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Peer Inside Our Press Room : Learn How a New Coin is Creatively Refined

When our creative team began planning for new 2022-dated coins, they wanted to develop something distinctively different that would excite collectors and investors alike. 

Senior Manager of Product Development, Chantal Arbique was looking to create a seamless experience where customers could obtain precious metals from our world-leading refinery, “For millennia, people have gifted gold and silver to loved ones, and we wanted to offer customers an easy way to acquire it directly from us.”  Almost two years later, we introduced a new offering to the world called Premium Bullion in special packaging.

Peer inside the press room at our Ottawa facility as these coins take shape, and read on to discover the creative thinking in bringing this latest Premium Bullion in special packaging coin, the Majestic Polar Bear, to life.

Inside the Press Room

Building on a 100-year old tradition, the process of striking a coin like this is as refined as the material that comprises it. Using up to 150 tons of pressure, a large automatic press strikes each piece of pure gold once and each pure silver piece twice before they are handpicked, specially handled and individually placed into custom packaging.

Contrary to our standard Gold and Silver Maple Leaf bullion coins, which are packaged and shipped in bulk to dealers and distributors across North America, our Premium Bullion in special packaging coins ship directly to you.

Production is only one part of the process. Coming up with a unique design is another.

Inside the Creative Mind

With over 20 years of experience using 3D graphics and animation, Alex Tirabasso, one of our talented engravers, was given free creative reigns to experiment and explore design options.

Alex explains, “I was first inspired by the craft of guilloche, which are those fine patterns you see on a luxury pocket watch or Rolex. This then led to me experimenting with new pulsating and lenticular patterns that we have not done before.”

After reviewing many options, including some saved for future coin designs, the team decided to focus on the coin’s background. Their renewed effort resulted in the creation of a new field pattern – vivid radial lines. Chantal compares the appearance to a sunburst effect, “The light refracts off the multiple facets to form a trompe-l’oeil.”

This new finish, which borrows from the traditional radial lines we see on our Maple Leaf bullion coins, was the perfect fit for a new uncirculated bullion coin. The only element the team needed to complete the design was the subject.

This is where Product Manager, Yudi Harsono came in: “After seeing the effects of the vivid radial lines, I immediately thought of Canadian wildlife. I considered a few different animals, but the image of a lone polar bear on the iceberg was coming to life because of this new pattern.” In fact, it is the coin’s effect that inspired the name, The Majestic Polar Bear.

The Masterpiece

The final effect is stunning! Light from a rising sun radiates behind earth’s largest land carnivore. The scene is quintessentially Canadian, yet one only few Canadians have ever witnessed. Now everyone can admire the polar bear in its arctic environment. 

Available in 1 oz. pure silver and 1/10 oz. pure (24-karat) gold, each Premium Bullion Majestic Polar Bear coin has a guaranteed weight and “four nines” (99.99%) purity.

The first gold and silver coins struck on the first day of production in early February 2022, are available in a First Strikes edition.

DID YOU KNOW?

It takes an average of two years to develop a new product from concept to coin. You can read more about this process in our blog, Circulating keepsakes: The design process of a commemorative circulation coin.

Every year, hundreds of Canadians share their coin ideas with us. If you have an idea for a coin, please send it to themes@csc.mint.ca.

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To your family and loved ones. The time to offer them a gift that will never go out of style is now.

To your family and loved ones. The time to offer them a gift that will never go out of style is now.

Issued directly by the Royal Canadian Mint, the new Premium Bullion in special packaging offering brings you the world-renowned uncirculated Silver and Gold Maple Leaf bullion coins in distinctive, easy-to-personalize packaging designed for a range of celebrations.