Canada ushers in spring with colorful bouquet of commems

Four floral coins among Canada's latest batch of collector issues
Published : 05/04/11
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May’s flowers bloom brightly on four new collector coins being released May 2 by the Royal Canadian Mint.

Three of the four new coins offer a colorful scene, with the flowers vibrant in a blaze of glory. A colorful Tulip and Ladybug design is available both on a Specimen nickel-plated steel 25-cent coin and a Proof silver $20 coin. Another $20 coin depicts the wild rose, also featuring color.

A fourth coin, a Proof gold $350 coin, depicts mountain avens, the territorial flower for Northwest Territories.

The coins are among a total issue of 20 coins, the remainder of which Coin World will report on in future issues.

Tulip and ladybug

Two of the coins celebrate the emotional and natural connection between Canada and the Netherlands.

Post World War II, the Netherlands presented more than 100,000 tulip bulbs to Canada in thanks for Canadian forces’ efforts to liberate the Dutch during the war.

Canada also provided refuge for the Netherlands’ Crown Princess Juliana and her daughters during the war.

Ottawa is now the site of an annual spring festival that is the world’s largest tulip festival, according to the RCM.

A tulip in full bloom appears, with a ladybug crawling on one leaf, on the reverse of both coins. The design is credited to unnamed RCM engravers.

The obverse carries the standard Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, as on all current Canadian coins.

The oversized nickel-plated steel 25-cent coin measures 35 millimeters in diameter, as compared to the 23.88-millimeter size of the standard circulating 25-cent coin. The oversized coin weighs 11.6 grams.

The nickel-plated steel 25-cent coin has no stated mintage limit; it is scheduled to be “produced to demand.”

It retails for $24.95.

The Proof .9999 fine silver $20 version sports an additional accoutrement: the ladybug is fashioned from Venetian glass created by artist Giuliano Donnagio and rises above the coin’s surface as a three-dimensional element.

The Tulip and Ladybug $20 coin weighs 31.39 grams, measures 38 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 5,000 pieces.

It retails for $139.95.

Wild Rose, Mountain Avens

Another Proof .9999 fine silver $20 coin celebrates the wild rose in full color bejeweled with three Swarovski crystals. The design is by Margaret Best.

From the Maritime Provinces in the east, to the lower mountain valleys of the Rocky Mountains west of the prairies, and north to Nunavut, the wild rose (Rosa acicularis) punctuates the Canadian landscape with pink.

It is known by many names, including the prickly rose, the prickly wild rose, the bristly rose and the Arctic rose.

The coin weighs 31.39 grams, measures 38 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 10,000 pieces.

It costs $109.95.

Territorial flower coin

The fourth floral coin in the May 2 launch is the final of 12 annual coins celebrating provincial and territorial flowers.

The Proof Mountain Avens .99999 fine gold $350 coin, designed by Caren Heine, shows the Dryas integrifolia, the territorial flower of the Northwest Territories.

The series began in 1998.

The 2011 $350 coin weighs 35 grams and measures 34 millimeters in diameter.

It has a mintage limit of 1,300 pieces and costs $2,799.95.

Ordering details

Prices are listed in Canadian funds.

United States distributors for the RCM carry the various coins at fixed prices in U.S. dollars.

Gatewest Coin Ltd., Brian Jenner Inc. and Talisman Coins are all official distributors for the RCM.

To contact Gatewest inside the United States, telephone the firm at (204) 489-9112 or visit it online at

Write to Jenner at P.O. Box 2466-a, Pasco, WA 99302, or telephone him at (509) 735-2172.

Visit Talisman at its website at, telephone the company at (888) 552-2646 or fax the business at (314) 968-3801. ■

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