The Royal Canadian Mint have launched two new coins which feature a new profile portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The new coins are issued in conjunction with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Queen which began on the 6th February, the day in 1952 when Princess Elizabeth, the Duchess of Edinburgh succeeded to the British throne as Elizabeth II. As such, she also became Queen of Canada.
It is the first time that the Queen has been portrayed facing to the left on a legal tender Canadian coin, as she is normally portrayed facing to the right, according to tradition of alternating directions of successive monarchs. The new coins are also struck in ultra-high relief, adding a greater dimension to the detail on the new design.
The jubilee portrait which is seen on the reverse is the work of engraver Laurie McGaw and depicts the Queen wearing the pearl drop and diamond “Vladimir” tiara, which consists of fifteen interlaced thick diamond encrusted circles made of platinum and suspended with tear-drop pearls in the middle of each circle. The denomination of 20 Dollars for the silver coin and 50 Dollars for the pure gold coin is placed just under the portrait for both issues. The year of issue “2012” is positioned to the right of the portrait and the text “CANADA” is above the top rim. The current circulation effigy of the Queen, designed by Susanna Blunt appears on the obverse.
The gold coin has a weight of 33.17 grams and a diameter of 30 mm. A total mintage of just 500 pieces has been authorized. The pure silver coin has a weight of 30.7 grams and a diameter of 36 mm with a limited mintage of 7500 examples. Both coins are struck to proof quality and are accompanied with a numbered certificate and presentation case.
The coins are available for pre-ordering with dispatch commencing at the end of March. For more information on these and other coins offered by the Royal Canadian Mint, please visit their website at: http://www.mint.ca/