Following up on the immense popularity of the Canadian Wildlife Series, the Royal Canadian Mint seized on the momentum of its existing wildlife-themed silver bullion coins. After the Canadian Wildlife Series concluded in 2014, the Royal Canadian Mint took its wildlife design themes to the sky with the Birds of Prey Series. As Ian E. Bennett, then President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint, said at the time, the collection “not only solidifies our reputation for quality, but also to capture the imagination of our customers with distinctly Canadian themes.”
The Birds of Prey Series debuted with a staggered release schedule over two years that featured consecutive February-August release points. The 2014 coins were released in those months, with the 2015 coins released in the same months the following year. Each coin has 1 Troy oz of .9999 pure silver and offers specimens in Brilliant Uncirculated condition in the initial Birds of Prey Series (2014-2015). The immense popularity of this series lead the Royal Canadian Mint to issue the designs again on a similar schedule in 2016 and 2017. This time, the coins were released with limited mintages and reverse proof visuals. A reverse proof coin has mirrored designs elements overlaying frosted background fields.
All four of the designs in the Birds of Prey Series were created by Emily Damstra. Ms. Damstra had previously worked with the Royal Canadian Mint on the final two designs (2013-dated) in the Canadian Wildlife Series. Since then, she has joined the Artistic Infusion Program at the United States Mint and has contributed to such well-known programs as the America the Beautiful Series.
Four of North America’s most prominent aerial predators are the focus of the Birds of Prey Series designs from Emily Damstra. The coins were released in the following order with the specific designs detailed below:
On the obverse side of all of the coins in the Birds of Prey Series, the Royal Canadian Mint issues the design of Queen Elizabeth II. The fourth-generation portrait of Queen Elizabeth II featured here is the first in her reign to lack a crown on her head and was created in 2003 by Susanna Blunt, just the second Canadian artist ever to create a monarch effigy for Canadian coins.
Aside from the differing visuals in the BU and Reverse Proof releases of the Birds of Prey Series, the Royal Canadian Mint issued the coins with different mintage figures. The BU series had its individual designs limited to 1 million coins per release, while the Reverse Proof Series featured limited mintages of only 100,000 silver coins per design release.
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