As Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II prepares to celebrate an unprecedented 60 years as Canada’s monarch and after "The Great One" reached a new milestone by turning 50 in 2011, the Royal Canadian Mint (www.mint.ca) is excited to release an array of collector coins based on these and other distinctly Canadian themes.
The countdown to Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee is being marked by several 2012-dated coins: a $300 face value 99.999% pure gold featuring the world’s first genuine diamond insert; a 99.99% pure 1/10 ounce gold coin and a $20 fine silver coin featuring the Royal Cypher; and a $20 fine silver coin featuring the profiles of Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip.
The Royal Canadian Mint’s tribute to Wayne and Walter Gretzky features: a 22-Karat gold coin featuring Wayne Gretzky sporting his famous number "99" with an engraved cameo of his father; a Wayne and Walter Gretzky fine silver cameo coin with a number "99" hologram; and a gold-plated 25-cent coin of a full colour bust of Wayne Gretzky dressed in the famous blue and orange colours of the team he led to four Stanley Cup victories.
Other new products include: a five ounce 99.99% pure gold coin honouring the centennial of Canada’s first gold coins; a $300 platinum and a 0.5g pure gold coin featuring the cougar; a $20 fine silver coin with a canoe theme; and a new 50-cent lenticular holiday coin bringing to life the magic of gifts from Santa.
"Respect for Canada’s royal family and admiration for the legendary family duo of Wayne and Walter Gretzky are aspects of Canadian pride and identity, which the Royal Canadian Mint is honoured to capture on innovative new collector coins of the highest quality and appeal," said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint.
"The Mint is proud that its collector coins continue to open new windows on the story of Canada and that its history, culture and values shine through on exceptionally crafted products which delight, as well as inform, collectors in Canada and around the world."
The following are descriptions of the featured products available to the public as of October 11, 2011.
2012 $300 The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Gold Coin
After launching its own countdown to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee with a silver and crystal double-effigy coin of Her Majesty in May 2011, the Mint is pleased to introduce a grand tribute to the occasion by being the first mint in the world to issue a coin integrating a genuine diamond. Using a proprietary process, a certified Canadian diamond is locked inside the coin’s rim as the coin itself is struck. This allows the proud owner of this innovative coin to admire the diamond’s brilliance on either side of a coin fashioned of 99.999% pure gold; the purest of its kind in the world.
The reverse of this coin depicts a portrait by Canadian artist Laurie McGaw, of a young Queen Elizabeth II, with her hand outstretched as if to touch the genuine Canadian diamond symbolizing her sixty-year reign. The obverse design is the work of British Columbia portrait artist Susanna Blunt, who designed the effigy of Her Majesty which has appeared on Canadian coins since 2003 and was introduced in celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
Each of these coins, which are limited to 1,500 examples world-wide, is accompanied by a serialized certificate confirming the diamond’s authenticity, weight and clarity. This exclusive new coin with a $300 face value retails for $1,999.95 CAD.
2012 $5 Royal Cypher Diamond Jubilee Gold Coin & 2012 $20 Royal Cypher Diamond Jubilee Silver Coin
Another enduring symbol of Canada’s longest-reigning monarch is the Royal Cypher; identifying the monarch in the same manner as a coat of arms. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Cypher, distinctly featuring her monogram; "E II R" beneath St. Edward’s crown, is framed by a garland of maple leaves, at the centre of which a maple leaf is overlaid by a diamond outline showing the numeral "60".
This Canadian tribute to the Royal Cypher is featured on a new gold and a new silver Royal Canadian Mint coin.
Limited to a total mintage of 7,500 and crafted of 1/10 ounce of 99.99% pure gold, the $5 pure gold Royal Cypher coin retails for $259.95 CAD.
The $20 fine silver version of the Royal Cypher retails for $84.95 CAD and is limited to 15,000 coins world-wide.
2012 $20 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip Diamond Jubilee Silver Coin
The Diamond Jubilee celebrates countless personal milestones in the 60-year history of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, of which her marriage to HRH Prince Philip is one of the most enduring.
They are featured together in profile on an exquisitely engraved 99.99% pure silver collector coin designed by Canadian portrait artist Laurie McGaw. This classic design 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.
Limited to a world-wide mintage of 15,000 pieces, this coin retails for $84.95 CAD.
This coin can also be purchased as part of a three-piece set including the $20 fine silver Royal Cypher coin and the $20 fine silver Queen’s Diamond Jubilee coin with crystal (issued May 2, 2011). This coin series is presented in a unique lacquered wood box emblazoned with Her Majesty’s Royal Cypher and retails for $274.95 CAD.
2011 $200 Wayne and Walter Gretzky Gold Coin
For many Canadians, the special bond between father and son has been epitomized by the legendary story of Wayne and Walter Gretzky. From the first rink Walter Gretzky built for six year-old Wayne, to the years spent together sharing a passion for the game of hockey, the story of Wayne and Walter Gretzky shows that support, guidance and encouragement are among the greatest gifts a parent can give their child.
Today, Wayne Gretzky, simply known as "The Great One" or "Number 99" by legions of adoring fans, is applying the lessons he learned from his father to lead and inspire others after retiring as history’s most accomplished professional hockey player in 1999.
