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Redefining rare with our new Opulence Collection: Introducing pink diamond coins

What makes something truly rare? It’s more than scarcity alone. Rare things are unique, incomparable, irreplaceable, and highly sought-after… just like the new pink diamond coins from our inaugural Opulence Collection.

A Mint first, the pink diamond coins from our Opulence Collection were created in collaboration with Crossworks Manufacturing, a Vancouver-based company that specializes in diamond polishing and is renowned for its proprietary diamond cuts. The ultimate in luxury, these coins feature rare pink diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine, precious compositions, exquisite craftsmanship, and extremely-limited mintages. They’re a once-in-a-lifetime addition to even the most exclusive of collections.

“The Royal Canadian Mint’s reputation for crafting coins of exceptional sophistication and artistry is known to collectors around the world,” says Marie Lemay, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “Celebrating the talent and imagination of our people through precious metal and fine art is our passion, as well as our trademark. We are proud that our new Opulence Collection takes our tradition of excellence to a whole new level.”

The story

The pink diamonds featured in this year’s Opulence Collection are some of the rarest in the world. These diamonds come from the renowned Argyle Diamond Mine, located in the remote—but breathtakingly beautiful—East Kimberley region of Western Australia. It was here, more than 1.6 billion years ago, that these pink diamonds were forged under conditions of extreme temperatures and tremendous pressure.

The Argyle Diamond Mine, which was the source of 90% of the world’s pink diamonds, ceased operations in November 2020 after 37 years of production. Out of the 865 million carats of rough diamonds produced at Argyle, less than 1% of those diamonds were pink. The pink diamonds from the Opulence Collection took over three decades to collect—and now, you have the opportunity to hold these earthly treasures in the palm of your hand.

 

The collaboration

To create such a distinguished coin collection, we collaborated with a variety of established industry leaders. Crossworks Manufacturing—an Argyle Pink Diamonds Authorized Partner—provided us with the pink diamonds that are featured on this year’s Opulence Collection coins.

“I think it’s important for the Mint’s clientele to know that pink diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine are the most coveted diamonds in the world. When approaching the Mint about this project, it was to commemorate the closure of the mine. There will not be any more pink diamonds and we wanted to be able to celebrate that closure in a commemorative way—and so that is why pink diamonds were used for the Opulence Collection,” says Itay Ariel, Executive Director of Sales and Operations at Crossworks Manufacturing.

The pink diamonds found on the coins are graded as Fancy Vivid and Fancy Intense—two of the most coveted varieties that are known for their dazzling sparkle and incomparable colour.

“In the four coins, there are two very specific technical categories of pink diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine,” says Itay. “Holistically, it’s one category of Intense and Vivid colours. In order to get the breadth of product, we needed to be able to put those two collections together. But even a trained eye can’t see the difference between the Intense and Vivid collections.”

Each coin in the collection is crafted with cherry blossom motifs—an homage to the natural beauty of pink diamonds. Through their intricate and thoughtful designs, artists Simon Ng and Derek Wicks truly brought the pink diamonds to life, turning the coins into immaculate works of art.

“Cherry blossoms are a universal symbol. There are many images that I can tap from—so that part wasn’t difficult,” says Simon Ng. “But I do like the idea of the cherry blossoms only being able to survive so many weeks and combining that with diamonds that can technically go on forever—it’s a nice dichotomy between these two concepts. That was interesting!”

Adding to the splendour of the Opulence Collection are the custom rose gold-plated jewellery enhancements that adorn each coin. Crafted by Beverly Hills Jewellers, a Toronto-based jewellery manufacturer that focuses on Canadian production, these jewellery enhancements offer a gorgeous setting for the pink diamonds that were meticulously placed by hand. 

“It was incredibly important to us that we respect and maintain the artists’ and Mint’s vision for this project,” says John Vaccaro, President and Founder of Beverly Hills Jewellers. “We wanted to create an embellishment that would really capture the beauty of the pink diamonds. We worked with the concept art to create pieces that would best compliment all its features.”

 

The coins

The Opulence Collection features four pink diamond coins, each unique in composition and design. Treasure, Grandeur, and Splendour were all designed by Simon Ng, while the pinnacle of the collection, The Ultimate, was designed by Derek Wicks.

Treasure is a stunning collectible that combines the rich gleam of 99.99% pure gold and the inimitable sparkle of pink diamonds. Inspired by Art Deco architectural elements, Treasure’s engraved design features a stylized cherry blossom with swirling petals that repeat on the coin’s obverse. This gorgeous artwork provides a luxurious base for the crowning feature: five pink diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine, set into a rose gold-plated enhancement. The only gold 2021 Opulence coin, Treasure has a limited mintage of 400 coins worldwide.

Grandeur is a coin that makes an unforgettable statement. Crafted in 2 oz. of 99.95% pure platinum, Grandeur features selective rose gold plating and is enhanced with 30 pink diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine. Delivering luxury on a grand scale, these ultra-rare diamonds radiate from the reverse centre of the coin towards the rose-gold plated rim, taking the shape of a blooming cherry blossom. Grandeur offers luxury, elegance, and exclusivity: only 30 of these coins exist worldwide.

Splendour is an exclusive showpiece of the highest luxury. Crafted in 10 oz. of 99.95% pure platinum, Splendour’s exquisite design is a celebration of earthly treasures, symbolized by a single cherry blossom amongst a delicate lacework of vines and framed by intricate latticework. 64 hand-set pink diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine offer a spectacular sparkle to this already stunning piece. Redefining rare, only five of these coins have been minted.

The standout piece of the Opulence Collection is The Ultimate, a world-exclusive masterpiece that exemplifies Canadian creativity and craftsmanship. It represents the best of the best—a masterfully engraved piece of art rendered on a canvas crafted from the purest platinum and adorned with hundreds of pink diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine (462, to be exact). The pinnacle of refined beauty and rarity, there is only one coin of this kind in existence, truly making it the most covetable piece in any connoisseur’s collection.

Derek Wicks, a renowned Canadian wildlife artist, brought the beauty of the cherry blossom to life on the reverse of The Ultimate.

“My intention was to create a work of art that could double as a luxurious piece of jewellery,” says Derek Wicks. “There is a sense of unity between the stylized design elements and the natural ones, and balance is achieved through asymmetrical and symmetrical placement: the main cluster, which anchors the design, is very symmetrical, while the asymmetric blossoms along the branches have a surprisingly organic feel. These features, combined with the visual weight of negative space, give the art a ‘controlled chaos’ feel while beautifully representing one of nature’s most poetic expressions.”

This one-of-a-kind coin will be auctioned through Heffel Fine Art Auction House on May 31, following previews in Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto.

“We are all enthusiastically awaiting auction day, and having the opportunity to present this masterpiece coin to an eager and ready market. The competitive environment, suspense, and anticipation of a live auction event make the sale of The Ultimate even more exciting,” says David Heffel, President of Heffel Fine Art Auction House. “Participation in the auction will take place through telephone bids, absentee bids, irrevocable bids, and dynamic online bids through Heffel’s Digital Saleroom. What’s even more thrilling, is that nobody knows the result until the hammer comes down.”

The live auction event will be broadcast online here.

Like a cherry blossom in full bloom, the Opulence Collection puts on display one of nature’s most exquisite treasures—a fitting send-off for some of the last remaining pink diamonds in the world.

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