Blooming lilacs awaken the senses of sight and smell to alert us to the firm arrival of spring in Canada. The familiar purple lilacs come to life on this 2017 $15 pure silver selective coloured coin. The front of the coin is engraved with the date “2017”, the word “Canada” and the denomination “15 Dollars”. As a pure silver coin struck by the Royal Canadian Mint, this item is HST/GST exempt.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Jan Poynter combines life-like colour and detailed engraving to recreate the springtime display of a lilac in full bloom. This depiction showcases the Preston Lilac, which was created in 1920 at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa, Ontario, by Canada’s first female hybridist: Isabella Preston (1881-1965). The realistic representation of this late blooming, Canadian variety is in keeping with the style of traditional botanical illustrations, which is particularly fitting given the lilac’s rich history. The application of vivid mauve and deep green colours capture the magnificence of the blooms and foliage while a separate depiction of a branch beneath the shrub highlights the more tubular, open-flowering nature of the Preston ‘Isabella’ blossoms. To the left is a close-up view of the purple blooms that have become synonymous with the uplifting fragrance and colours of spring.