Canada is a country of immense diversity, from its animals and people to culture and landscapes. The Royal Canadian Mint has released a succession of coins honouring this diversity. In 2013 and 2014 they released a 10-coin series that focused and celebrated Canada’s iconic natural wildlife. These amazing coins are seen on distributor’s sites such as Colonial Acres. When Royal Canadian Mint started releasing the O Canada series there was a palpable ripple of excitement from coin collectors and animal enthusiasts alike.
The 2013 O Canada Series Coin Collection
In 2013, unsurprisingly, the 1st and 2nd animals depicted on the coins are the largest North American water mammal and land carnivore, the orca and polar bear, respectively. It comes as no surprise that they are the first, orcas being the sleek and majestic animals that grace the waters surrounding Canada are mesmerising to watch. These beautiful kings of the sea are usually spotted off the coast of Vancouver Island. The polar bear, nicknamed the ‘Sea Bears’ roam the lands of the Canadian Arctic where more than two-thirds of the world’s polar bears are found. Canada is known as one of five "polar bear nations," along with Russia, United States, Denmark, and Norway.
The 3rd, 4th and 5th coin in the exciting series depicts a wolf, caribou, and beaver. Canada boasts the second largest gray wolf population in the world and these mysterious animals are often found living together in packs of up to 36 wolves. These enchanting animals inhabit 90% of Canada’s historic range so it’s no wonder they’re featured in this magnificent collection. The caribou is usually prey to the great population of wolves but are no easy catch. These majestic and distinct animals can weigh up to 150kg and are one of Canada's most recognizable species. Last but no means least in the 2013 collection is the beaver, this semi-aquatic rodent is Canada's national symbol, this is due to the fur trade in the early days of Canada. It is said that without beavers, there may not have been a Canada.
The 2014 O Canada Series Coin Collection
Following the success of the 2013 O Canada series, a second set was released in 2014 starting with 2 of the largest land mammals in Canada, the grizzly bear, and moose. The Canadian Moose is the largest of the deer family and is usually a lone wanderer in the vast Canadian landscape of which their range includes most of Canada. The second featured animal is the grizzly bear, which is known, albeit rarely, to hunt moose. An animal that is known to grace the immense forests of Canada it is seen as cute and cuddly, yet dangerous and temperamental. Regardless of its nature, it represents Canada’s hardy character.
The final animals showcased on these beautiful coins are the famed Canadian goose and the Heavyweight of the Plains; the bison. Starting with the Canadian goose, which could be named as Canada’s most recognizable native creature, this adaptable bird is observed in every bordering Canadian province at one time of the year or another. And finally, the last animal portrayed on this glorious coin collection is the bison. These grand beasts are the biggest land mammal in North America, weighing up to a ton. They were hunted extensively by the early natives of North America for survival. After their near demise in the early 1900’s, bison have made a dramatic comeback thanks to conservation efforts.
Whether buying just one or the whole set you won't be let down by the O Canada Series, these crafted gold coins illustrate the fantastic natural wildlife that Canada can offer.