bear appears again today on a pair of coins sporting the same design, but composed of different metals. The mints description is pretty sparse, but the images speak for themselves. Gold $649.95, Silver $89.95

A symbol of the power and vastness of Canada’s northern landscape, the Polar Bear is an iconic animal for Canadians. In a nation dominated by weather extremes, the Polar Bear’s ability to survive and thrive in the harshest climate reflects Canadians’ stalwart pragmatism and spirit of adventure.

DESIGN: Designed by Canadian artist Germaine Arnaktauyok, the reverse of this coin features a polar bear and its cub in its natural habitat.

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIAMETER QUALITY MINTAGE
$10 CND 0.9999 Au 7.8 g 20.00 mm PROOF 2,000
$5 CND 0.9999 Ag 31.39 g 38.00 mm PROOF 7,500

BEAVER AT WORK

A nice coloured silver coin featuring the Beaver, a Canadian favourite. Great design as you’d expect. $99.95

The beaver is one of Canada’s most beloved and iconic animals, one that is forever tied to Canada’s early history. Known for its persistence, resourcefulness and hard work, the beaver has endeared itself to Canadians. Now, the Royal Canadian Mint pays tribute to this industrious animal and its admirable qualities with this selectively coloured coin.

DESIGN: The reverse design by Canadian artist John Mardon depicts a beaver (Castor canadensis) in its natural environment. The beaver’s brown-coloured fur can be seen in greater detail thanks to the use of selective colouring , which showcases the subtle variations in the fur’s hue. Its famously flat, almost paddle-like tail is partially submerged beneath the blue lake water as the beaver stands on the coarse shoreline upon its webbed hind paws. At the water’s edge, the beaver is busily using its razor-sharp incisors to cut down a tree. And yet, had the beaver remained hidden underwater, the many gnawed tree stumps that dot the engraved landscape in the background would serve as proof of the animal’s presence in the area.

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIAMETER QUALITY MINTAGE
$20 CND 0.9999 Ag 31.39 g 38.00 mm PROOF 7,500

CANADIAN HORSES HALF-KILO

After looking at myriad horse coins over the last year, you’d think we’d seen enough of them, but it just goes to show how a nice, cleanly struck, pure design can look so good even to jaded eyes. Only the second coin to use the RCM’s 85mm half-kilo format, we like this size immensely, and lament the Perth Mint not producing their lunar series in the half-kilo size any more. The only downsize is the rather heavy price tag, especially given the current price of silver. $1,099.95

The year 2015 marks the 350th anniversary of the introduction of the Canadian Horse. Robust, resilient, and good natured, the petit cheval de fer—the “little iron horse,” as it became known in its native Quebec—has survived near extinction to emerge as one of Canada’s official national symbols. The Royal Canadian Mint proudly celebrates the anniversary of its introduction with a unique half-kilogram coin of 99.99% pure silver.

DESIGN: The reverse design by Canadian artist Michelle Grant features a portrait of three Canadian Horses bounding through a cascade of maple leaves. In the centre of the image, a stallion leaps toward the viewer across a grassy field. A cascade of maple leaves spin clockwise, like the hands of time, around him. Two other Canadian Horses race toward him in the left background. The leaves are engraved in multiple textures to underscore the diverse history of the Little Iron Horse that is so intertwined with the development of Canada.

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIAMETER QUALITY MINTAGE
$125 CND 0.9999 Ag 500.0 g 85.35 mm PROOF 1,000

BABY ANIMALS: BURROWING OWL

The third coin in the Baby Animals series, following on from the Beaver and the Puffin. Managing to avoid looking childish, the designs are actually pretty well done and should prove popular. $99.95

Young Burrowing Owls are particularly endearing for their extra-long legs that stick out from beneath their bodies like stilts. It’s an adaptation for living on the grasslands; with few trees to perch on, Burrowing Owls have evolved to sprint along the ground to capture prey. And without trees for nesting, Burrowing Owls have adapted by living underground in abandoned badger, gopher or prairie dog homes. The chicks stay in the den for the first two weeks, but will soon emerge to explore their world and develop their hunting skills.

DESIGN: Canadian artist Arnold Nogy has created a heartwarming design of an adult Burrowing Owl standing next to its owlet while holding a tasty offering of a grasshopper in its beak. Beautiful selective colouring showcases the Burrowing Owl’s brown and white speckled plumage and highlights the key difference between an adult and its young; chicks have a solid, buff-coloured chest whereas an adult’s chest is barred. The tall grass highlights the Burrowing Owl’s prairie habitat and one can perhaps detect the shadowy entrance to a burrow behind the adorable pair.

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIAMETER QUALITY MINTAGE
$20 CND 0.9999 Ag 31.39 g 38.0 mm PROOF 7,500

FIERCE CANADIAN LYNX

Struck in one of my favourite processes, ultra high-relief, this beautiful portrait of a Canada Lynx in full growl is one we can’t wait to see in-hand. We’ve recieved an image of the gold, but no specs (we suspect ½oz), and it’s doesn’t appear to be up on their site yet, but one to look out for.With the superb cougar series that debuted a short while ago, the RCM is on a roll with its feline designs. A little pricey at $149.95

Native to the boreal forests that stretch from Yukon to Newfoundland, the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) is one of the most common wild cats in Canada. Yet, encounters with this stealthy, agile predator remain rare; this fine silver coin captures the beauty of Canada’s elusive feline in a forceful show of strength.

DESIGN: The reverse image by Canadian artist Pierre Leduc offers a close-up portrait of the elusive hunter, the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis). The lynx’s long, shaggy winter coat is rendered in exceptional detail, from the black tips of its beard-like fur to the fine whiskers that stretch out on either side of the face. Despite its elusive nature, this predator’s fierce gaze holds steady as it vocalises its displeasure, holding its jaw open in mid-roar to reveal sharp teeth. The ears, with whisker-like tufts rising up from the tips, stand pointed as though they first detected the intrusion that drew the lynx’s attention in the direction of the viewer.

SPECIFICATION

FACE VALUE METAL WEIGHT DIAMETER QUALITY MINTAGE
$25 CND 0.9999 Ag 30.76 g 36.15 mm PROOF 6,000

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