The Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who has been Canada’s Head of State since her accession in 1952, has proved to be a hugely popular collecting theme for the Royal Canadian Mint.
Within just a month of its release in early May, the latest coin in their exceptionally popular $20 for $20 silver series had completely sold out of its entire 250,000 worldwide edition limit. The other three coins in the series had also previously sold out in record time; they featured traditional aspects of Canadian culture such as the Maple Leaf and the Polar Bear.
Featuring Mary Gillick’s famous ‘young head’ portrait of the Queen on the obverse, the reverse features a new design depicting a contemporary portrait of Her Majesty. The portrait was exclusively commissioned for the 2012 Diamond Jubilee by Canadian artist Laurie McGaw.
Like the earlier coins of the series, this latest coin was struck in 7.96 grams of 99.999% fine silver and was available at its face value of CAN $20 to the North American market. The coin reached its mintage despite a limit of three coins per household.
This sell-out was closely followed by another success story for the Royal Canadian Mint – this time the ground-breaking 2012 Diamond Jubilee ‘High-Relief’ $50 Gold Proof Coin which also sold out literally weeks after its release.
Issued with a worldwide mintage of just 50 pieces, this stunning double effigy piece was struck in 99.999% pure gold, weighed 33.17 grams and measured 30mm in diameter.
More significantly, it was the first 99.999% pure gold coin ever to be struck in ultra-high relief proof quality – a complex and time-consuming process involving striking the coin no less than four times and individual hand-polishing. In another numismatic first approved by Buckingham Palace, this technique was applied to a left facing effigy of Elizabeth II, again designed by Laurie McGaw.
“Striking the purest gold in the world at such a high relief presented a mix of challenges and advantages due to the softness, malleability, and flow rate of gold. The result is an image of extraordinary height and fluidity,” said a Royal Canadian Mint spokesperson.
Susanna Blunt designed the obverse which was also approved by the Queen.
View The Westminster Collection’s range of Diamond Jubilee coins.