The Royal Canadian Mint has released their very first silver and niobium coin. It represents the initial release in a four coin series that will feature selectively oxidized niobium cores in distinct colors of the Algonquin full moons.
The Algonquins are First Nations inhabitants of North America with a vast territory that extended from Lake Superior to the eastern seaboard. They looked to the moon to track time and assigned a name to each full moon. The buck, hunter, wolf, and pink moon represent the summer, autumn, winter, and spring.
The first release (The Buck) features a young buck standing before a full summer moon, designed by John Mantha. The image appears within a niobium core that has been selectively oxidized to create a unique finish with bright yellow contrasted against a pale white moon. The outer ring of the reverse is struck in 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper with a niobium inner core.
The obverse of the coin is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper with an image of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Susanna Blunt.
A maximum mintage of 7,500 pieces has been set for the current release, with a price of $121.95 CAD. The coins are available from the Royal Canadian Mint website at www.mint.ca.
The remaining coins featuring the hunter, world, and pink moon will be released throughout 2011 and 2012.