This 2017 $20 proof fine silver colour coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint uses selective colour and a Swarovski® crystal element to present the Sugar Maple Leaves with sparkling raindrop. Mintage is extremely limited to only 4,500. As a pure silver coin struck by the Royal Canadian Mint, this item is GST/HST exempt.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Lisa Thomson-Khan combines artistry with technical precision to convey the serenity and peacefulness of an autumn day in Canada. A babbling brook winds its way through this tranquil woodland setting, where the gently rippled surface of the water beckons the viewer to explore its rock-lined edge. True to its appearance in nature, the autumn colours of the sugar maple tree on the reverse design are breathtaking, where the selective application of colour, immediately draw the eyes towards the red and golden foliage above the stream. One can almost hear the cadence of a gentle rain falling onto the leaves and rolling off their serrated tips, as beautifully conveyed by the glittering, raindrop-shaped Swarovski® crystal.
Sugar maple gets its name from the sweet sap it produces which is used to make syrup. The sugar maple can grow up to 35 metres tall and can live for more than 200 years.
Its yellowish-green leaves are 8 to 20 centimeters long, and have five lobes. The shape of the leaf is well known as it is found on the Canadian flag. In the fall, the sugar maple's leaves turn yellow, brilliant orange or red. Its bark is smooth and gray, and becomes darker and splits into ridges that curl out as the tree gets older.
Seeds from the sugar maple are contained in "keys" which are 30 to 35 millimeters long. Seed is produced every year, with an abundant crop every 7 years.