The Royal Canadian Mint has jumped on the bandwagon and produced its first concave-shaped coin — with an impressive result — on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the opening of the country’s Library of Parliament. Aside from its new concave concept, the ultra-high relief on the reverse shows off the amazing detail of the library’s architecture, as seen from the inside of its domed ceiling. The coin was unveiled before Senators, MPs, and special guests assembled at an event held in the library itself.
The Library of Parliament can trace its origins back to the 1790s, when Upper and Lower Canada each had a legislative library; the two were amalgamated into one library when Upper and Lower Canada united in 1841 to form the Province of Canada. Prior to 1857, the Province of Canada didn’t have a permanent capital, so both its legislature and its library moved from Kingston to Montréal, then back and forth between Toronto and Québec, until Queen Victoria selected Ottawa as the capital just before the confederation of Canada was finalized in 1867.
The Parliament Library is the only remaining section of the original Centre Block that was destroyed by fire in 1916, and continues to hold visitors spellbound as they gaze up at its massive domed ceiling and elaborate woodwork. As the nation also observes the centennial anniversary of this tragic fire, the 140th anniversary of the Library also takes on a larger, national significance.
The historical and cultural value of this institution has been masterfully captured by the Mint on a coin which is sure to evoke significant interest within the coin collecting community. The coin’s state-of-the-art concave shape—a first for the Royal Canadian Mint—provides the perfect canvas for recreating the Library of Parliament’s impressive domed ceiling.
Painstakingly struck with a greater curvature than any other concave coin, the coin’s distinctive shape mimics that of the Library’s famous cupola and allows for a unique dimensional feel to this engraved rendition. By presenting an upward view from the base of the marble statue of Queen Victoria, the design alters our spatial perception in a way that conveys the grandeur of the library’s interior.
The reverse design boasts an astonishing level of dimension and depth through the use of the coin’s concave shape, which is apt for the recreation of the Library of Parliament’s lavish interior and domed ceiling. The carved pine bookshelves that encircle the reading room are replicated on the reverse along the rim. Finally, the application of an antique finish to the ultra-high relief engraving showcases the precision and artistry that makes this coin a numismatic masterpiece. Beneath the statue, a banner features the engraved commemorative dates 1876-2016.
The obverse design includes the the effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II designed by Susanna Blunt and used on all Canadian circulation issues and many commemorative coins since 2002.
|25 Dollars||.999 silver||30.7 grams||36.07 mm.||Antique finish||6000 pieces|
The Parliament Library is currently illustrated on Canada’s current $10 banknote. The coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with a black cover box. For more information on this and other coins offered by the Royal Canadian mint, please visit their Web site. International sales are dispatched where applicable.