The Benevolent Bison
This superb fine silver coin with vibrant selective colour celebrates one of Canada’s most distinctive and iconic animal species. The bison is revered in the legends, songs and dance of the Plains First Nations, and represents an animal benefactor that sustained a traditional way of life. This fine silver coin captures the majesty of the bison, which stands as an enduring icon of the vast Canadian prairies. This bison coin has a $20 denomination and is struck in one ounce of fine silver.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Doug Comeau features a wildlife portrait of a plains bison in a natural setting. The land grazing animal is shown in three-quarter profile against the rolling foothills in the background, where the tall trees give a sense of the bison’s height in this open space. Rich selective colour gives the wild bovine a life-like appearance, while highly detailed engraving captures the texture of its dark-brown shaggy hair and the roundness of its distinctive shoulder hump. The bison has raised its head and gazes off beyond the image field to the right, allowing for a better view of the horns on its head and its facial features. The green, yellow and white colours of the grasses and wildflowers at its feet give a sense of the diversity of plant life in its grassland habitat, while the engraved forest and hills behind it convey the rugged beauty of Canada’s wilderness.
The Bold Black Bear
Prominent in the myths and legends of Canada’s First Nations, the black bear (Ursus americanus) is a powerful symbol of knowledge and might. Its reputation is that of a curious explorer, but one that is easily emboldened by hunger; with this fine silver coin, the Royal Canadian Mint proudly celebrates one of the most famous residents of Canada’s vast forests. Multiple finishes, selective colour and detailed engraving offer a realistic depiction of a close encounter with a bold black bear in the wild.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Pierre Leduc captures the majestic qualities of the black bear in remarkable detail against the engraved forest in the background. Standing on its four legs, the bear’s bulky body size is evident when seen in three-quarter profile as its front paws rest upon a rock in the foreground. Its head is turned to present the viewer with a front view of its carefully engraved facial features and its bold, inquisitive expression. Selective colour enhances the engraved textural details and brings to life the bear’s dark fur and lighter-coloured muzzle. In this hillside clearing near the edge of a forest, the black bear inspires awe as it stands out among the bright colours of the vegetation, logs and rocks that surround it.
The Commanding Canadian Lynx
At home in the boreal forests that stretch across much of this country, the Canadian lynx (Lynx canadensis) commands attention with its beautiful features and secretive ways. This wildcat is a skilled hunter that easily adapts to the changing seasons—an admirable trait that makes it one of Canada’s beloved iconic species, as celebrated in this fine silver coin.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Denis Mayer Jr. presents a life-like depiction of the Canadian lynx deep in the boreal forest. With its head turned to the side, the lynx remains calm and composed as it crouches low on its perch atop a rocky outcrop, which provides it with a higher view of the area below. Selective colour highlights the meticulously engraved portrait of this wild felid, capturing it in fine detail—from the varying colours of its thick fur, the beard-like ruff on both sides of its face, and the black-tinged ear tufts. The coloured moss and grasses at its broad feet add a fresh tinge of green and brown colours that contrast beautifully with the pale-coloured lynx, all against the engraved forest that looms in the background.
The Regal Red-Tailed Hawk
Found throughout much of Canada, the majestic red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is a graceful glider and a swift hunter that soars effortlessly above the open country. Its superb vision allows it to swoop down upon its prey with a swift efficiency that makes it a compelling symbol for resilience and strength—a sentiment that resonates in this superb fine silver coin.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Emily Damstra uses selective colour to highlight the engraved depiction of a red-tailed hawk in its natural setting. In a unique twist, this large, broad-shaped bird is viewed from the perspective of its prey, as though the viewer were staring up at the sky from ground level; the hawk is depicted in a controlled dive on outstretched wings, with talons ready and a fixed gaze that conveys the strength, fierceness and determination associated with this species. Intricate engraving recreates the smallest of details—from the softly feathered legs to the textured appearance of its overlapping feathers—while the selective application of reddish-brown, cream and yellow colours recreate the whitish underbelly and predominantly brown-spotted patterning of the western subspecies (Buteo jamaicensis calurus). In the background, the towering peaks and trees of Western Canada rise up beneath the great expanse of sky—a fitting, grand setting for this celebration of a majestic species.
The Baronial Bald Eagle
The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is the lord of its realm as it swiftly glides high in the skies above the forest. This superb fine silver coin pays tribute to Canada’s largest bird of prey, whose hunting and scavenging ways leave little doubt of its regal authority in the wild. Third coin issued in 2016 as part of the continuing Majestic Animal series, which celebrates Canada’s most distinctive and iconic animal species.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Glen Loates features a powerful and highly intricate depiction of a majestic bald eagle landing on a bare treetop. Viewed from the right, the bird of prey’s enormous wingspan is magnificently displayed as the eagle slows its approach. Its head is curved forward, its hooked beak partially open to release a cry as it flexes its sharp talons and grips the branch that will serve as its perch. Selective colour captures the remarkable contrasts between the eagle’s dark brown body, the bright white feathers of its head and tail, and the vivid yellow of its eyes, beak and legs. Its gaze is intense, almost stern, which adds to the eagle’s commanding presence and the sense of its regal authority in this setting. To the left, an intricately engraved bald eagle is perched on a separate branch of the same tree, its head turned to observe its companion’s arrival. Towering clouds and soaring mountain peaks provide a fitting majestic backdrop to this scene, easily dwarfing the trees that line the tranquil waters of the lake below.
A cherished addition to any nature-, wilderness- or Canadiana-themed collection, or a uniquely artistic gift for the nature lover or outdoor enthusiast in your life.