This 2018 $20 one ounce pure silver coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint is both a low mintage limited edition collectible and a beautiful work of art. Caterpillars are often seen as magical creatures in nature, appearing in this first form as they prepare to metamorphasize into a beautiful butterfly. This is especially the case of the Monarch Caterpillar, which is destined in the second stage of its life cycle to become of the most recognized and admired butterflies in Canada and in many parts of the world.
While the rest of the coin features a coloured and engraved background, the vibrantly coloured glass caterpillar is fully three dimensional, individually hand crafted by master glassmakers Bernardino and Giorgio Vio, in Murano, Italy. Mintage is limited to only 5,000 coins. As a pure silver coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint, this item is GST/HST exempt.
When the first Murano glass coin was introduced in 2011, it had a mintage of just 5,000, and it quickly appreciated in value to over $800 in the secondary market. Later issues had mintages from 7,000 to as high a 12,500, and while popular did not have the same rarity factor as the first issue. This 2018 $20 Fine Silver Murano glass coin marks a return to the original mintage of just 5,000, where both beauty and rarity are combined to create a superb collectible. As a pure silver coin struck by the Royal Canadian Mint, this item is HST/GST exempt.
This coin’s reverse design is punctuated by a Murano glass monarch caterpillar with vivid yellow, black and white stripes which are the tell-tale sign it is a monarch larva. The glass monarch caterpillar is poised on the leaf of a swamp milkweed plant designed by Canadian artist Maurice Gervais that has been selectively coloured to showcase the plant’s long leaves, and its clusters of pink flowers to best effect.
Murano glass coins from the Royal Canadian Mint are highly sought after today for their beauty and collectability. Because the Murano glass monarch caterpillar has been fashioned by hand, each coin is unique.