The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM)
2016 1.5 oz $8 Silver Canadian Falcon Coins (BU)
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The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM)
Gold and silver, and more recently platinum and palladium, have been popular vehicles for personal and national wealth protection for centuries. Today, spiking precious metal prices, uncertain economic and market conditions have combined with a precious metals market that includes an ever-expanding array of bars, coins, and rounds for sale. Silver.com is proud to carry gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products from a variety of private and sovereign mints. Chief among them is the Royal Canadian Mint, the official sovereign mint of Canada.
About the Royal Canadian Mint
Originally founded in 1908, the Royal Canadian Mint has today grown to become one of the world’s preeminent sovereign mints. Canadian currency was originally, from 1858 until 1908, struck by the Royal Mint in London. The growth of Canada as a nation in its own right, combined with the discovery of gold and other precious metals in the Yukon Territories, eventually facilitated the need for the nation to have its own mint.
The Royal Canadian Mint operated for nearly 70 years with only its original Ottawa coining facility. In 1976, a secondary mint location opened in Winnipeg, nearly 16 years after the government was advised of a need to expand capacity. At one point in time, the Royal Canadian Mint had to turn to the United States Mint to produce circulation currency for the nation.
Today, the royal Canadian Mint strikes more than 1 billion coins annually. In addition to its popular Canadian Maple Leaf series of gold, silver, and platinum bullion coins, the mint also strikes currency for as many as a dozen other countries.
Canadian Maple Leaf Series
The official bullion coin series of the Royal Canadian Mint and the Canadian nation, the Canadian Maple Leaf is one of the world’s most popular coin programs. Introduced for the first time in 1979 as the Gold Canadian Maple Leaf, these were the first coins in the world to rival the South African Krugerrand in terms of gold bullion demand. No other gold coin, aside from the Krugerrand, had ever been offered strictly for investment purposes.
Gold Canadian Maple Leaf coins debuted with .999 pure gold content, but were enhanced beginning in November 1982 to include .9999 pure gold. At times, the Royal Canadian Mint has even achieved .99999 pure gold content in its Gold Canadian Maple Leaf coins. The obverse of all Canadian Maple Leafs, whether struck in silver, gold, platinum or palladium feature the right-profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. On the Gold Canadian Maple Leaf, three different incarnations of Her Majesty’s profile have appeared.
The reverse of all Canadian Maple Leaf coins features the image of the sugar maple leaf. Used on the reverse since the introduction of the gold version in 1979, this image has never changed. The only additions have been security measures, notably radial lines and a microscopic maple leaf privy.
Each Gold Canadian Maple Leaf coin is available in 1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, 1/10 oz, 1/20 oz, and now 1 Gram. The coins have face values according to their fractional weight, based upon the $50 (CAD) value of the 1 oz coin.
The Royal Canadian Mint also produces a Silver Canadian Maple Leaf coin with a face value of $5 (CAD). Available only in 1 oz. weights, this coin features .9999 pure silver, and debuted in 1988. Also launched in 1988 was the Platinum Canadian Maple Leaf. Featuring .9995 pure platinum, it was available until 2002 in five different denominations, suspended until 2009, and reintroduced in the 1 oz. weight only. Palladium Canadian Maple Leaf coins were introduced for the first time in 2005, but only produced for three years (2005-2007). The coins returned to the market in 2009 as demand for precious metal products increased.
Silver Canadian Bison
The newest Canadian commemorative bullion product from the Royal Canadian Mint is the annual Silver Canadian Bison. First introduced in 2015, this coin is exclusively offered from the Royal Canadian Mint through Silver.com in the United States. The coin series is a first-ever 1.25 troy ounce coin that includes .9999 fine silver, with a face value of $8 (CAD) fully backed by the government of Canada. The Royal Canadian Mint will produce a new image on the reverse face of these coins each. Features of the available design on these coins to date include:
- 2015 Obverse: As is customary, the right-profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II from Susanna Blunt is featured on the obverse. Her Majesty’s effigy is included alongside engravings that read “Elizabeth II” and the face value of the coin as “8 Dollars.”
- 2015 Reverse: The reverse design features the North American bison as it runs across the open plains of Canada, with rolling hills visible in the distant background.
- 2016 Obverse: Queen Elizabeth II’s right-profile portrait is now accompanied by engravings that read “Elizabeth II,” “D.G. Regina,” and the face value of the coin.
