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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Lori MacVittie, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Wade Williamson

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Culture, legend and nature inspire new Royal Canadian Mint collector coins

OTTAWA, April 3, 2014 /CNW/ - The Royal Canadian Mint is celebrating a wide range of themes on a new wave of collector coins featuring a trademark mix of traditional handcrafting and leading edge technology. These latest creations, available to the public since April 1, 2014, capture memorable events such as the winning of the Nobel Prize for Literature by Alice Munro; the 100th anniversary of the Royal Ontario Museum, the canonization of Pope John Paul II, and the 2014 FIFA World CupTM.  Other keepsakes feature exciting new depictions of aboriginal legend and striking visions of Canada's natural heritage. 

"The Mint passionately combines craftsmanship and innovation to capture distinctly Canadian stories on unforgettable keepsakes," said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint.  "Our collector coins attract new customers in Canada and around the world and we are pleased to offer new glimpses of Canada through a constantly evolving marriage of art and science."

Canadian literary icon Alice Munro unveiled a $5 fine silver coin celebrating her many literary achievements, including the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature, at the Greater Victoria Public Library on March 24, 2014.  Designed by Canadian artist Laurie McGaw, this 99.99% pure silver coin features an ethereal female figure emerging from a pen as a representation of one of the many central characters from Alice Munro's beloved short stories. An image of a hand rests against an open book, whose pages are micro-engraved with a passage from Munro's The View from Castle Rock.  The laurel branch crowning the overall design honours Munro's achievement as the first Canadian woman to win a Nobel Prize in Literature.

Renowned for its world-class collections and its striking architecture, the Royal Ontario Museum's 100th anniversary is celebrated on a selectively-gold plated $20 fine silver coin designed by Mint engravers.  This coin features a gold-plated image of one of the museum's earliest acquisitions, the statue of Cleopatra VII, set against a rendering of the dramatic Michael Lee-Chin-designed wing of the museum famously known as The Crystal.

The year 2014 marks the canonization of Pope John Paul II and the Royal Canadian Mint is commemorating this historic event on new 99.99% pure gold and silver collector coins. Remembered as "Canada's Pope" for being the first Roman Catholic pope in history to visit Canada exactly 30 years ago and returning twice more in his lifetime, the image of the late Pontiff celebrating his first Mass on Canadian soil has been reverently reproduced on coins which will appeal to history buffs and admirers of Pope John Paul II alike.

To the delight of millions of soccer fans around the world, 2014 also marks the return of the FIFA World CupTM.  This prestigious and exciting international football tournament has no shortage of Canadians followers as well, who can preserve their passion for "the beautiful game" on a 25-cent coloured commemorative coin which boldly illustrates the spirit of a truly global sport. 

Timeless tradition survives through the sharing of aboriginal legends which provide an endless source of inspiration for another category of coins with universal appeal.  The Ojibwa legend of the hero Nanaboozhoo, who transforms into a rabbit in many stories and confronts the mythical Thunderbird while stealing feathers from its young to strengthen his arrows, is retold in a captivating array of five stunning collectibles designed by Ojibwa artist Cyril Assiniboine:

  • the  coloured $20 Fine Silver Coin – Legend of Nanaboozhoo;
  • the selectively gold-plated $20 Fine Silver Coin – Nanaboozhoo and the Thunderbird;
  • the proof-finished $20 Fine Silver Coin – Nanaboozhoo and the Thunderbird's Nest; and
  • the $5 Pure Gold Coin and $5 Pure Platinum Coin – Portrait of Nanaboozhoo

Other powerful aboriginal themes gracing new collector coins include "The Seven Sacred Teachings: Love" on a selectively gold-plated $20 fine silver coin designed by artist Nathalie Bertin, who is Métis, and "The Matriarch Moon Mask" by Haida artist Carol Young on ultra-high relief, intricately detailed $25 fine silver and $200 pure gold coins.

Nature also continues to stand out on a number of new coins celebrating icons of Canada's vast landscape showcased in a wide range of techniques, including the $20 Fine Silver Coin – Water Lily and Leopard Frog, featuring the Mint's best- selling combination of handcrafted Venetian glass fauna on painted Canadian flora. A 25-cent coloured cupro-nickel coin captures the same theme while other subjects abound on the following:

  • the Mint's first-ever half-kilogram coin: the 2014 $125 Fine Silver Coin – Howling Wolf by artist Pierre Leduc, as well as hologram-enhanced 2014 Five Silver Coin – A story of the Northern Lights: Howling Wolf illustrated by artist Nathalie Bertin;
  • limited-edition, proof versions of the 99.99% pure gold and fine silver Arctic Fox bullion coins designed by artist Maurice Gervais;
  • the 2014 $20 Fine Silver Coin – The Bison: The Fight designed by Claudio D'Angelo;
  • $10 fine silver and $5 pure gold coins featuring The Moose, from the O Canada series;
  • the coloured 2014 $20 Fine Silver Coin – Maple Canopy: Spring Splendour; and,
  • the 2014 $10 Fine Silver Coin – Silver Maple Leaf crafted with a specimen finish.   

Mintages, pricing and full background information on each product can be found on the "Shop" tab of www.mint.ca

All of these products can be ordered directly from the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in the US, or online at www.mint.ca (subject to availability). The coins are also available at the Royal Canadian Mint's boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver, as well as 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.

SOURCE Royal Canadian Mint

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