When the Royal Canadian Mint on Oct. 7 announced a new series of
circulating 25-cent, $1 and $2 coins to honor the nation’s boreal
forests, national parks and wildlife, RCM officials promised collector
coins with the same themes.
On Nov. 1, the RCM kept its promise and revealed the designs for
noncirculating commemorative gold 50-cent and silver $10 coins that
are being released parallel with the circulating program. Also on Nov.
1, the RCM released several special edition sets of the designs
Although the circulating and noncirculating coins share themes,
they do not share commemorative designs. The RCM commissioned artist
Corinne Hunt to provide new perspectives for the Boreal Forest, Orca
Whale, Peregrine Falcon and Wood Bison gold 50-cent and silver $10
coins. Though the themes are similar, Hunt’s designs are markedly
different from those for the coins entering circulation, which are
being issued in both colorful and standard (plain) versions. For the
circulating program, the animals are honored on individual circulating
25-cent coins, while the boreal forest is the subject of a circulating
$2 coin (Coin World, Oct. 24 issue).
The coin designs from Hunt, a British Columbia artist who also
designed the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games athlete medals, interpret
traditional forms from artwork of First Nations’ people like the
Kwakwaka’wakw and Tlingit.
The designs capture the beauty of Canada’s boreal forest, one of
the world’s largest ecosystems, as well as the majesty of three
Canadian animal species that are conservation success stories in Canada.
The designs appear on both Proof .9999 fine gold 50-cent coins and
Proof .9999 fine silver $10 coins.
The reverse design of the Canadian Boreal Forest coins depicts a
stylized kingfisher overlooking a pine tree. Four ovoid shapes,
symbolizing regeneration, line the ground, and the ends of the tree
branches represent the forest’s cycles of life, death and rebirth.
The depictions of the wood bison, orca and peregrine falcon are
rich in symbolism as well, with each animal’s body incorporating an
ovoid representing, per coin, the life and the seed of the future for
the wood bison; the many generations, past and present, of the
community in which the orca thrives; and the symbol of birth and
rebirth on the peregrine falcon.
The gold 50-cent coins weigh 1.27 grams and measure 13.92
millimeters in diameter. With a limited mintage of 2,500 coins each,
the coins retail for $139.95.
The silver $10 coins weigh 15.87 grams and measure 34 millimeters
in diameter. They have a mintage limit of 10,000 pieces per design and
‘Circulating’ collector versions
More closely related to the circulating coin program, the RCM has
released Proof .925 fine (sterling) silver versions of the Orca Whale,
Peregrine Falcon and Wood Bison 25-cent coins.
Like half of their circulating counterparts, the silver versions
sport a splash of color on the reverse.
The Proof silver 25-cent coins are available only as part of a
three-coin set dubbed Canadian Conservation Successes.
The coins weigh 5.9 grams and measure 23.88 millimeters in
diameter. The set has a mintage limit of 10,000 sets and costs $49.95.
Also revealed in the Nov. 1 recent launch is a set providing
collectors with Uncirculated examples of all six examples of the three
circulating 25-cent coins (three with color, three without), joined by
examples of the National Parks $1 and Boreal Forest $2 coins.
The coins in the set are struck with the standard compositions and
physical specifications of the respective denominations.
A total of 20,000 Special Edition Uncirculated sets are being
issued, with an issue price of $23.95 each.
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 the firm’s website, www.talismancoins.com,
telephone the company at 888-552-2646 or fax the business at 314-968-3801.
For more information about the coins, visit www.mint.ca. ■