Renowned for its strength, the iconic polar bear (Ursus maritimus) has come to symbolise the Canadian North for its remarkable ability to thrive in the harsh extremes of its surroundings. With this fine silver coin, the Royal Canadian Mint proudly celebrates this animal of the ice, the changing ecosystem it inhabits. Combining tradition with modernity, the intricate engraving is complemented by a jade insert – a decorative stone that is found in nature and is of immense beauty and strength.
The reverse image by Canadian artist Cindy Deborah Sorley-Keichinger features a truly Arctic scene, one that tells the story of several of the Canadian North’s animal residents. In the foreground, a jade polar bear and her two engraved cubs have made their way to the tip of the ice pack. The stunning jade insert naturally draws the focus to the mother bear, who has turned her attention away from her cubs to look to the horizon beyond the image field. Behind them, two whales show their tales in the vast expanse of the largely iceless waters–save for a few awe-inspiring icebergs in the background. The polar bear’s two cubs carry on, somewhat playfully; while the smaller cub rests, its sibling takes the opportunity to explore its surroundings. Coming nose-to-nose with a seal pup, the polar bear cub’s curious glance is particularly poignant: neither cub nor pup fully grasp yet that as adults, they will be at odds in their roles as the hunter and the hunted in the polar chain of survival. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
A beautiful coin for those who love jade, nature, animals and the Canadian North.