The Royal Canadian Mint has released new gold and silver Proof-quality coins which feature perhaps one of North America’s most resilient and iconic mammals, symbolising independence and wonderment. Few North American species are as revered as the enigmatic grizzly bear, a long-time symbol of strength and expansive wild spaces. Ursus arctos horribilis, to use its scientific name, has the reputation of being a skilled hunter, a resourceful scavenger and, in the case of female grizzlies, a fiercely protective mother. Grizzly bears prefer to remain out of sight in Canada’s western forests and Arctic tundra, but when it does come into view, this strong and intelligent creature instantly commands attention, awe, and respect.
A grizzly bear’s keen sense of smell helps it identify a food source, and it is able to sprint quickly over short distances. If a hiker is fortunate to see a grizzly bear in the wild, it is worthwhile to note they are indeed omnivores, so be safe and give it plenty of space. This also preserves the grizzly bear’s habitat, and the bear itself, which is an important part of Canada’s natural heritage.
Designed by artist Emily Damstra, the reverse side of the coin, shared on both gold and silver, references the boreal forest of Western Canada and where the grizzly bear reigns supreme. The low perspective, combined with the technology of ultra high relief (UHR), emphasises the grizzly bear’s imposing size and appearance. Standing on a rock outcrop or cliff and surrounded by towering conifers, the elusive grizzly has perceived a threat as it looks down from its perch; the bear has raised its paw as if to strike and has a fierce expression on its face. The obverse features the effigy of the late Queen Elizabeth II (1926–2022) created by Susanna Blunt. The obverse also bears a special marking that includes four pearls symbolising the four effigies that have graced Canadian coins and the double date of her reign, 1952 – 2022. A maple leaf pattern is also shown behind the Queen’s likeness, and below is the denomination 200 DOLLARS (gold) or 20 DOLLARS (silver). Above the Queen’s effigy is the year of issue 2023 and text CANADA.
|20 dollars||.9999 Silver||31.3 g||36.1 mm||Proof (Ultra High Relief)||6,000|
|200 dollars||.9999 Gold||31.1 g||30 mm||Proof (Ultra High Relief)||575|
Both gold and silver Proof coins are encapsulated and presented in a branded Royal Canadian Mint custom case accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity. For additional information, please click here for the silver coin or here for the gold coin.