- 2016 Reverse: On the reverse for 2016 is the image of a bison standing at the water’s edge, its head lowered to drink from the stream. IN the background, a jagged rockface rises to meet the horizon.
- New Security features: The micro-laser engraved radial lines and maple leaf added to the Maple Leaf bullion program in 2014 is now available on the 2016 Silver Canadian Bison coin. This includes radial lines visible on both sides, and a maple leaf privy on the reverse that bears in the year of issue, visible only under intense magnification.
Silver Canadian Bison coins are available from Silver.com in individual flips, sealed tubes containing 20 coins, or Monster Boxes containing a total of 400 coins. Many are available in Brilliant Uncirculated condition.
Silver Birds of Prey and Reverse Proof Birds of Prey Coins
In 2014, the Royal Canadian Mint released a new wildlife-themed series of silver bullion coins. Following the massive success of the Canadian Wildlife Series (2011-2013), the RCM transitioned from silver bullion coins celebrating the nation’s land-based wildlife to highlighting its aerial predators.
Emily Damstra, a famed Canadian artist who created the images for the final two releases in the Canadian Wildlife Series, was tapped to create all four designs used in the Birds of Prey Series. Similar to the Canadian Wildlife Series, the Royal Canadian Mint opted for a biannual release schedule, debuting two new designs each year.
For the original Birds of Prey Series, the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a new design each year in February and August. The series debuted in February 2014 with the release of the 2014 1 oz Birds of Prey Canadian Peregrine Falcon Silver Coin. The full list of coins in the series is as follows:
- 2014 Peregrine Falcon (February 2014): The first release in the series and first of 2014 features the Peregrine Falcon as it descends from the sky to capture its prey in a set of deadly talons.
- 2014 Bald Eagle (August 2014): The second release in the series and second of 2014 included the image of a beautiful bald eagle in flight, with a fish clutched tightly in its talons.
- 2015 Red-Tailed Hawk (February 2015): The RCM’s third release and first of 2015 featured the image of a Red-Tailed Hawk as it lifted off in flight, with its wings spread wide and its beak open.
- 2015 Great Horned Owl (August 2015): The fourth and final release in the Birds of Prey Series captures the majesty and deadly striking ability of the Great Horned Owl. Damstra captured the aerial predator as it swoops in on its unsuspecting prey with its talons prepped for capture.
Each of the coins in the Royal Canadian Mint’s original Birds of Prey Series featured the same physical dimensions of the famed Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, included .9999 pure silver, and carried a face value of $5 (CAD) backed by the Canadian government. With each release in the series, the Royal Canadian Mint capped mintage at one million. The first coin in the series sold out quickly, setting expectations for sales on subsequent coins in the series.
Now the Royal Canadian Mint is ready to revive the famous Birds of Prey designs on an all-new series of silver coins, this time featuring a reverse proof finish to each coin. For the new series, the Royal Canadian Mint will use each of Emily Damstra’s original designs for the Birds of Prey coins. The coins will be released in the exact same orders as the original series:
- Canadian Peregrine Falcon Coin (1)
- Canadian Bald Eagle Coin (2)
- Canadian Red-Tailed Hawk (3)
- Canadian Great Horned Owl (4)
A reverse proof coin has the hallmarks of a standard proof, with matte finishes contrasted by deeply-mirrored, clear fields. However, while a standard proof features matte finishes on the design set and mirrored, clear fields for the background, these Reverse Proof Birds of Prey coins will have a deeply-mirrored, clear finish to the design sets (each bird) and a background that is dominated by a strong, matte finish.
Silver Wild Canada Series
The Silver Canadian Wildlife Series of coins from the Royal Canadian Mint was a program that consisted of six coins in total, each with a different design honoring native wildlife species found throughout the forests, mountains, plains, and tundras of Canada. The coins were released on an annual basis from 2011 to 2013, with two new designs introduced each year. The coins each shared commonalities with one another that included:
- One troy ounce of .9999 fine silver.
- Face value of $5 (CAD) fully backed by the government of Canada.
- Status as legal tender currency.
- Common obverse design: Susanna Blunt’s 2003, third-generation right-profile portrait of England’s Queen Elizabeth II.
- Mintage capped at one million coins per design.
