April 2015 – I am thrilled to finally announce that a baby black bear coin I designed last year for the Royal Canadian Mint is now in circulation and available to purchase!
Last year, I was invited by the Royal Canadian Mint to submit a design for a new 2015 $20 Fine Silver Coin featuring a baby black bear. Each year, the Mint solicits only a small handful of artists to design the many coins they produce, so it was a huge honour to be invited. Rough art sketches had to be created, refined and then transferred to illustration boards for final approval and professional vetting. It was a challenge to say the least to maintain the natural look of the subject while at the same time keeping in mind that a professional engraver would be reproducing it.
The reference I used to create the design for this baby black bear coin was gathered from my past wildlife expeditions to both Vancouver Island and Knight Inlet in British Columbia. Salmon berry bushes are featured in the background of the coin design as they are a black bear staple, and on Vancouver Island, you can find salmon berries all over.
Being selected as the artist for this 2015 baby black bear coin was very thrilling for me. Having your artistic merit realized in this way is somewhat of a dream come true. I have actually designed several coins for the Royal Canadian Mint over the last year, but everything is “hush hush” until the official production date is announced. And you never know when that will be, so stay tuned!
Crafted from original designs by Canadian artists, the Royal Canadian Mint produces some of the world’s most stunning collectible coins. They produce limited-mintage numismatic coins honouring major national achievements and themes, and though they bear a denomination, they are not meant for circulation, and their actual worth is usually significantly greater than their face value.
Crafted of gold, silver or platinum, the Mint’s collector coins are individually handled as they enter the presses. A single coin may be struck up to three times to achieve a crisp, flawless impression. Certain coins feature the Mint’s proprietary technologies, such as double holograms, selective plating, colouring or laser enhancement.