The Royal Canadian Mint has released two 1kg precious metal coins as a part of their June 2016 catalog, and they are stunningly beautiful coins that very nearly bring their subject matter to life.
One Kilo coins are not the oddity they once were, with the Perth Mint's Kookaburra and Lunar series proving quite popular over time. Several other large Mint's have also begun to release 1 kilogram coins on a regular basis. So just having a heavy coin minted from one kilogram of precious metal is no longer enough, simply put – design matters. The coin has to be beautiful to stand out from the crowd.
And in this regard the Royal Canadian Mint has succeeded in the 2016 1 Kilo coins. The theme for this year is the national symbol of Canada, the maple leaf. With the combination of selective colour treatment and a superb design the central maple leaf almost feels like it drifted in from outside and gently came to rest atop the coin.
The two coins have a shared design to the obverse and reverse with only minor variations in either case. The reverse is designed by Canadian artist Julius Csotonyi and it is certainly one he can be proud of. In the foreground is maple leaf resting on top of a fallen tree trunk. In the background is a bed of maple leaves that have been colourized in rich reds, green, orange and golden yellows mimicking the Canadian autumn landscape. The tree trunk has been masterfully sculpted with incredibly detailed bark, that manages to catch light and cast shadows in all directions. The maple leaf that forms the focus of the coin has been colourized with deep red-browns and golden veins. The inner rim of the coin neatly frames the autumn forest scene and separates it from the obverse legend which resides in a border area between the raised outer rim. “CANADA” appears at the top, and at the bottom the legend reads “9999 FINE SILVER 1KG ARGENT PUR 9999” for the silver coin and “9999 FINE GOLD 1KG OR PUR 9999” for the gold coin.
Firstly we have the one kilogram pure silver coin with a face value of $250. In addition to the selective colourization the coin is also gilded with gold around the inner and outer rim on the reverse. The effect is subtle but does an excellent job of framing the coin and the design is definitely enhanced by it.
The obverse of the 250 Dollar one kilogram silver maple leaf coin is again selectively clad in a gold finish. The rim as well as the bust of Queen Elizabeth II have received this treatment. The effect is not as subtle as it appears on the reverse but still manages to create a remarkable effect in separating the foreground from the fields and pushing the legend to the background. This instantly creates a focal point for the obverse design.
The obverse design is anchored by the Susanna Blunt effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The fields are filled by radiating lines crossing each other to create an uneven diamond effect in the background. Again this is a subtle change but does a lot to break the visual monotony of crisp and untouched fields. The obverse legend reads : “D.G. REGINA 2016 ELIZABETH II” and the denomination appears at the top of the coin. For the silver coin this would read “250 DOLLARS”, and “2500 DOLLARS” for the gold.
The second coin is struck from pure gold and has the same design as the silver coin with the obvious exception of the relief areas being left untreated(the rim and bust of the queen). The gold on kilogram coin is denominated as $2500 and will have a maximum mintage of only 10 coins. With a price tag of $69 000.00 CAD this is understandable but makes for a significantly lower mintage figure from previous years. Both the silver and gold coins are struck from 32.15oz of .9999 Fineness precious metal.
The silver $250 coin will have a maximum mintage of 500 coins and is slightly larger at 102.1mm than the gold $2500 coin which measures 101.6mm. The silver kilo coin is set to retail for $2299.95 CAD. Both coins are shipped encapsulated in a wooden display box and is issued with a numbered certificate of authenticity from the Royal Canadian Mint.