World Coins

Fauna, family themes for new Canadian commemoratives

Fauna and family feature on four new coins from the Royal Canadian Mint.

On March 15, the RCM was scheduled to release a colorful, oversized 25-cent coin featuring the barn swallow, a Specimen $2 coin depicting a baby elk and a $3 coin showing the orca or killer whale. Another $3 coin bears a family scene, a native mother and her child.

Birds of Canada take flight

The Barn Swallow 25-cent coin heralds the arrival of spring. It is the third coin since the return of the program one year ago.

The RCM issued two coins per year in the 2007 and 2008 programs, before placing the program on hiatus for 2009. Two coins were issued in the program in 2010.

Arnold Nogy’s design of a barn swallow, balanced on the edge of a nest, appears on the reverse of the 35-millimeter coin (Canada’s circulating 25-cent coin measures 23.88 millimeters).

The nickel-plated steel coin features color and is struck with a Specimen finish.

Specimen finish is described as a three-fold combination of brilliant and frosted relief on a lined finish background.

Susanna Blunt’s effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse, as it does on all the coins mentioned here.

The Barn Swallow coin weighs 11.6 grams, has a mintage limit of 14,000 pieces and costs $25.95, an increase of $1 since the sixth coin was offered in the summer of 2010.

The second annual issue in the Young Wildlife series of Specimen sets contains a specially designed Baby Elk $2 coin.

The set contains Specimen finish examples of each of eight circulating coin denominations, dated 2011.

As with earlier Specimen sets containing special coins, the special $2 coin replaces the standard circulating coin of the same denomination.

The Baby Elk $2 coin is in the standard specifications of the circulating denomination, with an outer ring of nickel and a core of copper, aluminum and nickel.

The coin weighs 7.3 grams and measures 28.03 millimeters in diameter.

Senior Mint engraver Christie Paquet designed the reverse, which shows a young elk standing in a pasture.

The set is limited to a mintage of 15,000 and costs $49.95, the same mintage and price as the inaugural issue, which sold out. It was released April 14, 2010 and features the baby lynx.

Wildilife Conservation coin

The third issue in the Wildlife Conservation series of square gold-plated .925 fine silver $3 coins honors the killer whale or orca (Orcinus orca).

Though it is found in both Atlantic and Pacific waters, the orca is particularly associated with the coast of British Columbia, according to the RCM, “where it is intimately tied to First Nation’s tradition, culture, heritage and mythology.”

In a Jason Bouwman design, an orca leaps out of the water, a stylized sun and waves in the background, on the reverse.

The Specimen coin weighs 11.8 grams and measures 27 millimeters square. It has a mintage limit of 15,000 pieces and costs $62.95.

The specifications are the same as earlier issues (which honored the barn owl and polar bear in 2010), but the price is $3 more than the earlier issue price.

A black-footed ferret features on the final coin in the program, due for release later in 2011.

Native artwork

One of the coins in the latest launch also is rooted in First Nations’ people.

Designed by Inuit Andrew Qappik, the Family Scene $3 coin shows an Inuit mother and child in an amauti, an Inuit parka designed for women to keep their children warm in the harsh climes of the Arctic.

The coin, which is struck from .9999 fine silver, features selective pink- and gold-colored gold plating on the reverse, a pink gold braid surrounding the golden-hued family scene.

The coin weighs 7.96 grams, measures 27 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 10,000 pieces. It costs $64.95.

Ordering, pricing

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 Web site at, telephone the company at (888) 552-2646 or fax the business at (314) 968-3801. ¦

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