It may not be the world’s biggest or heaviest, but it is still impressive.
The Royal Canadian Mint has issued a tribute to artist Bill Reid in the form of an ultra high relief, 10-kilogram gold coin that features his sculpture, “ The Spirit of Haida Gwaii.”
The RCM calls it the world’s first coin of its size to be made of 99.999 percent pure gold and the first Canadian coin to bear a $100,000 face value.
It was unveiled at the Bill Reid Gallery for Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver by James B. Love, chair of RCM’s board of directors, and Martine Reid, Ph.D., director of research and content at the gallery.
The sculpture was commissioned in 1985 for the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The coin’s image was captured by now-retired master engraver Cosme Saffioti, who manually engraved the recreation in ultra high relief using traditional techniques. The coin was struck at the mint’s Ottawa facility.
The engraving of Reid’s sculpture on the reverse is highlighted in a proof finish. The obverse of the coin, also finished in proof quality, features artist Susanna Blunt’s effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
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No more than 15 of these coins will be crafted for collectors. The price is a combination of the gold market rate at the time of purchase plus a premium for its manufacturing and limited mintage, according to RCM.
For more details, visit www.mint.ca/10kilo.