Introducing the NEW Elements Coin Set—inspired by a MC member!
"I love the concept and how it evolves from the original idea," says Bernard Dumais of Lévis (Québec), "from the artist's design to the final product."
As a Platinum Masters Club member and a self-proclaimed ambassador for the Mint's products, Dumais is always eager to share his passion with family and fellow coin enthusiasts, "Every new design, engraving technique and special effect I see inspires me to think of new ways to enrich the Mint's lineup, and ideas start flowing through my mind."
In March 2017, Dumais found his thoughts kept returning to one particular theme, so he decided to share his idea with the Mint.
The final design concept by artist Rebecca Yanovskaya. The four-part reverse image ties together the four elements within a circle that represents a continuous circle—Canada's past, present and future.
"With my submission, I wanted to propose a theme that would truly represent Canada and its natural strengths. I was inspired by the four elements that have shaped our past, present and future: earth, air, fire and water. As a collector and proud ambassador of Mint products, I am tremendously honoured to have been able to contribute to the creation of this set."
– Masters Club Member: Bernard Dumais
The four elements—earth, wind, water and fire—have always fascinated Dumais, “They have been the foundation of ancient philosophies around the globe, and were used to describe the natural world thousands of years before science.”
“The four elements have also shaped the land the world knows as ‘Canada,’ and were critical to the survival of our early pioneers. Earth provided food and shelter; wind filled ships’ sails and powered mills; water nourished people and the land, and made travel possible on Canada’s waterways; fire provided warmth and protection against the cold.”
“There are countless ways to interpret the four elements as they relate to Canada’s past, present and future,” says Product Manager Josh Bednar, “We found Mr. Dumais’ idea intriguing, thought-provoking, and most importantly, full of potential from an artistic standpoint.”
Since all four elements work together and are always influencing each other, the product team chose square-shaped coins to convey this concept, “We wanted to create a sense of unity. Four square coins fit together to form a larger unit. Round coins would have presented each element as a separate entity.”
"My favourite part about working on this coin was designing the circular, interconnected feature of the tree. Just like every aspect of nature is part of the whole, I designed the four quadrants to transition smoothly into each other."
– Artist: Rebecca Yanovskaya
The number four also provided the opportunity to incorporate the four seasons, and to create a strong visual impact by using colour to illustrate the changing seasons and the passage of time.
Canadian artist Rebecca Yanovskaya won the design competition with her fluid, circular design that captures the essence of each element while portraying it as part of a greater whole, “The tree plays a key role in leading the eye seamlessly from one coin to the next, and simultaneously linking them together.”
Engraver Alex Tirabasso was meticulous in selecting and applying various frostings to translate Yanovskaya’s design into a metal engraving. He carved many hard lines, deep cuts and forms to ensure the coin’s challenging 0.1 mm relief could support the frostings.
"These are low-relief (0.1 mm) coins—as low as we typically go for engraving coins. Sculpting coins with such little relief can be challenging, so we rely on engraving techniques to really 'cut' the design into the metal. Many hard lines, deep cuts and form."
– Engraver: Alex Tirabasso
“It is greatly satisfying to see how the Mint interpreted my idea and made it a reality,” says Dumais, “The end result is stunning. I am tremendously honoured to have contributed to this set.”
Bednar observes, “Mr. Dumais’ passion shines a bright light on the pride that Canadians feel for their country. It’s a spirit of pride that burns inside each of us, much like the campfire on this coin that has burned from the very beginning, and will continue to light the way for generations to come.
Got an idea for a coin? We’d love to hear it at firstname.lastname@example.org
Artists are also invited to submit their samples and/or ideas to email@example.com