A 50-cent coin in a coin-and-stamp set features lenticular technology, so collectors can see both an early image of the superhero and a modern-day rendering. Sales of the set will determine the coin’s mintage.
The Man of Steel is now honored in copper-nickel, silver and gold.
The Royal Canadian Mint is “Super”-sizing its commemorative coin program, beginning sales Sept. 9 of seven collector coins celebrating the 75th anniversary of Superman’s creation by Canadian Joe Shuster and American Jerry Siegel. The character first appeared in 1938.
The RCM’s program offers multiple views of the famed superhero who masquerades as a newspaper reporter. The coins were unveiled at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto.
In what has to be a first, all seven coins feature Superman’s native Kryptonian language. Six of the coins offer the inscription “75 Years Of Superman” in Kryptonian, appearing twice. The other coin, a Proof silver $10 piece, features a Kryptonian translation of “Superman,” appearing twice.
Coin & stamp set, small silver
An oversized copper-nickel 50-cent coin is available as part of the Then and Now coin and stamp set.
The 50-cent coin pairs the iconic cover art of Superman No. 1 comic book with a modern interpretation of the same pose by Superman artist and DC Entertainment’s co-publisher Jim Lee. The two renditions shift using lenticular image technology as the coin is viewed, switching back and forth between the two versions.
The coin is accompanied by a Canada Post stamp also featuring Superman No. 1.
The coin and stamp set is being sold to order, for $29.75 Canadian.
The superhero, who is said to have fallen to earth to be raised by a Kansas farm family, made his debut in a different comic book series, Action Comics No. 1, in 1938. An image of that first sighting — of Superman breaking loose the chains that bind him — graces the reverse of Canada’s Proof Vintage .9999 fine silver $10 coin. Superman fans know that the image was also placed on the back cover of the Superman No. 1.
While the Action Comics No. 1 comic book can bring tremendous sums, ranging from $175,000 for a poor example to $2.16 million for a near-perfect example (sold Nov. 30, 2011, through ComicConnect.com), the Superman No. 1 comic is also desirable in its own right. A damaged and conserved example sold in Heritage Auctions’ May 16 auction for $20,574.32, including the buyer’s fee.
The $10 coin has a mintage limit of 15,000 coins and costs $44.75.
A current image of Superman appears on the Proof Modern Day .9999 fine silver $15 coin. A full color image of the Man of Steel leaps from the background, evoking the thrilling action of Superman in full flight. The $15 coin has a mintage limit of 15,000 pieces. It retails for $69.75 each.
Three silver $20 coins
Three Proof .9999 fine silver $20 coins are part of the Superman 75th Anniversary program, each offering color in the design.
One coin, dubbed the Man of Steel, shows the cover of Superman No. 204, a Jim Lee illustration of the superhero standing guard over Metropolis, Superman’s chiseled physique and flowing red cape enhanced by color over an engraved relief.
Few brand icons are as recognizable at the Superman S-shield, which graces the reverse of the Shield silver $20 coin.
In a technological breakthrough, the RCM’s Metropolis silver $20 coin is the world’s first coin to feature an achromatic hologram, which the RCM said relies on nanotechnology-based imaging.
The technology was developed for passports and other high security documents.
“Set against a conventional hologram showing the Daily Planet building and the Metropolis skyline, the achromatic hologram of Superman flying over Metropolis creates the impression that he is flying out of the coin,” according to the RCM.
Each $20 coin has a mintage limit of 10,000 pieces. The Man of Steel coin is offered at $109.75, with the Shield coin priced at $119.75. The Metropolis coin retails for $129.75.
Early Years gold $75
The highest-denomination coin in the program is a Proof .583 fine gold $75 coin celebrating “The Early Years.”
The reverse image shows Superman soaring over Metropolis as Shuster pictured him on the front cover of the Superman No. 1 comic book. Framing the scene is an engraved rendering of Superman’s crystalline Fortress of Solitude.
Limited to mintage of 2,000, the gold coin retails for $750.
The coins are available for purchase to only customers with U.S. or Canadian addresses.
The U.S. prices for collectors in the United States buying from the RCM fluctuate with the exchange rate of U.S. and Canadian dollars, and are set at the time of purchase.
To order, visit the RCM website at www.mint.ca. ■