Two designers were chosen to craft the images used on the reverse face of each of the Silver Canadian Wildlife Series coins. Royal Canadian Mint Assistant Engraver William Woodruff was chosen to create the designs for the 2011 and 2012 coins in the series. A total of four coins bear images created by Woodruff, and he is honored for his contributions with a “WW” inscription on the reverse of each 2011 and 2012 coin alongside his noted designs.
In 2013, the Royal Canadian Mint commissioned famed Canadian artist Emily S. Damstra to create the images used on the final two coins in the series. Damstra was likewise honored for her contributions to the series with an “ED” inscription featured on the reverse side along with her designs.
Silver Canadian Predator Series
The present state of the Silver Canadian Predator Series owes its existence to the immense popularity of two wildlife-themed coins series introduced by the Royal Canadian Mint since 2011. First came the Canadian Wildlife Series, a program of silver bullion coins with .9999 fine silver and designs inspired by some of the nation’s most prevalent wild residents. The cougar, the face of the new Silver Canadian Predator Series, was featured in that six-coin series.
Immediately following the Silver Canadian Wildlife Series (2011-2013), was the four-coin Birds of Prey Series that featured aerial predators that are also commonly found across the Canadian wilderness. Launched in 2014 and concluded a year later in 2015, this series followed the two-coin release schedule of the Wildlife Series, with February and August releases of new designs.
Beyond the 2016 Silver Canadian Predator Cougar coins available now on Silver.com, not much is known about the future of the Silver Canadian Predator coins. Here are the facts that are known at this point:
- Maximum mintage set at One million coins in total!
- Each coin consists of one Troy ounce of .9999 fine silver.
- The face value of each coin is set at $5 (CAD) and is fully backed by the government of Canada.
- Susanna Blunt’s 2003 depiction of Queen Elizabeth II graces the obverse.
- New designs will appear on the reverse face of the coin with each new release in the series.
- The Silver Canadian Predator coins will include a total of four designs.
- Emily Damstra returns to designing brilliant coins for the Royal Canadian Mint.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Coins
On the obverse face of each coin you’ll find the right-profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II from Susanna Blunt. Engravings include her name, the phrase “D.G. Regina,” and “Canada.” In addition to this shared obverse design field, the coins have a variety of other commonalities to be aware of, including the following:
- Limited mintage of just 15,000 coins in total!
- All coins arrive in premium graphic cases courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint and DC Comics.
- Each contains ½ Troy oz (15.87 grams) of .9999 pure silver.
- Face value of each individual coin is $10 (CAD) backed by the Canadian government.
- All products have a matte, proof finish.
As for the specific reverse designs found on the four coins in the series, you’ll find the following design features for each of the coins (listed in order of release):
- Dawn of Justice Logo: The first release in the exciting new series of silver coins, this coin depicts the perfect combination of both Batman and Superman’s logos, with the iconic “S” visible in the center of the bat logo. On the reverse face of the coin is an engraving that combines the two logos in the center, with the face value engraved above and the year of issue below. The so-called “shattered glass” design combines matte finishes and hints of a mirrored finish to achieve the visual appearance.
- Superman Coin: The Man of Steel. Fasting than a speeding bullet and capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound flies off the surface of the second coin in this series. Featured alone in his traditional blue-and-red superhero outfit, Superman comes to life on this brilliant colorized silver coin. The world’s first superhero appeared in 1938 and makes his return on the reverse of this coin standing tall and strong with his cape blowing in the wind. The background features the shattered glass design first introduced on these Dawn of Justice coins. Included in the background is the Kryptonian syllabic writing system created by Canadian linguist Dr. Christine Schreyer.
- Batman Coin: The Caped Crusader is one of the most infamous superheroes, depending upon who you ask that is. To some, Batman is a hero who does what must be done to save the people of Gotham City from evil forces. To others, he is a masked vigilante carry out justice that he deems appropriate. The reverse side of the coin features a contrasting set of polygon shapes, with a matte finish, that give the appearance of shattered glass for the background. Batman is finished with a black coating, bringing him to life in a colorized image. Engravings on this side include the coin’s face value, year of issue, and Batman’s name in the Kryptonian syllabic writing system from Canadian linguist Dr. Christine Schreyer.
- In the fourth and final release of the series, the most popular female superhero comes to life to close out the series. On the reverse of this coin is the colorized image of Wonder Woman, in her trademark outfit with her whip at her side. Set against the shattered glass background used on other releases, you’ll find her strength and beauty unparalleled.
Purchase Your Royal Canadian Mint Coins on Silver.com
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