World Coins

RCM issues collector versions of circulating 25-cent, $2

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 entering circulation.

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 cost $69.95.

‘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

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,, telephone the company at 888-552-2646 or fax the business at 314-968-3801.

For more information about the coins, visit ¦

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