World Coins

Canada 2023 $2 coin honors work of modern artist

Canada has a new circulating commemorative $2 coin, which is available in a plain or colorful version, to honor artist Jean Paul Riopelle.

Images courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint.

Canada has a new circulating commemorative $2 coin, in plain and colorful versions, to celebrate a Canadian artist.

The new coins were released Oct. 3 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of visual artist Jean Paul Riopelle. The coin recognizes his status as one of Canada’s, and the world’s, most influential artists of the 20th century.

The artwork appearing on the reverse of the 2023 $2 coin honoring Riopelle offers a small yet poignant glimpse of Riopelle’s acrylic and spray paint 1992 masterpiece: L’Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg.

The immense 40-meter-wide triptych consists of 30 separate panels rife with natural imagery and coded symbolism. It was painted in tribute to his lifelong partner, Joan Mitchell, upon her death in 1992.

Created at Riopelle’s studio on Ile-aux-Oies, an island in the estuary of the Saint Lawrence River near Quebec City, the fresco features the recurring theme of bird-like silhouettes, two of which from Panel 29 appear on the reverse of the coin.

The colorful version of the coin captures the original colors of this multi-media masterpiece.

The obverse of this coin features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

The Riopelle coin has a total mintage limit of three million pieces, with two million from that mintage featuring color.

The coin will reach the public through change as bank branches and businesses replenish their inventories of $2 coins.

Both versions of the circulation coin are available in a seven-piece Collector Keepsake coin set.

They are packaged in a richly illustrated collector card that also contains Uncirculated versions of classic 2023 circulation coins in every denomination, from 5¢ to $1.

Other collector products adding to the celebration of Jean Paul Riopelle include:
➤ Colored and uncolored special wrap rolls of 25 Uncirculated coins each;
➤ A 1-ounce .999 fine gold $200 engraved version of the circulation coin design, crafted of gold sourced exclusively from Quebec mines; and
➤ An Extraordinarily High Relief 2-ounce .999 fine gold $200 coin featuring Riopelle’s 1970 sculpture Petit hibou, also exclusively crafted from Quebec-sourced gold.

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