With four 2012 coins debuting Oct. 11, the Royal Canadian Mint
continues the countdown to Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, the
60th anniversary of her accession to the throne in 1952.
The RCM on Oct. 4 announced two new 2012 silver $20 coins and gold
$5 and $300 coins, the four pieces joining a previously released
silver $20 coin for the milestone, which occurs in June.
One of the silver coins and the gold $5 coin share a similar
design (with the exception of the denominational inscription)
depicting the queen’s royal cypher, which is a monarch’s identifier,
much like a coat of arms.
Cyphers have been used by British royals since the time of Henry
VIII. They generally feature the monarch’s initial and titles, often
beneath a symbol of rule, such as a crown. Unlike monograms, which
interweave letters, royal cyphers display each letter distinctly.
Queen Elizabeth II’s cypher, eiir, features her initials, e ii
(Elizabeth II), and her title initial, r (for regina, Latin for
queen), below an image of St. Edward’s Crown, which has been used for
British coronations since the restoration of the monarchy and
coronation of Charles II in 1661. The queen’s initials and crown
appear at the center of the shared reverse design.
The shared design also features a garland of maple leaves
partially enclosing the eiir and crown. At the bottom center of the
garland, joining the two branches, is a maple leaf overlaid by a
diamond outline showing the numerals 60.
The royal cypher is imprinted in the insignia of orders,
decorations, medals and on badges. In Canada — a constitutional
monarchy that recognizes the queen as its head of state — it is common
for this cypher to be surrounded by a wreath or garland of maple
leaves, symbolizing the unique union of the queen’s power and the
sovereignty of the Canadian people.
The shared reverse design is not credited to any particular
artist. The engraver was Christie Paquet, senior mint engraver of the RCM.
The Proof .9999 fine gold $5 coin with this design weighs 3.13
grams, measures 16 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of
7,500 pieces. It costs $259.95 in Canadian funds.
The Proof .9999 fine silver $20 coin with the design weighs 31.39
grams, measures 38 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limited
to 15,000 pieces. It costs $84.95 Canadian.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
Prince Philip joins Queen Elizabeth II on another new Proof .9999
fine silver $20 coin marking the Diamond Jubilee.
Created by Canadian portrait artist Laurie McGaw, the queen and
prince gaze off the coin at the viewer’s right, mostly inside a circle
that is framed by two decorative elements containing a shamrock, a
rose, a thistle and maple leaves to symbolize the common bonds between
Canada and the United Kingdom. The nation’s name, the dual dates
1952-2012 and the denomination appear inside the outer field.
The Proof .9999 fine silver $20 coin weighs 31.39 grams, measures
38 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limited to 15,000 pieces.
It also costs $84.95.
The Royal Cypher and Prince Philip-Queen Elizabeth II silver $20
coins in the Oct. 11 launch will be available in a three-coin set. The
third coin in the set is a Proof Queen’s Diamond Jubilee .9999 fine
silver $20 coin with crystal, which was issued May 2.
The set, which is presented inside a box emblazoned with the
queen’s royal cypher, retails for $274.95.
Gold $300 coin with diamond
A Canadian-mined Ekati diamond embedded in the Proof .99999 fine
gold $300 coin is a physical link to the Diamond Jubilee in what the
RCM calls “a grand tribute to the occasion.”
According to the RCM, the diamond is locked inside the coin’s rim
as the coin itself is struck using a proprietary process, making the
RCM “the first mint in the world to issue a coin integrating a genuine
diamond.” The diamond (weighing from 0.11 to 0.14 carats) was mined by
Canadian mining concern Ekati. The coin is accompanied by a serialized
certificate confirming the diamond’s authenticity, weight and clarity
of VS or better and a color of I or better, according to the RCM.
(Despite the RCM’s statement about the coin being a “first,” coins
from other nations integrate a diamond, including a Treasures of
Australia coin from the Perth Mint that includes diamonds inside a
capsule that is inserted into the center of a coin.)
The reverse of the gold $300 coin, also designed by McGaw, shows a
portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth II, with her hand outstretched as
if to touch the diamond symbolizing her 60-year reign. The nation’s
name joins the dual dates of 1952-2012 and the denomination on the reverse.
The Proof $300 coin weighs 22 grams, measures 25 millimeters in
diameter and has a mintage limit of 1,500 pieces. It costs $1,999.95.
All 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 www.gatewestcoin.com.
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 www.talismancoins.com,
telephone the company at 888-552-2646 or fax the business at 314-968-3801.
Susanna Blunt’s effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the
obverse of all of the Canadian coins in the Oct. 11 launch. ■