Sunday 20th September 2020

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Is that the new maple leaf coin pulsating in your pocket or…

by Greg Klein | September 3, 2019

Better known for lagging, sagging, floundering and falling, Canadian currency now boasts a distinction both impressive and unique: It pulsates. Well, one $10 silver collector’s coin appears to do so thanks to a “numismatic breakthrough” that the Royal Canadian Mint heralds as a world-first. It’s one of a number of unusual items released this month by the coin-creating Crown corporation.

Is that the new maple leaf coin pulsating in your pocket or

While some forecasters say silver’s set to soar, the
precious metal pulsates on this Canadian coin.
(Photo: Royal Canadian Mint)

Its R&D boffins teamed up with the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Research in Photonics to engrave “an array of sub-millimetre-scale mirrors in the shape of a maple leaf on the reverse of this 99.99% pure silver coin,” the Mint explained. ”With precise dimensions and orientations, these miniature mirrors produce a design that appears to expand and contract with each tilt of the coin.”

Expressing more conventional and non-pulsating royal hauteur, the Queen appears on the obverse. With 3,000 coins struck, the two-ounce piece sells for $199.95.

Staying well ahead of the trend to turn cash into a collector’s item, the Mint continually comes up with unusual designs for legal tender. Another recent release is the Common Loon, part of the Real Shapes series that creates cutout images from familiar circulating coins to replicate those features on more than three ounces of silver plated with 24-karat gold. The pieces went for $329.95 each in a mintage of 1,200 that’s already sold out.

Is that the new maple leaf coin pulsating in your pocket or

Images long familiar to Canadians have been
freed of their circular bounds in this gold-plated
silver collection. (Photo: Royal Canadian Mint)

Another of the Mint’s self-described “numismatic wonders” is the one-kilo silver D-Day: A Snapshot in Time. Based on scores of RCAF reconnaissance photos of the 1944 Juno Beach landing, the relief image portrays the scene as Canadian pilots might have seen it. The obverse displays wartime monarch King George VI.

This month the Mint also celebrated the 40th anniversary of its own gold maple leaf, “one of the world’s most coveted pure gold bullion coins” which has sold more than 25 million troy ounces. The two-ounce, $200 commemorative piece went for $2,899.95 before the mintage of 350 sold out.

Other releases this month include Yousuf Karsh: The Roaring Lion, the third of a series of 10-ounce, $100 coins celebrating the photographer’s work. This one reproduces his portrait of Winston Churchill.

The 2020 Peace Dollar comprises a pair of $1 silver and $200 gold coins with high-relief engravings. The 2020 Maple Leaf Fractional Set features five silver coins ranging from one ounce to 1/20th of an ounce expressing patriotic themes.

The Mint evidently finds much to love about this country, even striking a $10 silver coin to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Canada’s Official Languages Act.

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