The Canadian Wildlife Series of silver coins grows in number every year and is quickly becoming one of the most popular products from the Royal Canadian Mint. These coins are particularly appealing to both investors and collectors, not only for their intricate designs, but for their above-average purities and face values. The annual mintages of the Wildlife series tallies in at no more than 1,000,000 coins and new designs are constantly being added. Though they are a product of the Canadian government, these coins are sought after by people from all over the world.
The Royal Canadian Mint rolled out six designs in all in the Canadian Wildlife Series between 2011 and 2013. The coin designs were issued in pairs, with two each in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Through the first four releases in 2011 and 2012, you will notice initials of “WW” on the reverse field. These are the initials of designer William Woodruff, a Senior Engraver at the Royal Canadian Mint. The 2013 designs, the final two in the series, feature initials on the reverse of “ED.” These represented Emily Damstra, a natural science illustrator who later contributed to programs such as the Birds of Prey Series at the Royal Canadian Mint and the America the Beautiful Series at the United States Mint. Each of the designs in this series include:
On the obverse of all Canadian Wildlife Series coins, you will find an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty is featured in right-profile relief in a 2003 design from Susanna Blunt. This design is notable for being the fourth on Canadian coins during Elizabeth II’s reign, the second monarch portrait ever created by a Canadian artist, and the first in Elizabeth II’s reign to lack a crown.
Despite there being a considerably large number of Canadian Wildlife Series coins on the market today, their history is not as extensive as one might be led to believe. In fact, the coin series was not first sanctioned by RCM until 2011. Starting in 2011, two distinct editions of the Wildlife Series were minted every year, each of which weighed one troy ounce and were produced in mintages numbering no more than 1,000,000. The Canadian Arctic Series coins, which are a new facet of the Wildlife Series, weigh 1 ½ oz each and were first produced in 2013. The exact number of coins minted annually varies dramatically from edition to edition and so too do the exact weights.
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