Gaze upon one of Canada’s most efficient and secretive nocturnal predators: the barn owl. The RCM’s first-time use of black rhodium plating - one of Earth’s rarest precious metals - lends itself perfectly to recreating the dark night sky, yet allows the moon’s uniquely frosted finish to shine through. This fine silver coin captures all of the majesty and beauty of this species in the night sky.
This 2017 $20 fine silver pays tribute to one of Canada’s wide range of nocturnal animals - the barn owl. With its acute senses and secretive ways make it one of nature’s most efficient night-time hunters. The coin weighs just over one ounce of pure silver, and has a limited mintage of 7,000 coins. As a pure silver coin struck by the Royal Canadian Mint, this item is HST/GST exempt.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Jamie Desrochers features a contemporary stylized depiction of a barn owl descending upon its prey, as viewed from the ground looking up at the night sky. In the background, the creative use of black rhodium plating serves as a stunning backdrop for this night-time scene; detailed engraving re-creates the cratered surface of the full moon, which is brought to life through the use of bold frosting peering through the dark plating. The coin’s silver surface also lends itself beautifully to evoking the luminous quality of moonlight on the engraved owl in the foreground, which seemingly shines brighter against the dark image field. Flying on outstretched wings, the owl conveys its stealthy hunting prowess through its fixed stare, as it seems to close in on the viewer. The engraving captures much of the owl’s most distinctive features—from its characteristic heart-shaped face and sharp talons, to the spotted appearance of its wing and tail feathers.