After Wayne celebrated a 50th birthday and a half century companionship with his father earlier in 2011, the Mint is proud to honour the legacy of Wayne and Walter Gretzky through three exquisite collector coins. The first is a $200 22-Karat cold coin featuring a uniformed Wayne Gretzky blazing down the ice, sporting Canada’s maple leaf and his signature "99" on his jersey. His iconic number is laser engraved on this coin, positioned beneath a cameo of his proud father. Limited to a world-wide mintage of only 999 coins, this exquisite collectible retails for $1,299.99 CAD.
2011 $25 Wayne and Walter Gretzky Silver Hologram Coin
This same inspiring design is captured on a $25 fine silver coin whose number "99" stands out in a colourful hologram.
Limited to total mintage of 19,999 pieces, this coin retails for $99.99 CAD.
A portion of the sales of each coin will be donated to the Wayne Gretzky Foundation, whose mission is to provide less fortunate youth with the opportunity to experience the sport of hockey.
2011 25-Cent Wayne Gretzky Coloured Coin
The latest and most colourful Mint collector coin honouring Wayne Gretzky is a 25-cent face value, gold-plated coin featuring ‘The Great One" in the blue and orange colours of the team he led to four Stanley Cup victories in only five years.
This copper-plated steel coin, finished with a layer of gold, is packaged in a holder detailing Number 99’s amazing career statistics.
Retailing for $34.99 CAD and available while supplies last, this beautifully coloured coin is a great gift idea for Dad or for any loyal hockey fan. A portion of the sales of this coin will also be donated to the Wayne Gretzky Foundation.
2012 $500 100th Anniversary of First Canadian Gold Coin
The Mint recently began crafting five-ounce 99.99% gold coins to commemorate important milestones such as the 60th wedding anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip (2007) and the centennial of the Royal Canadian Mint (2008). In 2012, the Mint is proud to use this imposing gold coin format to mark a special numismatic moment; the 100th anniversary of Canada’s first gold coins.
After opening a full-time gold refinery in 1911, the Canadian branch of Britain’s Royal Mint was ready to convert Canada’s vast gold resources into distinctly Canadian coins in $5 and $10 denominations. It was the first time the word "Canada" appeared on a gold coin, beneath which was engraved the shield of the Canadian coat of arms, consisting of the arms of the four founding provinces of the Dominion in 1867: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario.
This precious circulation coinage was however short-lived, when the advent of the First World War in 1914 prompted the Canadian government to conserve its gold and withdraw the $5 and $10 gold coins from circulation. This imposing tribute to the "golden years" of Canadian coinage is limited to only 200 examples and retails for $12,274.95 CAD.
2011 $300 Cougar Platinum Coin
The Mint’s newest one-ounce, 99.95% pure platinum coin features the Cougar. This elusive predator which once ranged from Canada’s east to west coasts, was hunted and displaced to near extinction and was officially listed as Endangered in 1978.
Although its stealthy nature has always made it hard to track its population, repeated sightings suggest that it is making a comeback, even as far as Eastern Canada. Engraved in consummate detail, this secretive hunter illustrated by zoological artist Emily Damstra is a fine subject by which the Mint continues to celebrate the richness of Canadian wildlife.
Only 200 of these extremely exclusive are available world-wide, each retailing for $2,999.95 CAD.
2011 25-Cent Cougar Gold Coin
The strikingly realistic profile of Emily Damstra’s fearsome cougar is also captured on the Mint’s smallest pure gold collector coin, weighing a mere half gram.
Adding to an increasingly popular category of 0.5 pure gold coins among collectors world-wide, this coin will be prized as much for its fine detail as its 99.99% pure gold composition.
Limited to a total mintage of 15,000, this exceptional coin is available for $79.95 CAD.
2011 $20 Canoe Silver Coin
In the words of artist Jason Bouwman, who chose a distinctly Canadian icon to design this new $20, 99.99% pure silver coin: "the canoe has become as much a part of the Canadian visual lexicon as the Canada goose, the beaver and the maple leaf."
This emblematic subject is captured in the scene of a young person leaning over the side of their canoe to dip a hand in the water and, touching the past, produces the reflection of an early native paddler in a birch-bark canoe, reminiscent of our famous "Voyageur" silver dollar design, first circulated in 1935.
This finely crafted, 7.96 gram fine silver coin, which evokes respect for our ancestry and the love of our land, has been available since October 1st for only $20.00 CAD.
As the entire mintage of the previous $20 fine silver coin (The Maple Leaf) offered at face value sold out in 29 days, the 250,000 "Canoe" fine silver coins minted for this latest release are expected to be available for a limited time only.
2011 50-Cent Holiday Santa Coin
Throughout North America and Europe, Santa Claus and his famous toy workshop are cornerstones of Christmas folklore and legend. The Royal Canadian Mint brings the magical story of gifts from Santa to life on its annual 50-cent copper-plated lenticular coin.
Young and old can enjoy alternating scenes of Santa carefully examining his "naughty and nice" list and of Santa’s snow-bound workshop as the coin is turned from side to side. This newest addition to the Mint’s annual lenticular holiday series is available for $26.95 CAD, while supplies last.
All of the Mint’s products are available directly from the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in the US, or on the Internet at www.mint.ca. The coins are also available at the Royal Canadian Mint’s boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver, as well as a new Toronto CN Tower location, and through our global network of dealers and distributors, including participating Canada Post outlets.
About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada’s circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2008 certified company, the Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. For more information on the Mint, its products and services, visit www.mint.ca.