Canadian 2017 $20 Coin Depicts Whale in 3D


Coin enthusiasts take note as the Royal Canadian Mint continues to push the numismatic envelope with its first true 3D coin. Recently issued and available now is the 2017 $20 Three-Dimensional Breaching Whale 1 oz. Silver Coin.

2017 $20 Three-Dimensional Breaching Whale 1 oz. Silver Coin
Obverse, side, and reverse view of 2017 $20 Three-Dimensional Breaching Whale Silver Coin

Limited to 7,500 coins with each composed of one ounce of 99.99% pure silver, the Mint used a unique printing and embossing technique to achieve the likeness of 3D whale.

Canadian artist Matt Bowen created the design as seen on the reverse (tails side) of this coin. The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) appears as if it is launching itself right off the surface of the coin.

The imagery is created using a thermoforming process. A blue hue is added to the humpback for a more life-like appearance. A watery background and a lighthouse appear in the distance.


Inscribed around the design are 2017, CANADA, the coin’s legal tender face value of 20 DOLLARS, and ‘mb’ for the artist’s initials.

Shown on the obverse (heads side) is Susanna Blunt’s effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Surrounding the Queen are the inscriptions of ELIZABETH II and D G REGINA.

Specifications for the coin as provided by the Royal Canadian Mint are as follows:

  • Mintage: 7,500
  • Composition: 99.99% pure silver
  • Finish: proof
  • Weight (g): 31.39
  • Diameter (mm): 38
  • Edge: serrated
  • Certificate: serialized
  • Face value: 20 dollars
  • Reverse Artist: Matt Bowen
  • Obverse Artist: Susanna Blunt


Orders for the 2017 Three-Dimensional Breaching Whale 1 oz. Silver Coin may be placed directly with the Royal Canadian Mint at An affiliate link to the coin’s product page is right here. Pricing is CAD $117.95, which is about US $88.

Each coin is encapsulated and ships in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with a graphic beauty box.

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Very interesting technique. No for me, but I am sure it will be a prize for others. Its nice to see the RCM pushing the envelope with new and interesting minting techniques. Shows creativity and inovation. Will be interesting to see how this technique evolves.