This 2016 $20 fine silver coin introduces new technology and design elements to Canadian collector coins to create a modern image of star gazing from Canada’s Burke-Gaffney Observatory. The coin recreates the dome of the observatory located at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It features the coloured glow of a clear, star filled night sky, while a unique glass insert captures the otherworldly beauty of a supernova. The globule of borosilicate glass contains an opal that represents the dying star, which is positioned over a darkly coloured background and surrounded by swirled glass and glow-in-the-dark colours. There is a luminous quality to the glow in the dark insert that conveys this stellar explosion of light and energy.
Mintage of this coin is limited to just 8,500. The coin is double struck in just over one ounce of pure silver, with colour and a borosilicate glass inlay. As a pure silver coin struck by the Royal Canadian Mint, this item is GST/HST exempt.
Canadian amateur astronomers using the Burke-Gaffney Observatory made a remarkable discovery in 1995 when they identified a supernova in a galaxy about 70 million light years away—the first such discovery made from within Canada. Such a powerful and colourful explosion is a rare celestial event, as the dying star expires in a burst of bright light and expelled energy; it is a truly breathtaking sight to behold, one of great ethereal beauty in a universe that still holds so many secrets!